Your clear conscience

Your clear conscience gives reason to be confident; still, since many external factors have a bearing on the outcome, hope for the best but prepare yourself for the worst. Remember above all to get rid of the commotion. Observe what each thing has inside, and you will learn: there is nothing to fear in your affairs but fear itself.

~ Seneca

What — exactly, specifically — is under your control?

Live immediately

Putting things off is the biggest waste of life: It snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the futre. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: Live immediately.

~ Seneca

Long was I Marcellinus!

(Part 37 of 70 in ~ My Journey)

Nevertheless I shall brave this danger and be bold enough to show [Marcellinus] his faults. He will act in his usual way; he will have recourse to his wit, – the wit that can call forth smiles even from mourners. He will turn the jest, first against himself, and then against me. He will forestall every word which I am about to utter.

~ Seneca ( ), from “Letters From A Stoic: Letter 29” ( )

Many of Seneca’s letters are pretty obtuse after all this time. But this one… this one jumped out at me as being really apropos of modern life. And, uh, painfully on point for myself.


Reckon the worth of each day

The largest portion of life passes while we are doing ill, a good share while we are doing nothing, and the whole while we are doing that which is not to the purpose. What man can you show me who places any value on his time, who reckons the worth of each day, who understands that he is dying daily? For we are mistaken when we look forward to death; The major portion of death is already passed. Whatever years be behind us are in death’s hands.

~ Seneca

Who is not eager?

Who – only let him be a man and intent upon honor – is not eager for the honorable ordeal and prompt to assume perilous duties? To what energetic man is not idleness a punishment?



Without an adversary, virtus shrivels. We see how great and how viable virtus is when, by endurance, it shows what it is capable of.

~ Seneca

Prove yourself

No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself.

~ Seneca