As he suffocates the breathe from his father’s lungs, and allows no new air to seep through the cracks of his choke hold, blinded by passion, his rationale no longer serves him, and he now becomes king.
The scene from Gladiator described above, where fictional character, Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix, murders his father, Caesar, to seize the throne of the Roman Empire, can be analogous to the way our emotions sometimes destroy our credibility.
In the histories of real Rome, emperor, Marcus Aurelius said it best in his quote:
“Keep this thought handy when you feel a fit of rage coming on — it isn’t manly to be enraged. Rather, gentleness and civility are more human, and therefore manlier. A real man doesn’t give way to anger and discontent, and such a person has strength, courage, and endurance — unlike the angry and complaining. The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.”
That last point he makes, the nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength. This is almost the same as nirvana.
The whole passion craze started when Steve Jobs gave his Stanford commencement address in 2005.
Could it be that if Steve Jobs cultivated this sense of peace, rather than give into his passionate outbursts, he would have freed himself from the later-in-life struggles he faced?
In his autobiography, Steve Jobs, there’s a point when he begins to explain the events leading to his diagnosis of a rare form of pancreatic cancer.
He goes on to explain how the long days between Pixar, Apple, and homelife had a lot to do with his distress, “It was really, really rough, the worst time in my life,” Jobs recalls in Walter Isaacson’s biography. “I had a young family. I had Pixar. I would go to work at 7 a.m. and I’d get back at 9 at night, and the kids would be in bed. And I couldn’t speak, I literally couldn’t, I was so exhausted. … It got close to killing me.”
When John F. Kennedy wrote the eulogy of Robert Frost, to inform the public of an artist’s role in society, his edits included, ““It is excellent,” Shakespeare said, “to have a giant’s strength; but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant.””
So what characteristic embodies a collected state of mind that will help us live our best lives rather than let passion get the best of us?
When you are in control, you are able to make a choice. And that choice can lead to the greatest outcomes, for you, and for all.
Discipline is the opposite of passion.
Discipline in strength.
And mixed together with passion, is Godly.