Seneca on Living Immediately

Life is divided into three periods, past, present and future. Of these, the present is short, the future is doubtful, the past is certain to recall the time spent and learn from it.

You are living as if you are destined to live forever; your own frailty never occurs to you; you don’t notice how much time has already passed, but squander it as though you had a full and overflowing supply- though all the while that very day which you are devoting to somebody or something may be your last.

You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire.

Everyone hustles his life along, and is troubled by a longing for the future and weariness of the present. But the man who recognizes every day as though it were his last, neither longs for nor fears the bringing him? He has tried everything, and enjoyed everything to repletion. Nothing can taken from his life, and you can only add.

The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow, and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours.

The whole future lies in uncertainty; live immediately!

Life’s finest day for wretched mortals here, is always first to flee.

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