Live Briefly but Fully

If we’re lucky we have 8 to 9 decades of life. Yet, life seems short to us and even people who reach long years often seem to feel that they have unfinished business. So how do you live such that your moments are satisfying?

“The greatest obstacle to living fully is expectation, which depends upon tomorrow and wastes today.”

Seneca, the Roman politician, playwright, and philosopher, wrote that people fritter away their time reacting to problems or seeking shallow pleasures. Running after multiple stimuli instead of finding their center, Seneca tells us that people end their lives unsatisfied and with little to show for their time.

Instead of constantly seeking useless relationships and meaningless pleasures, Seneca counseled people to study philosophy and, using their imagination, engaging with the words and thoughts of the great philosophers. Add to that the works of historians and other writers who provide a vast reservoir of stories, ideas, and adventures, plus the access we have now to all of the music ever created; and our life experience can touch the edges of the eternal.

“In this way we can turn from this brief and fleeting span of time and immerse ourselves in a more profound experience of time, which is boundless, everlasting, and which we share with better minds.”

Using our imagination to reach back into time while avoiding useless stimuli in the present and living a life of purpose (professionally and personally) is the key to a brief but eternal life.

Source: Breakfast with Seneca.

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