By now you’re back in the saddle at work. You enjoyed the holiday season, but you also realize that sitting around in a cookie-induced torpor while trying to recall what day of the week it is is not what you were placed on this earth to do. You were born to be active in the world around you.
Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius knew this 1,800 years ago:
“Joy for human beings lies in proper human work. And proper human work consist in: acts of kindness to other human beings, disdain for the stirrings of the senses, identifying trustworthy impressions, and contemplating the natural order and all that happens in keeping with it.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 8.26
In his book The Daily Stoic, Ryan Holiday says the following:
“When dog trainers are brought in to work with a dysfunctional or unhappy dog, they usually start with one question: ‘Do you take it for walks?’ They ask because dogs were bred to do certain tasks – to do work – and when deprived of this essential part of they nature, they suffer and act out. This is true no matter how spoiled and nice their life might be.”
This doesn’t mean you were put on this earth to answer emails and sit in meetings. But there are a multitude of ways in which you can make an impact on the world around you. It’s up to you to decide what, in your specific life, this means. That’s one of the joys of being human.
Consider this post an invitation to re-engage with an essential element of your nature.
You are a dog. Go out for a walk.