by Marcus Aurelius

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius was more than just a book; it was a journey. From the minute I cracked it open, I felt as if I was entering the thoughts of a wise friend who had seen everything. Marcus's insights about life, virtue, and how to deal with the unexpected were a breath of fresh air in an otherwise chaotic world.


What drew me to "Meditations" was how realistic it was. Marcus Aurelius was an old Roman emperor, but his thoughts and problems seemed strangely modern. He battled with the same existential, happiness, and purpose-related problems that we do every day. He seemed to be speaking directly to me, providing millennia of experience and insight.


As I dug deeper into "Meditations," I became hungry for more. I wanted to know the theory underlying Marcus' words, what Stoicism was all about, and how it could be applied to my life. I searched the internet for articles and videos on Stoic concepts and the Stoic way of living. I also researched more on stoic philosophers such as Seneca, Epictetus and Zeno.


What I found was eye-opening. Stoicism was more than simply an ancient philosophy; it was a practical guide to leading a better life. It taught me to focus on what I can control, to accept things for what they are, and to find calm in the midst of chaos. It was like discovering a road map for gracefully and resiliently navigating life's ups and downs. I soon started incorporating Stoic principles into my daily life. I began journaling, reflecting on my thoughts and emotions, and seeking to live more intentionally and purposefully. And you know what? It works. I found myself feeling more centred and grounded, even in the middle of life's storms.


But probably the most important lesson I learned from "Meditations" was the value of thankfulness. Marcus Aurelius had a way of reminding me to enjoy the basic pleasures of life, to see beauty in the everyday, and to be grateful for what I have. It was a powerful reminder to slow down, to savour the moment, and to cherish the people and experiences that make life worth living. In the end, the book was incredibly impactful, and I will not forget it for a while.

Darren Mong'are

Rating: 5 Recommend



On the blurb of the Penguin's publication of the book is a quote that I think encapsulates ‘Meditations’ best : ‘Their icy blasts are refreshing and restorative. They tell you the worst. And having heard the worst, you feel less bad.’ Meditations is a collection of reflections made by Marcus Aurelius who is known as Rome’s first emperor who was also a philosopher. In writing his meditations Aurelius did not intend to publish his thoughts but rather did so for his own encouragement. He wrote about the range of the human experience- work, conflict, relationships, emotions, war, peace. His writings are contemplative in their structure. They do not form a story but rather are a series of appeals and assertions about what he thinks a ‘good’ life should be and what makes a person virtuous with a running theme of stoicism.

Aurelius repeats throughout the book that life is short and tomorrow not guaranteed. On that optimistic note, he encourages himself, and therefore the reader, to not exaggerate or diminish life’s events but rather take them as they are. I expected his writing to be structured more like a story or an essay and found it a bit repetitive and slightly saddening at times given his frank perspective on the brevity of life. Nonetheless, it was a sobering and inspiring book to read at the same time. My favourite quote from the book is ‘revere the ultimate power in the universe: this is what makes use of all things and directs all things. But similarly revere the ultimate power in yourself: this is akin to that other power. In you too this is what makes use of all else, and your life is governed by it.’

Amwene Etiang

Rating: 4 Interesting



The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.” The power of the mind, though often spoken about remains underrated. Aurelius was an ancient Roman Emperor who was all too aware of the power of inner peace and rational thinking. He practised a large range of spiritual and mediational practices as well as philosophy and noted his thoughts down in a journal. It was these practices and beliefs that crafted his successful leadership over the Roman Empire and what allowed him to go down in history as an exemplary Emperor. I have received a plethora of teachings and lessons which are beneficial to not just my challenges as a leader but daily lives. a lesson that stood out to me personally is that problems are created in the mind. Sometimes we are anxious about a challenge or an uncomfortable situation, this anxiety leads us to exuberate the problem at hand and causes unnecessary stress in the present. A lesson I have learnt to encompass is that stressing about the future only brings me unhappiness. To quote Marcus “Let not future things disturb you, for you will come to them, if it shall be necessary, having with you the same reason which you now use for present things.” Prepare for what you can but do not allow the fear of tomorrow to be your master as a leader you may anticipate an event you feel you may not be ready for, but you must not bring anxiety to your team but to eliminate their stress and deal with the issue when it comes forth. Another important lesson that I'm sure we should all internalize is to not make the problems of another man your own. To explain further, in your life you will meet a myriad of people all with their issues. In some situations, a person’s faults may irritate you especially if they constantly wrong you in other you may feel obligated to help this person improve. The key thing to remember is that you can only advice and demonstrate. Do not surrender to frustration, guide the person to be and do better, remember to do so without corrupting your principles. It is also important not to load other problems on yourself, help where you can but do not carry their cross you have your own to bare. As a leader, this is remarkably important. Your teammates will show faults and you must guide them to improve as well as accept help, forgive others as you would pray to be done so unto yourself and show patience with your team. I strongly encourage this book and not just to scholars, but anyone who would like some enlightenment on self-improvement.

Nyawira Mburia

Rating: 5 Recommend