The Emperor of Rome’s formula for good decision making

November 16, 2022
Decision Making
"The first thing to do - don't get worked up. For everything happens according to the nature of all things, and in a short time you'll be nobody and nowhere, even as the great emperors Hadrian and Augustus are now. The next thing to do - consider carefully the task at hand for what it is, while remembering that your purpose is to be a good human being. Get straight to doing what nature requires of you, and speak as you see most just and fitting - with kindness, modesty, and sincerity." - Marcus Aurelius

Sometimes we get worked up, and often, our Ego makes us get that much more worked up than we should. Maybe it is because we think we are much more important than we actually are in the grand scheme of things. The person talking above, Marcus, is not just anyone. He was the emperor of Rome - and one of the most loved by the people. He reminds himself that everything happens according to the laws of Nature (the self-so, the Tao, the Logos). No matter the situation, it is not worth involving your Ego because, in a short time, you'll be dead as nobody and nowhere, even like the great emperors that came before him. The second part is my favorite - no matter the subject at hand, solving a problem or a challenge always comes second to doing the right thing in fulfilling the purpose of being a good human being; to live with Eudaimonia - a good soul.

Leaders, we can learn from that. Next time someone makes a mistake of something in your project, remember that you must first act to be a good human. Then, you will find a solution. Ironically, 99.99% of the time, if you focus on being a good human being, just and fair, and compassionate, the answer will be much better than otherwise.

And so next time you have to make a decision, take Marcus's advice and use his formula. Don't get worked up and find a solution that will be congruent with your goal of becoming a better human being.

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