“Your principles can’t be extinguished unless you snuff out the thoughts that feed them, for it’s continually in your power to reignite new ones… It’s possible to start living again! See things anew as you once did – that is how to restart life!~ Marcus Aurelius, “ Meditations”
This morning when I was trying to figure out what to write, this Aurelius quote that I had previously jotted down in my notes stuck out to me. Now seemed like the perfect time to reflect on it.
I don’t have to tell you how crazy the world is right now. In fact, many out there are looking for anything other than another reminder of how serious the situation is. And in the midst of all this, understandably, I have been completely knocked off my metaphorical horse. I’m sure you have to, to some degree.
Most of 2020’s theme for me has been about focus, determination, and most importantly, discipline. That discipline has been channeled specifically into routine. This is the first year of my life that I’ve been able to truly realize the power of routine, and the effective outcomes that it can yield. But for the last 2 weeks, I’ve been struggling.
My whole normal routine, the thing that had acted as the stabilizing anchor to my change in behavior and mentality in 2020, has been completely broken.
All the things that I normally do every day in the order I do them? Kinda pointless. The way that I usually do them? Kinda not relevant. Finding motivation in a quarantine with a total societal stoppage has been a lot more challenging than I could have possibly imagined.
And I think that’s how my perspective is shifting through this crisis so far. Not that “everything is pointless,” but rather that even though everything has changed, on the other hand, nothing has changed. We still need to get up every morning, feed ourselves, dress ourselves, clean ourselves (admittedly a little more frequently than before), and care for our own lives in some fashion or another.
Reduced to life’s most basic needs, none of that has changed. If I want more (like health & fitness goals, or professional accomplishment, etc.), I can still achieve it. And I still need a system, a routine, to reach for and accomplish it. Perhaps the system I was using yesterday no longer applies to the system I need today. Fine. Time to take a step back, reevaluate what I need, and structure a plan, a new plan, to continue reaching higher.
So that’s what I’ll be committing to doing this week. I’ll be reevaluating my daily routine and short term goals to find a daily routine and mindful focus that is more suitably adapted to the world’s current situation. I hope you will too.