In the third and final part of this article series Inside The Mind of Ancient Rome’s Most Successful King, we’ll look at Emperor Marcus Aurelius‘ thoughts, feelings and behaviours on relationships and its underlying valuable lessons on the art of positive connections to thrive.
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Debts and Lessons
In a chapter unlike other chapters, Marcus lists the golden lessons he’s learned from the examples of others, including bosses, coworkers, grandparents, cousins, friends and even teachers. Here, we meet him through his relationships, and how they shaped his way of being, seeing and experiencing life. Marcus reflects with humility on all he’s had the good fortune to encounter. One lovely quote in this is his note of gratitude for his adoptive brother, Severus:
“To love my family, truth and justice. It was through him that I encountered Thrasea, Helvidius, Cato, Dion and Brutus, and conceived of a society of equal laws, governed by equality of status and of speech, and of rulers who respect the liberty of their subjects above all else.
And from him as well, to be steady and consistent in valuing philosophy.
And to help others and be eager to share, not to be a pessimist, and never to doubt your friends’ affection for you. And that when people incurred his disapproval, they always knew it. And that his friends never had to speculate about his attitude to anything: it was always clear.”
Here are some lessons from the Emperor’s brotherly note that will allow you to have even better relationships with other people:
Nurture Your Most Important Relationships
Relationships are the cornerstone of human connection and having authentic and strong rapport with others can make success happen more meaningfully and quickly. Building good rapport with your clients, for instance, opens them and you up to greater results, because they gain more trust, loyalty and confidence in you, thus, find it easier working together with you.
3 Rapport Tips for Connecting Better With People:
- Match vocally. Pay attention to matching their distinct vocal style, whether it’s on the phone or in person. Maybe their voice is loud or soft. It will help you win people’s hearts.
- Match vibe. Does the person move around quickly? Use lots of hand gestures? Match them but don’t “mimic”.
- Repeat and rephrase. When you repeat and rephrase what someone tells you, the person begins to feel more connected to you. It makes the person feel heard and listened to.
Feel Thankful For Everything in Your Life
Knowing how to express gratitude to people who are in your life is an essential part of any working or personal relationship. Research has shown gratitude helps us establish, maintain, and strengthen our relationships. Whether your friend, family member, or colleague, let them know you value and appreciate them. During your personal growth practice, take a few minutes to focus on the people and things in your life that you are grateful for and bring joy.
Understand Your Ability to Influence and Impact Others
We influence those around us, and by paying attention to how we influence others we can create a better society around us and life for ourselves. Sensory acuity in NLP is about being aware of your influence. Here is a short video on influence signs you can notice with sensory acuity. These are by no means the only things that you can notice. These are simply physical signs to pay attention to, but notice that your influence can have huge emotional effects.
Marcus Aurelius was the second century CE Emperor of Rome and the most powerful man in the whole world. Meditation, which he wrote to and for himself, is an inside look at what someone with imperial power trying to live a happy and balanced life thinks about. His military victories throughout history weren’t what made him impressive, but his philosophy of life that reduces negative thinking, maximises positive emotions, and helps people to hone their strengths and virtues of character. Even today, two-thousand years later, Marcus’ advice is still relevant. I hope you’ll apply the NLP techniques to put the King’s philosophy into practice.
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