Life is short. Ask the people of Pompeii.

How To Stop Wasting Time Like Seneca

What You Can Learn From On The Shortness Of Life

Niklas Göke
May 25, 2017 · 4 min read

“If I could send each of those 550,000 people just one book to help them deal with procrastination, which one would it be?”

One book instantly shot to the top of my mind.

From In Time

Don’t Chase The 3 L’s

A good question to ask yourself, to determine if an activity is worthwhile, is this:

“If I did this for 24 hours straight, what would it amount to?”

If the answer is nothing or not much, then you know it’s one of the activities Seneca considers the trivialities that make life seem short, when it really isn’t.


He who spends all of his work day fantasizing about the tranquility of retirement, will never truly retire.


He who works only for the next car, house or vacation, will always be worried about either the last one losing its touch or where the next one will come from.


He who hopes for the grandeur of his tombstone, will spend much of his life planning an event he can neither attend nor control.

A Long Voyage vs. A Long Tossing About

  • Some never adjust course at all.
  • Some know they should adjust, but say they will do so later, which they never do.

Worst of all, however, is to let someone else’s vision be the wind behind your sails.

What’s the point of spending your life worried about things that are not yours to worry about, working for someone who’s set sail to where you never want to go?

What No One Can Ever Take From You: Perspective

Once you see past possessions, pastime and power, Seneca says you will find peace in the fact that true self-worth comes from within. You’re independent and self-reliant when you ground your thinking in the following two truths:

  1. You will always be afforded with the choice to appreciate its beauty.

No other mortal can ever take these two things from you.

In sickness and in health, in poverty and wealth, in good times and in bad, they will always be yours. So exercise these powers and take solace in their presence. Being offended by other people’s actions and words is a choice. But so is being content.

Niklas Göke

Written by

I write for dreamers, doers, and unbroken optimists. I also publish daily micro-blogs to help you live a balanced life: