Summary of “Marcus Aurelius on How to Motivate Yourself to Get Out of Bed in the Morning and Go to Work”

“If we design workplaces that permit people to find meaning in their work, we will be designing a human nature that values work,” psychologist Barry Schwartz wrote in his inquiry into what motivates us to work.
“Given the smallest excuse, one will not work at all,” John Steinbeck lamented in his diary of the creative process as he labored over the novel that would soon earn him the Pulitzer Prize and become the cornerstone for his Nobel Prize two decades later.
Work, of course, has a profoundly different meaning for the artist than it does for the person punching into and out of a nine-to-five workplace.
Yet even those fortunate enough to be animated by a deep sense of purpose in a vocation that ensures their livelihood can succumb to the occasional – or even frequent – spell of paralysis at the prospect of another day of work.
Nearly two millennia ago, in an era when for the vast majority of people work wasn’t a source of purpose and meaning but the means for basic sustenance gained through hard labor, the great Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius offered an abiding answer in Meditations – his indispensable proto-blog, replete with abiding wisdom on such matters as how to begin each day for optimal sanity and the key to living fully.
At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work – as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for – the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?”.
Any resistance to this inherent purpose is therefore a negation of our nature and a failure of self-love.
When you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, remember that your defining characteristic- what defines a human being – is to work with others.

The orginal article.