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Stoics on the Shortness of Our Life Time and Thinking the Big Picture

          The ancient Stoics constantly remind us that our life and time is short. At first it may seem like this is a bad thing bad reminding ourselves that our life is temporary can actually bring positive impact in some areas of our lives.

1. Checking Our Ego


   a) We put so much value on people’s reaction or like on our social media posts. We think we are the center of the universe.

   b) We feel like we are the most important person of the world. We think people cares so much about us and what we do.


    a) We feel like anxiety is a prison. We can’t get out of our head. Go outside. Watch the MOUNTAINS AND THE SKY. Its VASTNESS makes the things we worry about small. Watch NATURE. How long it’s been here. Billions of Years! So our lifetime is so small even to think about the things we worry about.

    b) We feel like our problems is as big as the mountain on our shoulders.


Top Quotes about the Shortness of Our Life Time and Thinking the Big Picture by the Ancient Stoics

1.  “A trite but effective tactic against the fear of death: think of the list of people who had to be pried away from life. What did they gain by dying old? In the end, they all sleep six feet under—Caedicianus, Fabius, Julian, Lepidus, and all the rest. They buried their contemporaries, and were buried in turn.

    Our lifetime is so brief. And to live it out in these circumstances, among these people, in this body? Nothing to get excited about. Consider the abyss of time past, the infinite future. Three days of life or three generations: what’s the difference?” Meditations 

2.     ” Even if you’re going to live three thousand more years, or ten times that, remember: you cannot lose another life than the one you’re living now, or live another one than the one you’re losing. The longest amounts to the same as the shortest. The present is the same for everyone; its loss is the same for everyone; and it should be clear that a brief instant is all that is lost. For you can’t lose either the past or the future; how could you lose what you don’t have? “Meditations 

3. “Forget everything else. Keep hold of this alone and remember it: Each of us lives only now, this brief instant. The rest has been lived already, or is impossible to see. The span we live is small—small as the corner of the earth in which we live it.” Meditations


4. “In short, know this: Human lives are brief and trivial. Yesterday a blob of semen; tomorrow embalming fluid, ash. To pass through this brief life as nature demands. To giveit up without complaint. Like an olive that ripens and falls. Praising its mother, thanking the tree it grew on.” Meditations 

5. “One day is equal to every day.” Different persons have interpreted the saying in different ways. Some hold that days are equal in number of hours, and this is true; for if by “day” we mean twenty-four hours’ time, all days must be equal, inasmuch as the night acquires what the day loses. But others maintain that one day is equal to all days through resemblance, because the very longest space of time possesses no element which cannot be found in a single day—namely, light and darkness—and even to eternity day makes these alternations[7] more numerous, not different when it is shorter and different again when it is longer.” Letters from A Stoic 

6. “Keep in mind how fast things pass by and are gone— those that are now, and those to come. Existence flows past us like a river: the “what” is in constant flux, the “why” has a thousand variations. Nothing is stable, not even what’s right here. The infinity of past and future gapes before us—a chasm whose depths we cannot see.

     So it would take an idiot to feel self-importance or distress. Or any indignation, either. As if the things that irritate us lasted.” Meditations 


7. “Remember:

Matter. How tiny your share of it.

Time. How brief and fleeting your allotment of it.

Fate. How small a role you play in it.” Meditations 

8. “ The ocean: a drop of water.

Mount Athos: a molehill.

The present: a split second in eternity.

Minuscule, transitory, insignificant. ” Meditations

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