Seneca Says: Get on With Your Life!

“Life is short.”

Seneca’s On the Shortness of Life is likely to transform your thoughts about those three words.

The Roman stoic philosopher’s vision of human existence viewed life as plenty long enough, if you use it.

“Just do it! What are you waiting for?” he would say if he were writing a self-help book in the 21st Century. Time is your ally if you don’t put things off.

Here are a few from a wealth of jewels from the English translation available on Amazon:

“Let us turn to private possessions, the greatest source of human misery. For if you compare all the other things from which we suffer, deaths, illnesses, fears, desires, endurance of pains and toils, with the evils which money brings us, the latter will far outweigh the others.”

“…it is easier to bear and simpler not to acquire than to lose, so you will notice that those people are more cheerful whom Fortune has never favoured than those whom she has deserted.”

“So we should make light of all things and endure them with tolerance: it is more civilized to make fun of life than to bewail it.”

“Fortune hands out such unfair rewards.”

“…there is a healthy moderation in wine, as in liberty.”

Seneca, an advisor to Nero, accumulated great wealth and was a controversial figure two thousand years ago. His words may make you wonder about the originality of current self-help writing.

7 thoughts on “Seneca Says: Get on With Your Life!

  1. I love those quotes! As Thomas says, as relevant today as ever. Having gone minimal to live in a box on wheels, I couldn’t agree more about the sentiment on possessions. So many of us are held prisoner by what we own.
    Travel (and life!) has taught me that those with the least are the most generous.
    And today, after waking up with a flat tyre on my truck, it’s a timely reminder to make light rather than bewail… 🙂
    Clearly, I need Seneca in my life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad that you found the quotes helpful, but I hope you managed to fix your flat…some possessions do make a big difference. After backpacking in the wilderness for 30 days (no running water, no internet) last August, I sit here in my “comfy” home missing the comforts of having so few possessions but so much more.
      Enjoy your times on the road!

      Liked by 1 person

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