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Updated: Nov 4, 2022

“Most of what we say and do is not essential. If you eliminate it you will have more time and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?’”

~Marcus Aurelius (Emperor of Rome 161–180 AD)

The more successful you become in your life, the more demands you will feel throughout each day. For some people these demands become so onerous that they begin to shrink away from the behaviors that brought them success. They do this in an effort to reduce the stress they feel. However, this strategy is NOT effective, and it is NOT healthy. Working against your own best interest creates an inner conflict that produces even more stress—of a worse kind.

A better strategy is to adopt the practice suggested by Marcus Aurelius, one of the most successful leaders in history. “Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?’”

Most of the obligations we feel are not real; they are imagined. Most of them are not even productive, and for sure not essential. So why not eliminate them? Just let them go. Remember the power of the "not to-do" list? Consider each day which of your “obligations” need to be put on that do not do list.

- Stewart Hughes

For more leadership tips, follow Stewart Hughes on Facebook.

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