“Stop wandering about! You aren’t likely to read your own notebooks, or ancient histories, or the anthologies you’ve collected to enjoy in your old age. Get busy with life’s purpose, toss aside empty hopes, get active in your own rescue — if you care for yourself at all — and do it while you can.”MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 3.14
So here we are, on the last day of December, watching the final embers of this year burn out. It’s time to toss aside the old, and get ready for the new. What have you gained this year?
Well, you might have taken a lot of notes or journaled about The Daily Stoic book, or just about self-improvement in general. Hopefully you did! But as Marcus points out above, you’re never going to read those notes or those journals again. They’ve served their purpose, so toss them out and start putting what you’ve learned into practice.
I find it interesting that the author Ryan Holiday says explicitly, “Another book isn’t the answer” — because he definitely has more books to sell you. But he’s right. Just moving on to another book isn’t going to make a difference. More reading isn’t going to accomplish anything. It’s time to start showing what you’ve learned, and take action.
Perfection isn’t the goal, it never is. But taking imperfect action is indeed the goal. Just get out there and do it. If you started midway through The Daily Stoic, then sure, tomorrow you should start over at January 1. But don’t let that be the only thing you do. Let next year be the year you take bold action to implement what you’ve learned.