Currently reading the Aeneid, super inspired:
You can also read the full Aenid here.
1. Anger and rage compels men into action
‘Furor arma ministrat.’ (Latin)
Rage supplies arms.
2. You have endured (still) greater dangers
O socii– neque enim ignari sumus ante malorum — O passi graviora, dabit deus his quoque finem.
‘O friends and companions, have we not known hard[er] hours before this? My men, who have endured still greater dangers, God will grant us an end to these [ills] as well.
“Endure, my heart; a worse thing even than this didst thou once endure on that day when the Cyclops, unrestrained in daring, devoured my mighty comrades; but thou didst endure until craft got thee forth from the cave where thou thoughtest to die.”
Lesson: In life when we are facing or enduring difficulty, we must remind our hearts and our souls to ENDURE — to remind ourselves that we once endured even more difficult things in the past! And that this difficult time in our life will pass!
Essentially to live optimistically, even in the face of difficulty #stoicism
3. Some day, perhaps, remembering even this will be a pleasure
“Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit.”
“Some day, perhaps, remembering even this will be a pleasure.”
Lesson: When we are living through difficulty, let us remind ourselves:
Perhaps in the future, remembering this tough time will actually bring me joy and delight– because I would have overcome this difficulty!
4. Be skeptical of (potential enemies) bearing gifts
“Equo ne credite, Teucri, quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.”
“Do not trust the horse, Trojans. Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts.”
5. Force finds a way
“Fit via vi.”
“Force finds a way.”
Lesson: If your back is against a wall; you will find a way to overcome the difficulty!
6. Advance boldly against misfortune!
“Tu ne cede Malis, sed contra audentior ito.”
“Yield not to misfortunes, but advance all the more boldly against them.”
Or in other words,
Don’t cede to difficulty or misfortunes, but instead– advance to the difficulty with audaciousness, boldness, and strength!
Lesson: When life gives you lemons, let the sourness compel you to becoming stronger, bolder, and more audacious/brazen in life!
7. Mind moves matter
“Mens agitat molem.”
“Mind moves matter.”
Which means– your mind has the power to agitate/move/compel matter to move– to change!
Or in other words:
Your mind has infinite power to create change in your own life/reality!
8. A greater task awaits you in life!
“Major rerum mihi nascitur ordo; Majus opus moveo.”
“A greater history opens before my eyes, A greater task awaits me.”
I love love love this– it is probably one of the most motivational sayings from Virgil.
Why? It tells us:
You have the power to create history! You have the potential to create greatness. You are destined for a great task in your life!
9. What moves/motivates us in life?
A very elegant idea:
“Dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt, Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?”
“Do the gods light this fire in our hearts, or does each man’s mad desire become his god?”
In my words:
Does the ardor and fire in our heart come from the gods, or an external source– or does it come from our own desire to become god-like?
The reason why I find this concept interesting:
- Often we attribute our “genius” to this source outside of ourselves — that we need “inspiration” from another source. In Christianity, we give thanks to God for giving us all the inspiration and ideas.
- Or — should we perhaps attribute our own ideas, success, and genius to ourselves? To our own desire for apotheosis (becoming our own god?)
10. Leverage your own courage to shoot yourself to the stars!
Relying on your own courage will help elevate yourself to the stars!
“Macte nova virtute, peur, sic itur ad astra.”
“Blessings on your young courage, boy; that’s the way to the stars.”
Or my variation:
“Your own courage and virtue will jetpack you to the stars!”
The idea is this:
As humans, not all of us are born with wealth, resources, or power. However, if we rely on our own courage (something that we can cultivate within ourselves)– we can achieve greatness while still on planet Earth (the metaphor of shooting for the stars, or going for #moonshots in life!)
11. Fortune favors the bold
“Fortune favors the bold.”
Or my variation:
“By being bold, audacious, daring, and by taking risks — you are more likely to succeed/fortune!”
Audens: daring, venturing, risking (poetic: ‘being eager for battle’).
12. Be brave, and make immortal art!
‘Stat sua cuique dies, breve et inreparabile tempus. Omnibus est vitae; sed famam extendere factis, Hoc virtutis opus.’
“Every man’s last day is fixed. Lifetimes are brief and not to be regained for all mankind. But by their deeds to make their fame last: that is labor for the brave.”
Lesson: We will all die — at best, we will live to be 100 years old; at worst, we will die much sooner. Human life is brief, and we should not seek immortality. Instead, we can seek to make ‘immortal fame’ by laboring by creating artwork, things, or ideas which will outlast us! Thus, let us be brave, and seek to make immortal art!