Marcus Aurelius On Getting Out Of Bed In The Morning

I used to be miserable when I woke up and had to get out of bed in the morning. It was the worst!

Luckily something within myself decided to take control and change that pattern of behavior. I read books, started meditating, hired coaches, changed my peer group, invested in personal development events, etc.

One of the things that helped me change the way I think and feel about waking up is from one of the books I’ve read, Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius. He was Roman emperor from 161 to 180 and a Stoic philosopher and was the last of the rulers known as the Five Good Emperors.

Marcus Aurelius says:

“At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work–as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for–the things which I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?’

–But it’s nicer here…

So you were born to feel ‘nice?’ Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?

–But we have to sleep sometime…

Agreed. But nature set a limit on that–as it did on eating and drinking. And you’re over the limit. But not of working. There you’re still below your quota. You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too and what it demands of you. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. Do you have less respect for your own nature than the engraver does for engraving, the dancer for the dance, the miser for money or the social climber for status? When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts. Is helping others less valuable to you? Not worth your effort?

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