Accumulate karma

Be nice and polite to people.

Always smile.

Give the benefit of doubt.

Think empathy.


What goes around, comes around.

Always give first., you will receive it back, one way or another.

This is the concept of karma.

Accumulate enough in order to give more.

It’s all we want to do in life — to receive kindness.

To receive kindness, we have to first give kindness.

Today, give kindness.

Photo by Sabine Schulte on Unsplash

Good fortune is what you make for yourself; Dissecting Meditations, a personal journal by Marcus Aurelius Part #14

What you are getting into: 341 words, 2mins read

Here, I will share my contemplations upon reading the published personal journal of Marcus Aurelius, a roman emperor from 161-180 AD. Thoughts mainly stemmed from Stoicism, and Marcus Aurelius used the notes for guidance and self improvement. It’s a translated book by Gregory Hays, or you can read it online.

For this and upcoming posts I attempt to dissect quotes I favour upon reading the book.

Photo via Unsplash

I was once a fortunate man but at some point fortune abandoned me.

But true good fortune is what you make for yourself. Good fortune: good character, good intentions, and good actions.

To never rely on good fortune. Accept that good fortune is created rather than bestowed. Wishing good fortune is futile upon reading this pithy quote. Hard reminder that one shall not wish for good fortune in dire needs. Instead, thou shall work towards developing a good character, having good intentions, and good actions. In time to come, good traits will bring good fortune.

“Fortune favours the prepared mind.” — Louis Pasteur

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” — Seneca the younger

You know these quotes.

You know in order to have what people call ‘luck’, you need to be prepared.

You know you need to do the hard work.

You know you need to put in the hours.

You know you need to stay focused.

You know you need to keep going after the grind.

You know you need to say no to distractions.

You know you need to have an unhealthy obsession in perfecting your craft.

You know you need to work.

You know you need to develop good character.

You know you need to train your mind.

You know you need to empower your mind with knowledge and skills.

You know you need to build the life your want.

You know you need there’s nothing stopping you from getting what you want, except yourself.

Now go get it.

People like to victimise themselves

They like to be the busiest — “I’m so busy!”

They like to be the most stressed out — “I’m so stressed out!”

They like to be the one who slept the least — “I only had 3hrs of sleep, for the whole week!”

They like to be wronged — “I was unfairly treated!”

They like to think that they have the toughest breakup — “He/she treated me like a doormat!”

They like to think that they have the toughest job — “My job sucks!”

They like to think they are the poorest — “I have no money!”

The list goes on. It never ends. It’s a toxic mindset that resolves around scarcity, negativity, and victimhood.

They are the victims of their stories.

You know the quote “People want to see you doing well, just not better than them?” That’s one of the most detrimental mindset anyone can have.

Picture this, an executive puts in 60hours a week produces the same output compared the another executive who puts in the standard 40hours. Guess you should know who will cry victim by now. Now 60hour exec wants 40hour exec to work as much and 40hour exec wants to share how he/she works so the output can be compounded but victimhood theory is preventing it from happening. Resulting in the situation withering like a graceful flower all because selfish 60hour exec had a victim mentality — “I want everyone to suffer what I went through just because I had the toughest life there is in human history.” Depressing, but alarmingly true.

If we refer to Dan Harmon’s story circle above, which is a format what most stories uses, we understand that the victim is stuck cycling between stages 1-3. There’s discomfort and dissonance between being uncomfortable, feeling inadequate, and dipping into unknown territories.

But stage 4-6 is what really matters. It’s what separates victims from heroes. The hero accepts the reality. Adapts to circumstances by figuring out what it takes to get out of it. Sets out on a journey that will bring them out of the shithole. Despite getting what they want, they have to pay a price. The price usually means saying no.

Stop living in victimhood, start being the hero of your own story. That requires going through obstacles and pain. Nothing worth having ever comes easy. Almost everything requires a price, and the price is hard work.

Start cultivating self awareness. Try to catch yourself thinking in the victim mentality. Then try to get out of it. Also, don’t forget to pull others out of it. After all, we live in a society and everyone needs help from others every once in awhile.

How to get out of it? Ruby recommends 4 steps:

  1. Acknowledge you are playing the victim (probably the hardest part)
  2. Acknowledge the role you have been playing in your life
  3. Take ownership (own your shit)
  4. Create change

Let me leave you with this: Own your life, own your story. And never ever lie to yourself.

Photo by Xavier Sotomayor on Unsplash