Feeling stuck? Blocked? Like you’ve hit a brick wall?

You’re not alone. But rather than work yourself up into a froth, we suggest taking a page from Marcus Aurelius’ notebook.

True, it is a pretty old notebook. After all, Marcus was a Roman ruler back when you could count the centuries on two fingers. But that doesn’t mean he was ancient in his thinking. In fact, he was one of the first guys to carry around some papyrus and stylus and pen notes to himself to keep him on track.

It was his journaling, at first untitled, then known as “Marcus’ Writings to Himself,” and finally as the “Meditations”, where we gain our understanding of Stoicism, an early form of philosophy.

Stoicism sets out to remind us of how unpredictable the world can be, how brief our moment of life is, and that the source of our dissatisfaction lies in our view of the situation, not in the situation itself.  In fact, Marcus wrote to himself that any problem we might face could actually be opportunity in disguise.  As he put it: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

In other words, everything is opportunity.  Even the brick wall that you’re currently banging your head against. So there’s no need to panic. Being stuck isn’t “bad.” It just is. By stepping back from self-flagellation and gazing at the problem dispassionately, you can begin to accept it. And in the acceptance comes growth.

So enjoy every blessed obstacle in your path, and they’ll return the favor by offering you a chance to overcome them!