As I enter deeper into 2020, I am thinking on the direction of my life. I am reading Meditations by the former Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, which is helping me in shaping the direction that I wish to move in 2020.
A key message in Meditations is to let go of concerns about the lives of others, and their judgements about self. Aurelius says that it is better that the individual focus on their own life and goals.
One of the negatives of social media is that it encourages us to be obsessed about other people, what they are thinking, saying and doing. Social media also encourages us into a narcissistic mindset, where the focus is on getting attention and being liked.
The successful and overall strategy of marketing men and people of authority is to focus the energy and attention away from self and its own goals; redirecting this attention and energy towards external authorities and their message.
Over a thousand years before Facebook and Donald Trump, a Roman emperor is saying that it is dumb to allow the hijacking of your own mind by the marketing men. How can an individual accomplish things that satisfy their own needs and goals in life, if they are too busy focussed on likes on Facebook and the latest falsehood of Trump?
Who is the winner if the individual says “f%ck Trump and Facebook!”; dumps them out of their lives; then focusses the liberated time they would have dedicated to those parasites towards learning a new skill?
The amazing thing about Meditations was that it was written by Marcus Aurelius as a guide for himself; and it was only on his death that it became published for the benefit of people like me.
The technology might have changed, but human nature has not. Men like Trump have always existed, and so has the needs that drive people to use Facebook. The message in Meditations remains the same now as 2000 years ago: that it is better to let go of worrying about what others are doing, saying and thinking; and concentrate on your own life and goals.