Navigating What's Next

art of encore living personal development stoicism Dec 08, 2021

As the year winds up, I’m reflecting on the past 12 months and planning for the next.

What about you?

How have things gone this year? What’s next for you and the difference only you can make?

Leveling up and making a living by making a difference is fraught. The age of pandemic we’re navigating brings significant challenges and opportunities. How do you decide what to pay attention to, where to spend your time, and when to engage?

More than I can ever remember, I’m reaching out to my old friend, Marcus Aurelius, for counsel and encouragement as I develop and deliver Creative on Purpose’s programs and offerings.

What can a dead Roman emperor teach us about better living through making better decisions? 


During his reign, Marcus Aurelius navigated famine, plague, natural disaster, and endless war. He approached all of these challenges with a remarkable level of equanimity, gratitude, and generosity.

How? By practicing 3 simple disciplines.  

“Objective judgment, now, at this very moment.
Unselfish action, now, at this very moment.
Willing acceptance—now, at this very moment—of all external events.
That’s all you need.”

Marcus’ quote lays out a pragmatic approach to decision-making. 

  1. Acknowledging what is genuinely happening.
  2. Defining and deciding what to do next with integrity and intention.
  3. Accepting what destiny determines and finding fulfillment in the journey, not the outcome.

Marcus’ quote was also the inspiration for my last handbook, Onward: Where Certainty Ends, Possibility Begins. The same approach still informs modern psychological techniques like Positive Psychology and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. 

Over the last year, I presented a distilled version of this process as a mini-workshop to groups of healthcare professionals, military spouses, and other groups. Here’s a screenshot of a presentation to a group of over 250 teachers in the Philippines.

As the year ends, there’s a COVID19 variant making its way around the globe. It appears we’ll need to continue to navigate overwhelm and burnout while we make things better in endeavors that make a difference.

Could you use some help making better decisions with greater clarity and confidence? Click here.

It’s never been more important to lean into the difference only you can make with greater clarity, courage, confidence, and decisiveness. Whether or not my approach resonates with you, I’m encouraging you to find one that helps you keep flying higher. We need you and the difference only you can make!

Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose

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