Πάσης ὥρας φρόντιζε στιβαρῶς, ὡς Ῥωμαῖος καὶ ἄρρην, τὸ ἐν χερσὶ μετὰ τῆς ἀκριβοῦς καὶ ἀπλάστου σεμνότητος καὶ φιλοστοργίας καὶ ἐλευθερίας καὶ δικαιότητος πράσσειν· καὶ σχολὴν σαυτῷ ἀπὸ πασῶν τῶν ἄλλων φαντασιῶν πορίζειν. ποριεῖς δέ, ἂν ὡς ἐσχάτην τοῦ βίου ἑκάστην πρᾶξιν ἐνεργῇς ἀπηλλαγμένην πάσης εἰκαιότητος καὶ ἐμπαθοῦς ἀποστροφῆς ἀπὸ τοῦ αἱροῦντος λόγου καὶ ὑποκρίσεως καὶ φιλαυτίας καὶ δυσαρεστήσεως πρὸς τὰ συμμεμοιραμένα.
(Marcus Aurelius, Ta eis heauton 2.5.1-2)
At every hour, give your full concentration, as a Roman and a man, to carrying out the task in hand with a scrupulous and unaffected dignity and affectionate concern for others and freedom and justice, and give yourself space from all other concerns. You will give yourself this if you carry out each act as if it were the last of your life, freed from all randomness and passionate deviation from the rule of reason and from pretence and self- love and dissatisfaction with what has been allotted to you. (tr. Christopher Gill)