Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν | Ta eis heauton | or “to himself.
It is my mission to live a happy a meaningful existence (Eudaimonia) based on the trifecta of virtues. I’m going to use the philosophy of stoicism to achieve this and journaling is going to keep me on track and make me accountable.
Journaling is going to become part of my daily routine. A discipline to clarify the mind, provide room for quiet, private reflection and provide me with a record of my thoughts over time.
To be effective it’s got to be more than a simple diary. This daily practice is the philosophy. Preparing for the day ahead. Reflecting on the day that has passed. Reminding oneself of the wisdom we have learned from our teachers, from our reading, and from our own experiences.
I would be crazy to think wisdom and self-mastery are going to simply arrive via epiphany. I need to go on a mission to acquire those states, little by little, practice by practice.
So in the early hours of the day, I’m going to prepare, plan and meditate on how I aim to act that day. I’m going to take a moment to envision everything that may come so I am ready to conquer it.
And at the conclusion of the day I’m going to put up my day for review. Did I follow my plans for the day? Was I prepared enough? What could I do better? What have I learned that will help me tomorrow?
In the most well-known Stoic philosopher’s own private journal, Emperor Marcus Aurelius urged himself: “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” Which serves as a personal reminder to continue living a life of virtue now, and not wait another minute.
I will start journaling today. Wish me luck.