This is the first in a series of Monday meditations designed to help you prepare yourself for the week ahead. Think of it as an opportunity to reset before you restart.
For this series, I will be drawing from the writings of ancient philosophers and spiritual teachers whose timeless wisdom still has much to offer in the context of the modern world. Occasionally I may borrow from more recent sources.
My wish is that these bits of wisdom will serve to inspire and challenge you as you go out in the world to do your work and make your mark. I welcome your ideas and feedback as we embark on this journey.
“Guard also against another kind of error: the folly of those who weary their days in much business, but lack any aim on which their whole effort, nay, their whole thought is focused.” -Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.
Do you have a guiding focus for your life?
For your work?
When you read those questions, was there an affirming thought that immediately came to mind? Or were you thinking that this is a question you have yet to answer?
You might call this your “one thing”.
Consider the idea that the ability to narrow your focus and shape your days around a single goal or aspiration is the key to a fulfilling life. No matter the context of your work, you can express this focus in your actions to create the kind of influence you wish to have with your life.
Without this guiding focus for your life, you lack a compass. It will be easy to drift and stay busy without really going anywhere. You might even reach the end of your life having accomplished much but feeling indifferent towards the outcome.
Perhaps you have the strong desire to improve the lives of others. This could include your family, those with whom your work and your community. Now, think about how this focus guides your decisions and priorities. It will shape your beliefs and interpretation of events.
If you stay true to this calling, you can expect to live a life that leaves many people better off for having come in contact with you. A life that you will feel was well lived.
Can you think of people who lived their life with a singular focus and made a positive impact regardless of the circumstances? How might this kind of focus change the way you experience the week to come?
If you have established this focus for your life, I urge you to start this week by considering how you will demonstrate this intent in the various roles you live and in situations you encounter. At the end of the week, reflect on how your guiding focus shaped those moments.
If you are still unsure, perhaps this is a good week to pay attention to what makes you feel alive and inspired. Put some thought into what might be the guiding focus for your life. At the end of the week, take the opportunity to write down the themes that come to mind.
If you have a story to share or thoughts on this topic, please comment below. Let’s encourage each other for the week ahead.