In letters from a stoic 34, Seneca takes pleasure in the continual improvement of his dear friend, Lucilius. He has guided the younger man in his quest to becoming a better version of himself giving him advice on the ways of life. The wise old man highlighted will as the most important component of any self-improvement process. “It is that the larger part of good-ness is the will to become good.” A lot of us start with whatever goal we want to achieve but, for whatever reason, we ran out of fuel along in the process. Will is the virtue that will help us get through the obstacles of life and reach the finish line.
In the last part of the letter, Seneca stressed the importance of the alignment of our words and actions. Quotes and maxims are pointless if we don’t put them into action. Stoicism is a philosophy of life in contrast with other philosophies that are highly abstract and academic. “See such a person in you, if only you go steadily on and bend to your task, and see to it that all your actions and words harmonize and correspond with each other and are stamped in the same mould. If a man’s acts are out of harmony, his soul is crooked”. Our words and actions should be consistent at all times and places, whether there are witnesses or none.
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