The Daily Stoic for December 26th, “Life Is Long — If You Know How To Use It”.
“It’s not at all that we have too short a time to live, but that we squander a great deal of it. Life is long enough, and it’s given in sufficient measure to do many great things if we spend it well. But when it’s poured down the drain of luxury and neglect, when it’s employed to no good end, we’re finally driven to see that it has passed by before we even recognized it passing. And so it is—we don’t receive a short life, we make it so.”—SENECA, ON THE BREVITY OF LIFE, 1.3–4a
If someone asked me: “if I could only read one stoic meditation from The Daily Stoic, which one would you recommend?” I know today I would answer: “26th of December”. So why is today’s stoic meditation so important and why it resonates so strongly with me?
Life Is Long — If You Know How To Use It
One could argue that we are constantly learning, and that every step in the way is necessary to get to our final destination, but I can certainly point out to a place in my life when I stopped following what I was supposed to be doing, and starting wondering what I really wanted.
In my mind, that inflection point can be traced back to the moment I quit my job. It was the initial step that triggered a lot of changes in my life that have taken me to a place that’s constantly changing, but at the same time is the place where I want to be.
But I got there well in my thirties. It took me a lot of time to realize that. I wasted so much time in jobs I didn’t like, committing to things I didn’t enjoy, and doing stuff that I didn’t like…
Why? Sometimes, to make others happy. Other times, because I was just “going with the flow”. But most of the times it was because I didn’t take the time to stop and think what I really wanted in life. It’s more important that you might think.
So my advice is taking today’s Daily Stoic, “Life Is Long — If You Know How To Use It”, seriously. Use your time, don’t just kill it in front of a TV, or in an office of a job you don’t enjoy, or sharing your life with people just because they’re there.
Search your own path, do stuff, travel, meet people and decide which ones will add more value -for whatever reason- to your life. Use, live and enjoy your time. It’s the most scarce resource.