And no one has power over us when death is within our own power. The man who spends his time choosing one resort after another in a hunt for peace and quiet, will in every place he visits find something to prevent him from relaxing. ― Seneca Letter CIV
Now think of the things which goad man into destroying man: they are hope, envy, hatred, fear and contempt. ...to be feared is to fear: no one has been able to strike terror into others and at the same time enjoy peace of mind himself. People who know no self-restraint lead stormy and disordered lives, passing their time in a state of fear commensurate with the injuries they do to others, never able to relax.
Every day as it comes should be welcomed and reduced forthwith into our own possession as if it were the finest day imaginable. What flies past has to be seized at. My advice is really this: what we hear the philosophers saying and what we find in their writings should be applied in our pursuit of the happy life. We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching, and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application - not far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech - and learn them so well that words become works.
..nothing is burdensome if taken lightly, and how… nothing need arouse one’s irritation so long as one doesn’t make it bigger than it is by getting irritated. My baker may be out of bread, but the farm manager will have some, or the steward, or a tenant. ‘Bad bread, yes!’ you’ll say. Wait, then: it’ll soon turn into good bread. Hunger will make you find even that bread soft and wheaty.
There’s no difference between the one and the other - you didn’t exist and you won’t exist - you’ve got no concern with either period. As it is with a play, so it is with life - what matters is not how long the acting lasts, but how good it is. It is not important at what point you stop. Stop wherever you will - only make sure that you round it off with a good ending.
There are times when even to live is an act of bravery. So there is the comforting thing about extremities of pain: if you feel it too much you are bound to stop feeling it. The love of power or money or luxurious living are not the only things which are guided by popular thinking. We take our cue from people’s thinking even in the way we feel pain. Another thing which will help you is to turn your mind to other thoughts and that way get away from your suffering.
Drunkenness inflames and lays bare every vice, removing the reserve that acts as a chuck on impulses to wrong behaviour. ...pleasures, when they go beyond a certain limit, are but punishments… ― Seneca Letter LXXXIII
So I look for the best and am prepared for the opposite. ― Seneca Letter LXXXVIII
One thing I know: all the works of mortal man lie under sentence of mortality; we live among things that are destined to perish. A setback has often cleared the way for greater prosperity. Many things have fallen only to rise to more exalted heights. When it comes to all we’re required to go through, we’re equals. No one is more vulnerable than the next man, and no one can be more sure of his surviving to the morrow.