On the Shortness of Life – Seneca

The problem with this book is how damn relevant it is. Seneca wrote about life, death and living over two thousand years ago, yet unfortunately, he is speaking about the exact same problems that face us today. Despite how advanced we see ourselves, it is shocking how little we have changed as people since the Ancient Romans.

On the Shortness of Life, is the best way to get to know Seneca if you don't already. It's short, concise and impactful. It can be re-read many times, as it is easy to miss one of his profound truths hidden plainly within a pithy statement.

This short book really captures the essence of what it means to live stoically; quality of life being a measure of outlook rather than your environment; that life is only as good as we choose to view it; that one should build their happiness on what lies within their control.

Quote Seneca on it:

"We are not given a short life, but we make it short; we are not ill-supplied, but wasteful of it."


  • The essence of Stoicism in ~100 pages
  • The best place to start reading Ancient Greek Philosophy
  • Absurdly relevant for this modern era
  • Its profoundness lies in its simplicity

Tomato Tomato:


Sebastian Kade, Founder of Sumry and Author of Living Happiness, is a software designer and full-stack engineer. He writes thought-provoking articles every now and then on sebastiankade.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.