Letters from a Stoic

“‘Any man,’ he says, ‘who does not think that what he has is more than ample, is an unhappy man, even is he is the master of the whole world.”

“What difference does it make, after all, what your position in life is if you dislike it yourself?”

“Never a day passed but he celebrated his own funeral.”

“The man who looks for the morrow without worrying over it knows a peaceful independence and a happiness beyond all others.”

“What is true is my property.”

“Never thinking how pleasant it is to ask for nothing, how splendid it is to be complete and independent of fortune.”

“If you shape your life according to nature, you will never be poor; if according to people’s opinions, you will never be rich.”

“Set aside now and then a number of days during which you will be content with the plainest of food and very little fo it, and with rough coarse clothing, and will ask of yourself: ‘Is this what I once used to dread?’ It is in times of security that the spirit should be preparing itself to deal with difficult times, while fortune is bestowing favours on it then is the time for it to be strengthened against her rebuffs.”

“Start cultivating a relationship with poverty.”

“Away with the world’s opinions of you–it’s always unsettled and divided. ”

“A person who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave. There is but one chain holding us in fetters, and that is our love of life.”

“There’s a lot of work remaining to be done, and if you want to be successful, you must devote all your waking hours and all your efforts to the task personally.”

“Wherever you look your eye will light on things that might stand out if everything around them were not of equal standard. There is a sequence to the creative process, and a work of genius is a synthesis of its individual features from which nothing can be subtracted without disaster” (79).

“But no new findings will ever be made if we rest content with the findings of the past.”

“And what is it that reason demands of him? Something very easy–that he live in accordance with his own nature” (89).

 

Read Letters from a Stoic by Seneca