Ryan Holiday recently recommended a bunch of life-changing books that I figured I would check out. I had read some Seneca before and found it interesting (though not the most engaging of reading), so I figured I'd see what Marcus Aurelius's famous book Meditations was all about.
Ryan describes the book like this: "It simply tells you how to live a little better.... At some point around 170 AD, the single most powerful man in the world sat down and wrote a private book of lessons and admonishments to himself for becoming a better, kinder and humbler person." I think that's a pretty accurate description of this book, though most of the lessons seem pretty obvious and are more like common sense (which is fine).
I found this book to be even less structured than Seneca's, flowing from topic to topic like a brain dump from the author. Though I didn't hear many ideas that I hadn't been exposed to before, I did enjoy hearing about the general principles and outlook of the people who lived 1,843 years ago. I saw a lot in common between the general concerns and thinking of those people and the people who live today, but I also saw some marked differences, such as in the discussions of the roles of men vs. women as well as the respect for history and the sages.
Below are some of my takeaways and the points that stood out to me the most.