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Letters from a Stoic

Seneca

Letters from a Stoic

by Seneca

Letters from a Stoic

Seneca

5 min
3 key insights
Visual, audio & text

Letters From A Stoic is a collection of moral epistles famous Roman Stoic and philosopher Seneca sent to his friend Lucilius, in order to help him become less emotional, more disciplined, and find the good life.

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Letters from a Stoic

by Seneca

Letters from a Stoic

Seneca

Overview

Science has repeatedly found evidence that optimists are healthier and tend to live longer. Intuitively, it also makes sense. If you're happier and rather positive, your body doesn't have to parse as much stress. You grind your teeth less, your heartbeat is calmer, blood pressure doesn't rise as much, and so on. Though not hard science, a great way to verify this idea is to look at the outliers of history.

2,000 years ago, the average life expectancy was 20-30 years. Seneca the Younger, however, lived to 69. And the only reason he died then was that his emperor, Nero, forced him to commit suicide, believing he had been part of a conspiracy. While his death was tragic and unnecessary, maybe it was his philosophy that contributed to his remarkably long life. Lucky for us, he shared much of it in Letters From A Stoic, a series of moral reminders addressed to his friend Lucilius, the procurator of Sicily. There's no way to tell if Seneca really sent those letters or wrote them as fiction, but their lessons about the good life are invaluable regardless.

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Favorite Quote

"If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you're needing is not to be in a different place but to be a different person"

Seneca

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Letters from a Stoic

Seneca

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