“Leave the past behind, let the grand design take care of the future, and instead only rightly guide the present to reverence and justice. Reverence so that you’ll love what you’ve been allotted, for nature brought you both to each other. Justice so that you’ll speak the truth freely and without evasion, and so that you’ll act only as the law and the value of things require.”MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 12.1
Don’t worry about what has already happened. That’s in the past now, and it’s water long under the bridge. And let the future unfold as it will, either according to “the grand design” if you’re inclined to believe in that, or to cosmic chance if that’s your cup of tea.
What’s left is to focus on the present. While you’re at it, make sure you’re focusing on two things — or “persist and resist” using two virtues, as author Ryan Holiday presents in today’s entry from his book The Daily Stoic.
What are these two virtues? They’re reverence and justice, highlighted by Marcus Aurelius in the quote above.
Reverence for the hand that the present time has dealt to you, and for the joys that are apparent if you but seek to find them. Find awe in the moment in front of you.
And justice to recognize how to fairly and truthfully act in this moment, as your standards have taught you.