Last year during July, I read a classic: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. To be honest, during the first read-through, I didn’t really get it. But then I watched a video from Ryan Holiday (of Daily Stoic fame), who mentioned that the Gregory Hays’ translation is the modern translation for those wanting to get into Marcus Aurelius. I know that I subscribe to stoicism as a philosophy, and wanting to really understand this Stoic stalwart, I decided that this July I would re-read Meditations…but this time using the Hays translation. I’m glad I did. It’s worth the hype, and at less than $8 on Amazon, it’s a worthwhile buy.
But my July plan didn’t stop there. I resolved on July 1 to make July a “month of intention”. Every day, I would read a passage from three books: fiction, non-fiction, and the Scriptures. I’ve been reading Asimov’s Foundation series, and I also decided to start the month with a read through of Ecclesiastes and reading Psalms 134-140 everyday.
By the end of the month, I had read Foundation, Foundation & Empire, Meditations, Ecclesiastes, Nehemiah, Obadiah, and Habakkuk. I’ve also started reading Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power (I’m now on Law 11), and I also added a fourth category of reading: something work related (code or startup).
I also resolved to write everyday: code and prose. To date, I’ve committed some piece of substantial code to Github every day this month as well as working on a creative writing project that I’ve had in my head for years.Tracking was simple: I added todos in Things for
Writing with subtasks for each thing I wanted to read. Those are set up on a daily recurring basis, with a noon reminder. Some days were tough, with some reading sessions occuring at 11:30p before the next day, but overall I got it done.
Overall, this month of intention has been a wild success. I’ve enjoyed the discipline, and while I’m not sure I’ll be as strict about the discipline moving forward, I’ll definitely do it again next year…including another read of Mediations.