The Ancient Wisdom of Seneca
When it comes to self-improvement and books in general we're always looking at the new releases as these are the books that're advertised and pushed in our face, both online and in your local bookstore. 90% of the time you're reading a poorly re-hashed version of a previous book.
Books such as Seneca's 'On The Shortness of Life' isn't advertised whatsoever.
You won't find this book anywhere near the best sellers or anywhere that's particularly visible in your local bookstore.
This book costs a few dollars and it will literally change your life.
If you're finding yourself wasting time and dragging yourself from one pursuit to another without any real purpose you can't afford to not read this book.
If you think you've got life figured out and you're on track to acquire that mansion and super car you've been vividly dreaming of each night you can't afford to not read this book.
Seneca's 'On The Shortness of Life' is 33 pages of pure gold.
I have never highlighted and underlined as many key passages or scribbled in the side margins in a book anywhere near as much as I have with this classic.
Now, there's one particular quote from Seneca that I've been pondering over the last week, whether you're going through tough times right now or you're about to embark on a journey of betterment this quote rings true...
"A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials." - Seneca
You must understand and remind yourself that in order to achieve anything of value you're going to have to endure pain to get there, it really is that simple.
This doesn't only apply to physical goals such as transforming your physique...
Building an online dropshipping business, finishing your degree, finishing a half marathon... whatever it may be it is without a doubt not going to go 100% smooth.
If it does you clearly haven't set your goals and sights high enough.
The gem undergoes immense friction during the polishing process to emerge a sight to behold, the friction you must undergo will come in the form of physical pain and sheer exhaustion from training, mental anguish from failed tests, from the pressure to meet deadlines with your work, to find new suppliers and form contigency plans in your business.
I disagree with the words "nor a man perfected" in Seneca's quote, I don't truly believe a man can even be perfected.
Instead it's a daily with friction to attain betterment.
And it never ends, you improve day in, day out.
Endure the friction and come out a little physically stronger and a little wiser with increased mental toughness with each passing day.
And don't ever stop.
But Here's The Thing...
You don't have to endure the friction of self-discipline and failure, you may choose to live the Epicurean life - thinking you'll attain a state of tranquility and happiness from seeking immediate gratification... this might work for a few days.
But it won't last, at least not from my experience.
Sustainable happiness is the pursuit of becoming great in your chosen endeavours.
Considering you've found this blog you'd likely agree with that.
Just remembering, the tough times you're going through right now or perhaps are about to go through as you relentlessly pursue your next goal is necessary.
You cannot emerge a victor without going through the friction.