Productivity, Here-Now–Tending to The Task At Hand: Instant Cure for Depression

Here is some great jazz to start the day, and then my thoughts on the here and now and the task at hand–the ultimate cure for depression.

From time to time I post quotes by Marcus Aurelius — when I first read him about 1999 it changed my life.  It amazed me that all the self help books said many of the same things.  I took his words to heart and applied them.  Today I thought of the following quote. It empowers me to cease the hamster like thoughts going round and round and serving no purpose except to drain my energy and leave me with nothing accomplished. When I read this quote I immediately accepted as fact that I DO have the authority to direct my thoughts, to produce something of value–in my case my art in my music–and to get off the hamster wheel

Another area where this quote applies is to social media–I can become like a hamster chasing after everyone’s Facebook posts for the cute cat, the song, the weird science discovery, until I realize that is like in the quote where Aurelius says “we ought then to check in the series of our thoughts everything that is without purpose and useless, but most of all the over-curious feeling and the malignant”

Isn’t that a good description of Facebook, a bunch of stuff to be over-curious about, and sometimes malignant–who got killed in your hometown, the store that got robbed down the street and on and on.  Now there are times when social media is definitely good and purposeful, I refer to the times when it isn’t..

So consider the quote below, and read it with the spirit of someone in another place and time, in the time it was written, without prejudgment.

Upon directing my thoughts and thereby increasing my productivity, I just learned yesterday what I was doing that was messing up my jazz guitar picking.  That was a moment of rapture, as I played a fast riff and the fingers flowed like velvet. My friend came in the studio as it happened– he said he didn’t want to interfere because I was so into it, and he noticed how much better the music sounded!

So, I vow to tend to the task at hand–with the ultimate benefit: For someone like me prone to depression, doing a task that requires my full attention makes it impossible for me to be depressed:)  Someone once said that depression is focusing on the past and anxiety is focusing on the future, and freedom, fun and joy is the here and now.

Do not waste the remainder of thy life in thoughts about others, when thou dost not refer thy thoughts to some object of common utility. For thou losest the opportunity of doing something else when thou hast such thoughts as these, What is such a person doing, and why, and what is he saying, and what is he thinking of, and what is he contriving, and whatever else of the kind makes us wander away from the observation of our own ruling power. We ought then to check in the series of our thoughts everything that is without a purpose and useless, but most of all the over-curiousfeeling and the malignant; and a man should use himself to think of those things only about which if one should suddenly ask, What hast thou now in thy thoughts? With perfect openness thou mightest, immediately answer, This or That; so that from thy words it should be plain that everything in thee is simple and benevolent, and such as befits a social animal, 

Quote for the Day…

From The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius   59
  57. The sun appears to be poured down, and in all directions indeed it is diffused, yet it is not effused. For this diffusion is extension: Accordingly its rays are called Extensions [Greek] because they are extended [Greek]. But one may judge what kind of a thing a ray is, if he looks at the sun’s light passing through a narrow opening into a darkened room, for it is extended in a right line, and, as it were,is divided when it meets with any solid body which stands in the way and intercepts the air beyond; but there the light remains fixed and does not glide or fall off.Such then ought to be the outpouring and diffusion of the understanding, and it should in no way be an effusion, but an extension, and it should make no violent or impetuous collision with the obstacles which are in its way; nor yet fall down, but be fixed and enlighten that which receives it. For a body will deprive itself of the illumination, if it does not admit it.Marcus Aureliuss seems to say that showing your light is all that is needed to remove darkness, that you needn’t fight it, or try to prove that your light is right and the dark is wrong, just let that sucker SHINE!