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On Taking Revenge and Becoming a Worthy Opponent: Marcus Aurelius on the Mindset of Effective Retaliation

Taking revenge isn’t all bad—if it makes you a better person. Some thoughts on dealing with adversity, enemies and conflict.

Make it a goal to get better a taking revenge and to become a worthy opponent

The best kind of revenge is, not to become like unto them.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6:V

If your opponent is fearful, stay aware and find a way to remain courageous.

If your opponent is irrational, become rational.

If you opponent is deceitful, be honest.

If your opponent is bigoted, practice love and tolerance.

If you opponent is judgmental, keep an open mind.

If your opponent is argumentative and rude, communicate well and practice diplomacy.

But there’s no version of becoming this person as a reaction to your enemy that doesn’t make you his slave. Instead, the way through is to seek out the part of yourself that is the enemy and reckon with it.

Understand what that side of you it is most afraid of losing, and find a productive way to provide it. Not only does this make you a better person, it turns you into a formidable opponent with the power to stand up to, take down, and keep out.

Featured image is of martial artists at Gracie Jiu Jitsu San Diego, the first Gracie San Diego Academy affiliated with Master Royler Gracie.