Marcus Aurelius's Thoughts On Motivating Yourself To Get Out Of Bed

We all have mornings where we want nothing more than to stay in our beds, warm and comfortable, all day. If you're having a morning like that, stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius suggests you look to your true nature as a human being.

Photo by Portable Antiquities Schemes.

We are animals, living things that are a part of nature, no matter how smart and powerful we think we are. And as with all living things, it's in our nature to go out and do. In Meditations, Aurelius writes:

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?"

So you were born to feel "nice"? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don't you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you're not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren't you running to do what your nature demands?

You don't love yourself enough. Or you'd love your nature too, and what it demands of you.

You may not know your life's purpose, or even believe in such a thing, but it's hard to argue that lazing about in bed is the best way to spend your short time here. Aurelius believed people should spend their lives contributing to the betterment of the world, but at the very least, you can do something to better yourself. So take a deep breath, hop out of bed and go start your day. Succumb to your nature and go do.

The Meditations via Brain Pickings


Comments

    The problem with this advice though is when do I apply it? I am cosy and comfortable sleeping in bed at 2 a.m., but should I wake myself and get to work? Generally I like the sound of this advice, provided it is applied to me waking naturally. But the nature of work at the moment is such that I have to have an alarm to get me up when it is contrary to my nature.

    I have sleep apnea the last thing I want to do is EVER get out of bed (and yes I have a sleep apnea machine and yes I use it, and yes it tells me it's effective)

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