In this series of blog posts I attempt to translate the Moral letters to Lucilius by Seneca into modern English. In Letter 1, Seneca suggests why time is our most important commodity.
Letter 1. Don’t waste time
How we use the hours we have on Earth when alive is the only thing that belongs to us. And using this limited amount resource well is the most important thing we can do.
Time is not “ours” as such. The difference between the time we have or don’t have is not the same as say, the money we have or don’t have. The amount of money you have fluctuates. Not only do you not know how much time you have but when you lose all your time you have nothing. Once a day of your life is gone, then it’s gone. It will never return.
It’s ironic then that the people who realise this are the ones who have used up the majority of their time. These people have used their experience to decide that it was the thing they should have valued the most.
People who think they have lots of time left, tend not to have this insight. They believe that death is a distant event. But death simply means to lose your life, and this happens continually.
Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored. – Earl Nightingale
Read the original text here.