Benjamin Spall

If You Seek Tranquility, Do Less


In his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius writes:

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

This is a good question to ask ourselves at every moment, especially when we’re being pulled this way and that, and struggling from overwhelm in our work and daily life.

When we ask ourselves “Is this necessary?” we’ll invariably find ourselves answering that it is not, or at least, that it doesn’t have to happen now, or it can be batched to take place at another time, or it can be delegated to someone else.

If you seek tranquility, do less. Do what’s essential, and do it now. ∎


Benjamin Spall is the co-author of My Morning Routine (Portfolio/Penguin). He has written for outlets including the New York Times, New York Observer, Quartz, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, CNBC, and more.


How to Reference this Article

Spall, B. (2018, April 24). If You Seek Tranquility, Do Less. Retrieved from https://benjaminspall.com/seek-tranquillity/