“Show me that the good in life does not depend upon life’s length, but upon the use we make of it; also, that it is possible, or rather usual, for a man who has lived long to have lived too little.” – Seneca the Younger
On The Shortness of Life by Seneca the Younger is (at least, this version)a short letter written roughly two thousand years ago.It’s timeless.
I revisit it at least once a quarter because it focuses me by underscoring how much time we’re given, and yet how easily we misuse or waste it.
You can listen to my favorite portion here, which begins with:
“Why do you torment yourself and lose weight over some problem…”
This is a fantastic reminder to separate the critical few from the trivial many.
You can listen to the entire audio collection of Tao of Seneca here on Audible. If you prefer a text version of the Tao of Seneca: Practical Letters from a Stoic Master, you can find it for free here.
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
Want to hear another segment from The Tao of Seneca? — Listen to How to Avoid the Busy Trap. In this episode, I dig deeper into useful philosophy and how we think of riches (stream below or right-click here to download):
This podcast is brought to you by Boll & Branch. There is a lot of nonsense in the bedding business. For instance, did you know thread-count is not a good measurement of quality? It’s a total myth. The “Made in Italy” label? It isn’t something you should necessarily pay extra for because it generally means it’s just finished in Italy and woven in places like China.
The general industry mark-up for bedding is 700 to 800 percent at most retailers. Boll & Branch creates incredibly high-quality bedding. They are the same sheets you’ll find at my home in San Francisco.
The best part? You can try anything you order at home for 30 days. If you don’t love it, send it back and get a full refund. Go to Boll & Branch and use promo code “TIM” for $50 off your entire order. Whether sheets, towels, blankets, duvet covers, or anything else. Shipping is always free.
This episode is also brought to you by Exo Protein. These guys are making protein bars using cricket protein powder. Before you look disgusted, I bet they taste better than any protein bar you’ve ever had before! With recipes that were developed by a three-Michelin-star chef, the bars are paleo-friendly, with no gluten, no grains, no soy, no dairy, and they won’t spike your glycemic response. In fact, they’re less processed than any other protein bars you’ll be able to find.
Exo Protein is offering a deep discount to Tim Ferriss Show listeners — if you go to ExoProtein.com/Tim today, you can try a sampler pack with all of the most popular flavors for less than $10. This is a startup with limited inventory that sells out all the time, so act fast!
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: After listening to this letter, how can you make a more productive use of your time? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
- On the fleeting nature of the present moment [4:18]
- Lamenting time spent on superfluous actions [7:34]
- ‘Why do you torment yourself and lose weight over some problem…’ [8:28]
- Preparing for war [9:01]
- The space between life and death [11:06]
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 800 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.