Lesson 4

Lesson 4: BHFM and The Stoic Advisor

Weekly Habits for Success - Daily Task to The Habits for Success

“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil.”  —Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius was raised to understand how important habits were to achieve the life he wanted to live. As emperor, he could have had anything by simply demanding it. But instead, he chose a life of achievement through willful actions on his part.

One of his best characteristics was getting out of bed early and writing in his journal. He would write about many things in his journal (again, I recommend you read his journal in the book “Meditations”), but one of the most important things he would write about was the people he would likely face in the day ahead.

He would talk about how frustrating the people he met with that day would be. And then he would write about how he would forgive them. He would talk through (in his journal) all the vexing, stubborn and downright rude people that he would encounter that day. He would write down all the challenges that he would encounter that day as well as the temptations that would come with the day… the temptations to punish or lash out at those who vexed him, or those who wanted to “conspire with him (his power) to corrupt his position of power to their unearned benefit.”

By taking the time to write about this in his journal, Marcus would work out how he would deal with all these people. He would work out in advance how he would remain calm, reasoned and quiet and, most importantly, in control of his emotions. Using his writing, he would play out the scenarios in his head, demonstrating how he would remain calm and in control of the moment using only logic and reason.

So now, it’s your turn to act like the last “Philosopher King” and gain control of your faculties and all the PITA people you will run into every day. Grab a journal and pen and start writing. Or, if you’re like me and have the penmanship of a chicken having a seizure, get a Word doc or a Google doc and start your journal TODAY!

It doesn’t take much and it doesn’t much matter what you write… in the beginning. We’ll help you get better in your journaling over time. For now, we just want you to start. Write about whatever you want. Recap your day yesterday. Write about what you have to do today. Don’t forget to write the date and time at the beginning of every entry!

And you don’t have to spend much time doing it. Just write for 10 minutes.

Even though my journal is for me, I like to write stories about my youth so that one day, if my kids decide to read my journal (after I’m dead and gone), maybe a piece of my life will live on in their memories.

One of the most important habits of successful people is that they use the time in the morning, when they are up before everyone else, to do something of value. Journaling is one of the habits of successful people. And keep in mind that even the most successful people don’t spend a long time journaling. Based on some research, the average journaling session is about 10 minutes. So, feel free to spend as much or as little time as you’d like… but shoot for 10 minutes!

Use this time to clarify your thoughts. Use this time to find some peace and quiet from the world that is rushing towards us as it begins to wake up.

NEW HABIT: Journaling for 10 minutes per day (add it to your EXCEL spreadsheet)

NEW TASK: Spend 15 minutes today watching the Educational Workshop videos on the BHFM website (put that on your Excel spreadsheet).