Action by action

You have to assemble your life yourself – action by action. And be satisfied if each one achieves its goal, as far as it can. No one can keep that from happening.

-But there are external obstacles…

Not to behaving with justice, self-control, and good sense. 

– Well, but perhaps to some more concrete action.

But if you accept the obstacle and work with what you’re given, an alternative will present itself – another piece of what you’re trying to assemble. Action by action.” – Marcus Aurelius

Riding horses, if it is done correctly, teaches the rider the importance of building progressively. Every time a horse is ridden the horse is either improved by the rider or diminished.

If the rider displays equestrian tact, for example, by employing a balanced, deep and feeling seat and by using his various aids judiciously, he progressively gains the confidence and trust of his mount, which in turn leads to a more harmonious relationship between horse and rider. If, however, the rider demands unreasonably, coerces insensitively or anticipates ignorantly, the horse may be brought into the appearance of a harmonious relationship (to the untrained eye), but such stopgaps inevitably crumble under pressure.

So it is in living. You have to assemble your life yourself, piece by piece, step by step. There will be obstacles, but to the degree that you maintain your composure – your self-control and good sense – you remain an open channel through which inspiration and wisdom can flow. Tense up physically, mentally or emotionally, and you will impair your ability to discern the right course of action and thereby hinder the natural flow of progress.

Whether raising my children, tending to my animals, dressing and keeping my property, cultivating my friendships or any other number of activities I might be involved in from day to day, I know that I must assemble carefully, thoughtfully and deliberately. Action by action. Anything less is likely to diminish that which is presently under my care.

– Eternal progress.

Isn’t that the point of our existence anyway?

6 thoughts on “Action by action

  1. Zach

    This is something that should be held dear. The building of a life happens moment by moment, action by action. Our decisions stack; whether they are in the direction we intend is up to us.


  2. Joy

    I have been so aware that it is the nature of our hearts that determines the effectiveness of our actions. When we connect in the realm of reality, of truthful expression, people feel the difference because such interaction is quite rare. So much of life is lived superficially, and we are trained to give voice to pat comments like “Have a nice day”, or “You’re welcome”. Word that often carry no charge… I find with my day to day interactions with people that it is so much more meaningful and effective to them and to me if I come from that place of reality that is concerned to build creatively action by action. Everything changes on that basis.


  3. David R

    All the pieces matter, and are worthy of thoughtful, balanced care. We must either enhance or degrade – there is no standing still, and there is so much to be built!


  4. Steve V

    A mentor of mine would talk about having a sense of right expectation. Your words today give such orientation. It is good to share and acknowledge how a wonderful life can occur. Thank you for your words.


  5. Lady Leo

    Life can have a refreshing simplicity when approached like this. Sometimes the obstacles seem to come rapidly but as you say ” to degree that you maintain your composure – your self-control and good sense – you remain an open channel through which inspiration and wisdom can flow” we are never without guidance. Wonderful post, thank you!


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