Letters from a Stoic is a collection of letters sent by Lucius Seneca to Lucilius giving the latter advice about life and career. The wise old man stressed the importance of having a mentor or a guardian who can serve as a good role model, a critic, and a teacher.
Here are the top 6 quotes by Seneca about seeking a mentor or guardian in life.
(1) “There is no real doubt that it is good for one to have appointed a guardian over oneself, and to have someone whom you may look up to, someone whom you may regard as a witness of your thoughts” Letters from a Stoic 25
(2) “It is, indeed, nobler by far to live as you would live under the eyes of some good man, always at your side; but nevertheless I am content if you only act, in whatever you do, as you would act if anyone at all were looking on; because solitude prompts us to all kinds of evil.” Letters from a Stoic 25
(3) ” while it is not yet safe to withdraw into solitude, seek out certain individuals; for everyone is better off in the company of somebody or other—no matter who—than in his own company alone ” Letters from a Stoic 25
(4) ” provided that you are a good, tranquil, and self-restrained man; otherwise, you had better withdraw into a crowd in order to get away from your self. Alone, you are too close to a rascal” Letters from a Stoic 25
(5) “Choose as a guide one whom you will admire more when you see him act than when you hear him speak.” Letters from a Stoic 52
(6) “We can get rid of most sins if we have a witness who stands near us when we are likely to go wrong. The soul should have someone whom it can respect—one by whose authority it may make even its inner shrine more hallowed”
“For we must indeed have someone according to whom we may regulate our characters; you can never straighten that which is crooked unless you use a ruler” Letters from a Stoic 11