True happiness is a verb.


What makes you happy? For Epictetus, the answer is you. More specifically, what you do. When unhappy, literally do something that makes you happy. However small the action may seem or short it may last, it is the starting point to your happiness.


become simple.

-Marcus Aurelius

How is your life complicated? How many of these complications are results of your own thinking and of your own actions? Eliminate the unnecessary clutter of your daily thinking and acting. Create your purpose on a daily basis and unwaveringly abide by your overall vision with your thoughts and actions. Increasing your focus will decrease your feelings of being overwhelmed by complications.

Stop and Start

Start where you are. You might be the most depressed person, the most addicted person in the world, the most jealous person in the world. You might think that there are no others on the planet who hate themselves as much as you do. All of that is a good place to start. Just where you are- that’s the place to start.

– Pema Chodron, The Pocket Pema Chodron

What stops you from starting? When we stop trying to be perfect we can start moving towards our ideal selves. There is no moment aside from the now so that is the best place to start because it could be the only place.



The Self

If we take good care of ourselves, we help everyone.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Do you neglect your own well-being? You are the starting point for how you interact with the world. You cannot be outwardly positive before you feel good about yourself.


Dig within yourself. There lies the source of good; a source whose waters will forever well up, if you but forever dig.

-Marcus Aurelius

How do you look inward on a daily basis? Are you constantly consuming food, sights, and sounds without ever questioning if they’re good for you? To dig within is to practice the skill of inner dialogue. Talking to yourself, not out loud, or sometimes out loud, is the best way to practice introspection.


The Present

Everywhere and at all times, it is up to you to rejoice piously at what is occurring at the present moment, to conduct yourself with justice towards the people who are present here and now…

-Marcus Aurelius

For how much of your day are you present? The present moment is a gift. This perspective alone makes for a happier life. Gratitude is a greater starting point for living than desire. Being present means appreciating the now, right now.


… if his companion be infected, he who converses with him will be infected likewise.


Do you surround yourself with positive people? How do you impact those around you?  It is inevitable that we all begin to resemble the people we spend the most time with and they also begin to resemble us. You can choose to be infected with negativity or positivity.