The message Seneca delivers here is both astounding and simple — Live right now. Carpe Diem. “The greatest waste of life lies in postponement,” he writes.
“You must not think a man has lived long because he has white hair and wrinkles: he has not lived long, just existed long.” Waking up, working, stressing, drinking, lusting. That’s not living. We waste so much life. Despite the title of this essay, Seneca says that life is long. We have time to do big things. We just don’t.
“When life is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.”
“Nobody works out the value of time: men use it lavishly as if it cost nothing… We have to be more careful in preserving what will cease at an unknown point.”
Read this short book.