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November 18th, 2014

In guarding their fortune men are often closefisted, yet, when it comes to the matter of wasting time, in the case of the one thing in which it is right to be miserly, they show themselves most prodigal – Lucius Seneca

By Ron Nakamoto

Originally shared by +Ron Nakamoto

Tim Ferriss published this post featuring the essay "The Shortness of Life" by Stoic philosopher Lucius Seneca. He was motivated by his awareness of people in his life fighting or dying from cancer. The timing and framing of this essay were for me profound.

I spent this past weekend with a old friend of mine who's battling cancer. Although I've read this essay before, Seneca's words really struck me this time. I talked with my friend at great length about what matters to him now. We used to play golf, go wine tasting, go fishing, and watch sports on television together. We stopped doing these things because we both got busy with our lives. We both allowed other things to become or seem more important.

Recently, I realized it had been 6 years since we had done anything together. Our children have grown up and left home, I've gotten divorced and moved to different parts of the country three times, and now he had been undergoing treatment for cancer.

What were we thinking? How have we been treating time? How have we been valuing each other? What really matters?

I was glad I made the effort to see him. It's going to make all the difference. He's a warrior; you'd be hard pressed to find anyone with a more positive attitude, given his circumstances. It was both a humbling and inspiring experience. It will make me a better person.

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On The Shortness of Life: An Introduction to Seneca | The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss
Samurai and Seneca agreed: comfort with death brings better living. (Photo: Kalandrakas) “We don’t beat the Reaper by living longer. We beat the Reaper by living well.

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