“Show me that the good in life does not depend upon life’s length, but upon the use we make of it; also, that it is possible, or rather usual, for a man who has lived long to have lived too little.” – Seneca the Younger
I once wrote, “We all like to appear ‘successful’ (a nebulous term at best) and the media like to portray standouts as superheroes…Most ‘superheroes’ are nothing of the sort. They’re weird, neurotic creatures who do big things DESPITE lots of self-defeating habits and self-talk.”
Focusing on what people accomplish without understanding the mindset that enables success leads to limited results. To help close the gap, I wanted to share On The Shortness of Life by Seneca the Younger. It’s a short letter written roughly two thousand years ago, yet it’s timeless.
This is an essay that I revisit at least once a quarter because it focuses on how much time we’re given in life, and how it’s oftentimes misused or wasted.
You can listen to my favorite portion here, which begins with:
“Why do you torment yourself and lose weight over some problem…”
This is a fantastic reminder to mind the critical few and to ignore the trivial many.
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
Want to hear another segment from The Tao of Seneca? — Listen to How to Avoid the Busy Trap. In this episode, I dig deeper into useful philosophy and how we think of riches (stream below or right-click here to download):
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: After listening to this letter, how can you make a more productive use of your time? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
- On the fleeting nature of the present moment [4:18]
- Lamenting time spent on superfluous actions [7:34]
- ‘Why do you torment yourself and lose weight over some problem…’ [8:28]
- Preparing for war [9:01]
- The space between life and death [11:06]
Posted on: March 27, 2016.
Watch The Tim Ferriss Experiment, the new #1-rated TV show with "the world's best human guinea pig" (Newsweek), Tim Ferriss. It's Mythbusters meets Jackass. Shot and edited by the Emmy-award winning team behind Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Here's the trailer.