Marcus Aurelius’s Exhortation to Get out of Bed and Build Something:
“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 I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?” – Marcus Aurelius demanding that we get out of bed and build something
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Marcus Aurelius is one of history’s greatest philosophers and leaders. Few men (or women) have had such an enormous history on either world history or philosophy, much less both. That’s why he’s remembered by so many people, often featured in The Daily Stoic, one of my favorite newsletters, and has had his ideas embraced by generation after generation of political, military, and business leaders. Marcus Aurelius, as you can tell from this exhortation of his to get out of bed and build something, knew how to be both an inspirational leader and a genius philosopher.
How was he able to be so influential? How was he able to jot down his thoughts in such a way in his journal, Meditations, that executives and politicians still use it as a handbook today? By willing himself to get out of bed and build something.
It can be difficult to get out of bed and build something each day. Just read any book about habit, such as The Power of Habit. Being strong willed, ambitious, and entrepreneurial is difficult, especially if you have to do it every day. It requires “stickability,” something that very few people have. That is why so many of history’s greatest figures stand out; they had the willpower to get out of bed in the morning like Marcus Aurelius says to in this quotation.
In my analysis of a quote by Thomas Jefferson on idleness, I described how important it is to build up oneself and be productive. Thomas Jefferson’s quote about idleness is so powerful because he did so.
On a similar note, Adam Smith’s quote about ambition is so powerful and meaningful because he was ambitious person.
All three of the above-mentioned quotations tie together well. You can avoid idleness through being willing to get out of bed and build something. It is easier to do so if you are ambitious and willing to exert the effort to act on that ambition. It’s what Americans do. It’s what highly effective people do. It’s what you should do.
Each quotation is a piece of the puzzle and works well with the others, which is why it is so important to read and understand all of them. Learn from history so that you can be someone that history remembers.
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My analysis of this quote didn’t need to be particularly long, the quote speaks for itself (as all those of great men like Marcus Aurelius do).
But, I thought it was important to tie it together with the Thomas Jefferson quote on idleness and Adam Smith quote on ambition. Hopefully you can learn from those great men and their views, as I am trying to do.
Living correctly can be difficult. But, it’s much easier if you are ambitious and get out of bed in the morning. Learn from Epictetus. Learn from Jefferson. Learn from Adam Smith. Be someone who is able to will yourself to do great things. If you do so, your life will be more fulfilling and you will be happier.
Get out of bed and build something!
By: Gen Z Conservative