“If you want something, go get it. Period!
The Pursuit of Happyness
Just recently I came across an essay that many people have found to be life-changing. It’s called, “On The Shortness of Life.” It was written by Seneca, a Roman philosopher, stoic, and dramatist. Here are a few choice passages:
“No one is to be found who is willing to distribute his money, yet among how many does each one of us distribute his life! 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.
“Look back in memory and consider when you ever had a fixed plan, how few days have passed as you had intended, when you were ever at your own disposal, when your face ever wore its natural expression, when your mind was ever unperturbed, what work you have achieved in so long a life, how many have robbed you of life when you were not aware of what you were losing, how much was taken up in useless sorrow, in foolish joy, in greedy desire, in the allurements of society, how little of yourself was left to you…”
Our boy Seneca doesn’t pull any punches, does he? When I read his words tonight, they jumped right off the page and into my heart. He made me think about whether I was really putting enough time on the page or letting life get in the way of my work. How easy it is to squander even the little time we have to make progress in our writing! And how urgent it is that we use the hours we have wisely. My good friend and mentor Rob Gilbert has a saying, “It’s not difficult, it’s just time-consuming.”
Thinking is time-consuming. Creating is time-consuming. Writing and rewriting are time-consuming. It’s putting in the time that really makes the difference — this is what leads to improvement and helps us get to the next level. Are we willing to put in the time — that’s the $64,000 question. Write on!