Ancient Wisdom for Modern Challenges

Navigating life's dilemmas with serenity.

Statue of Lao Tzu, an ancient philosopher.

(csikiphoto /

When life feels out of control, turn to the ancients for guidance. Rumi, Lao Tzu, and Marcus Aurelius are  philosophers and poets that lived thousands of years ago but their timeless teachings still hold true today. 

When you have difficulty navigating life, turn to the wisdom of those who have come before you. Ancient wisdom becomes a bridge connecting the past to the present, offering solace and strength in challenging moments. By adopting these teachings, you learn to navigate life's dilemmas with greater serenity, to trust, surrender, and savor the present moment. 

Trust the timing of your life
“Don’t grieve from what doesn’t come. Some things that don’t happen keep disasters from happening.”
- Rumi

Although the Sufi mystic poet, Jalal ed-Din Rumi, lived centuries ago, his words feel just as relevant now. Rumi’s wisdom, dating back to the 13th century, has stood the test of time, and he continues to top the best-sellers list globally, reported the BBC.

In this passage featured in The Essential Rumi, the poet reflects on how to handle disappointment. Life has its way of throwing curveballs. Plans fall apart, dream jobs slip through our fingers, and sometimes, love doesn’t work out in the end. He reminds you that in these moments to let faith guide you. 

According to Medium, Rumi believed in finding peace and joy in the flow of life. Release your grip on expectations, and you will find relief from your sorrows. Rumi's gentle reminder to trust life's journey, to believe in its timing, encourages us to embrace the ebb and flow with grace and resilience. Let his wisdom remind you that every high and low is a part of your unique journey, inviting you to flow with life, not against it.

When you don’t know what to do, do nothing
“When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.” - Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu served as a record keeper in the court of the Chinese Zhou Dynasty in the 6th century BCE, according to National Geographic. In this passage from his famous work, Tao Te Ching, he teaches the strength of surrender, of allowing life to unfold in its own mysterious ways, without frantic interference.

Ever find yourself at life's crossroads, overwhelmed and unsure of your next step? You may feel compelled to leap into action in order to feel a sense of control amid the chaos. Yet, making hasty decisions in moments of panic or confusion can often make things worse. Instead, follow the ancient Eastern principle of Wu Wei. 

According to a blog, Wu Wei: The Secret of Effortless Action, Wu Wei celebrates the power of going with the flow. That doesn’t mean simply giving up or ignoring your problems; it's about finding harmony with life's unpredictable currents. 

Imagine transforming struggle into serenity, effort into ease. Wu Wei invites you to take a step back and act with intention, to navigate life's complexities with a sense of ease and adaptability. When confusion clouds your path, take a breath, and find solace in stillness. It's in these quiet moments that clarity often arrives.

Focus on what you have instead of what you don’t
“Think of what you have rather than of what you lack. Of the things you have, select the best and then reflect how eagerly you would have sought them if you did not have them.” - Marcus Aurelius

Roman emperor and philosopher, Marcus Aurelius wrote these words nearly 2,000 years ago, According to Blinkist Magazine. Millenia later, his philosophical wisdom still applies today.

Ever caught yourself focusing on what you lack rather than appreciating the blessings you already have? Marcus Aurelius offers timeless advice: don’t forget to cherish what you have! 

According to The Stoic, in life's toughest moments, it can feel difficult, sometimes impossible, to see the good all around. So, when you face chaos and confusion, remember to pause and count your blessings. Amid adversity, gratitude becomes a beacon of hope.

Life won’t always go your way. So, make sure to appreciate the simple joys. Find strength in gratitude and freedom in letting go. Recognize the abundance already present in your life. Untether yourself from the weight of unnecessary desires that steal your joy in this moment. After all, it's not about having everything but appreciating everything you do have.

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