7 peak performance principles from a roman emperor

In a world full of distractions, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters. 

7 peak performance principles from a Roman emperor, that are still relevant 1800 years later:

Marcus Aurelius faced many challenges on his journey as emperor, including wars, political intrigue, betrayal & the loss of loved ones. 

He struggled to maintain his inner calm while needing to perform at his peak, but found solace & guidance in the principles of Stoicism.

1. Focus on what you can control

Instead of getting caught up in external circumstances, focus on your own thoughts, desires, actions & decisions. 

Our true power lies in our ability to take action on the things that are within our sphere of influence. 

Process > Outcomes

2. Be present in the moment

Don’t let the memories of the past or the worry of an imagined future steal your attention. 

Flow = fully focusing on the task at hand = 5x more productivity + fulfillment

Real freedom = ability to fully engage with the here and now.

3. Master self-discipline. 

Success = being intentional with actions + avoiding impulsive behavior

The key = learning to control the limbic brain

(part of the brain that controls the fight + flight response & the temptation to indulge in immediate pleasure + avoid discomfort)

Practicing self-discipline literally rewires your brain. 

  • Commit to audacious goals
  • Outline the process that would make it unreasonable to fail
  • Follow through on your word to yourself

Take control of your brain to take control of your life.

4. Embrace adversity 

Rather than fearing or avoiding challenges, use them as opportunities for growth and learning.

The quality of your life is directly proportional to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with. 

The harder the challenge, the greater the reward.

5. Practice mental toughness. 

This means being able to handle stress and pressure without becoming overwhelmed.

  • Take cold showers 
  • Do hard workouts
  • Face your fears daily

The more mentally strong you are, the easier life feels.

6. Recognize the impermanence of everything

By seeing that nothing lasts forever, you can appreciate the present moment and make the most of it.


  • cling to anything too tightly
  • get wound up judging things good or bad
  • delay telling people you love them

7. Practice gratitude 

Gratitude isn’t a tendency you are born with, its a skill you cultivate. 

Focusing on what you have, rather than what you lack = Serotonin

Serotonin = greater sense of contentment and happiness

Do this for 5 mins a day to shift your baseline state

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