We jump start the week with Seneca’s principles for a good life…
If this year has taught us anything it is that we live in ever changing times. The norms that have dictated society over the last half a century have either eroded or are fluctuating rapidly. Perhaps, this provides us with a perfect opportunity to slow down and readdress how we plan to tackle the next half century – both individually and as a society.
Philosophers have been espousing this way of thinking ever since the ancient Greeks ruled the Mediterranean. After them, the Romans then carried the torch, furthering the field and leaving behind some of the most important written works in history. Perhaps it is time we reconnected with these illustrious thinkers and revisited their lessons.
Countless of our great leaders already follow in their footsteps. In fact it is well known that many of the biggest names in sport, politics, business, science and the arts have been motivated by their principles.
To help inspire you to tackle the week ahead we will review “ 7 of the principles by which to live the “Good Life” according to Seneca – a master Sotic and one of the one of the great minds of antiquity.
Below are 6 Stoic Lessons to start she week
1 – Keep An Agile And Active Mind
“As long as you live, keep learning how to live”
Seneca believed that the greatest task in life is to push ourselves to continuously better ourselves. This, he postulates, is a lifelong process – we never stop learning and thus can never stop improving.
Allowing ourselves the time to meditate, reflect, read, challenge our minds and bodies is crucial to living a happy life. This is a full time job he argues – that starts with accepting our flaws and learning how to improve on them.
Get yourself limber to learn with celebrity stretch trainer, Roger Frampton.
2 – There Is No Past or Future; Only The Present
“Two elements must be rooted out – the fear of future suffering and the recollection of past suffering; since the later no longer concerns me and the former concerns me not yet”
In life as in business, many times we fear the future and dwell on the past. Seneca argues that this is counterproductive as we can only experience the present and thus must fully embrace it in its totality. Living in the moment, he says, will build strength and lessen the power of the past or the future anxiety may have on our minds. He does encourage to reflect on past experiences, however, extract the lessons learned and move on. With this idea you will “become impervious to attacks”.
“True happiness is to enjoy the present without anxious dependence on the future.”
Meditate your present with Calm …
3 – Seek Your Own Applause
“Be your own spectator – seek your own applause”
Seneca encourages us to be our own judge and jury and discourages us from seeking the approval or validation of others. He posits that we must live a life only to please ourselves and live by our own code of ethics and morals. Any other way, he says, will bring us down and cause unhappiness as it is impossible to fully please everyone.
Reflect and write your own biography …
4 – One Must Learn To Be Content
“It is not the man that has too little, but the man that craves more that is poor.”
Although Seneca was one of the richest men in Rome, he lived very modestly – he refused to be a slave to his wealth and lived like a poor man to maintain perspective and thus, peace. Seneca warns that the moment we start to desire something else that we do not have, we essentially lose the appreciation of what we already have.
Write a journal to appreciate your own gratitude
5 – Do Good For Others
“You must live for your neighbor as if you would live for yourself”
Here Seneca is pointing out that by empowering others and helping our fellow community members we are truly just empowering ourselves. We are the ultimate recipients of the good deeds we do for others, he suggests – thus we should do as much as we can for others for we will grow ourselves as a result.
Check out these apps that provide Innovative ways to give back
6 – Live Deeply
“So you must not think a man has lived long because he has white hair and wrinkles – he has not lived long, just existed long.”
The great philosopher reminds us that living for a long time is no guarantee of living a deep and meaningful life. We must not squander our time as it is a non renewable resource – he advances – but rather savour it and take it by the reigns. The human potential is infinite he suggests and we must tap the well of possibilities as frequently as we can and truly live deeply.
A few wise suggestions on how to live the adventure of life, everyday.
Remember – In order to live well “we must be students of the greatest subject of all – life itself”.
UP NEXT: Hello summer – goodbye …