“But a man cannot stand prepared for the approach of death if he has just begun to live. We must make it our aim already to have lived long enough. No one deems that he has done so, if he is just on the point of planning his life. You need not think that there are few of this kind; practically everyone is of such a stamp. Some men, indeed, only begin to live when it is time for them to leave off living. And if this seems surprising to you, I shall add that which will surprise you still more: Some men have left off living before they have begun.”
I had heard of Seneca and stoicism many times here and there over the years through various quotes. It was Tim Ferriss’ Podcast, though, that really brought Seneca to my attention.
Stoicism is the practice of enduring pair or hardship without emotional output, such as complaining. A lot of my own philosophies on Mental Toughness, Confidence & Discipline are stoicism-based (though not on purpose). Seneca’s writing and this book, which is a collection of letters that he wrote to himself, is a primer on this philosophy.
Seneca uses himself and myriad examples of things happening in his own life as examples of how the philosophy should be applied. I found myself highlighting and bookmarking a higher percentage of Letters than any book since maybe The 50th Law.
You Should Read Letters From A Stoic IF: You wish to learn how to better control your emotions and deal with life as it is without the roller coaster of feelings that are highly unproductive.