“Ask yourself the following first thing each morning:EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 4.6.34-35
– What am I lacking in attaining freedom from passion?
– What for tranquility?
– What am I? A mere body, estate-holder, or reputation? None of these things.
– What, then? A rational being.
– What then is demanded of me? Meditate on your actions.
– How did I steer away from serenity?
– What did I do that was unfriendly, unsocial, or uncaring?
– What did I fail to do in all these things?”
In today’s quote, we are given a list of questions that we could ask ourselves each morning. Rather than delve into each individual question and what it means, The Daily Stoic book simply highlights the fact that we should have a morning ritual where we “look inward and examine”.
The exact questions you ask yourself may bear some resemblance to the list above, but they don’t have to. They should be honest and direct questions, and you should take some time to answer them honestly, to yourself. This might take the form of meditation, journaling, or some other creative method.
Today’s wisdom is simply that you should develop your morning ritual and stick to it. The exact questions are perhaps not as important as the fact that you’re doing it daily and setting time aside for yourself and your own personal growth.
I too have adopted a morning ritual, somewhere in the last year. Every day now, I wake up and sit quietly in the early morning hours with a hot drink, and examine how yesterday went for me. Then I write about it. Affirmations, encouragements, reminders that I’m only human — that sort of thing. Then I jot down what I want to accomplish today (also known as goals, haha). Finally, I read this book! It is called The Daily Stoic, after all. 🙂
My morning ritual has been a bedrock which has helped me develop consistency in my practice, and provides a sense of stability for me in my often-chaotic day. I’m not sure where I’d be without it, to be honest!