“Live by these rules as if they were laws”

I recently found a wonderful blog of inspiring and thought-provoking quotations and such: Travis Eneix. In particular the following quote caught my attention:

Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. Once you have determined the spiritual principles you wish to exemplify, abide by these rules as if they were laws, as if it were indeed sinful to compromise them. Don’t mind if others don’t share your convictions. How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer.
— Epictetus

Today, do one of the following:

  • Write about an ideal you’d like to get serious about. Write about how you might make it a rule of your life. Write about how you can abide by it as though it was the core of your deepest religion.
  • Do the same as above, but from the point of view of a fictional character you’d like to write about.
  • Write up a set of ideals as though they were the laws of a fictional land. Be as idealistic, optimistic, and grandiose as you like.
Posted in Writing
4 comments on ““Live by these rules as if they were laws”
  1. Travis says:

    Thanks for the mention, and the link-love. I had not thought of using the quote as a writing exercise, but it’s a great idea. I am currently re-writing a story after some edits by my writer’s group, and doing the second exercise you mentioned would be a good way to keep my writing focused and consistent in for the main character’s behavior. Awesome suggestion, thanks!

  2. Stan Johns says:

    Dear You with Errant Dreams,

    George has always lived by his errant dreams and is a lesson to us all at the surgery. Regarding goals to get serious about, I have only one: to beat my dog Bessy to the top of the chimney on Christmas mornings. My problem with making a rule that would help me achieve said goal is that Bessy abides by the same rule, and her feeling about this goes much deeper than mine due to some inherent inability to compromise when scrambling chimneys.

    I’ll think of another goal soon, and see if I can’t get get a rule to go with it, and a greater passion too.

    Thanks for this wonderful post.

    All the best,


  3. Royce says:

    This is a wonderful body of work!
    Your titles are magnetic!
    Will be back often!!
    Thanks for the inspiration!!

  4. heather says:

    Travis: Glad you like! I love pulling exercises from strange, unusual, and varied places.

    Stan: Well you know, sometimes you have to let Bessy win, I imagine; it seems only fair. Allowing her the chimney on Christmas seems a small price to pay to keep her happy!

    Royce: Thank you and you’re welcome! I do hope you find it useful.

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