Live As Many Kinds of Lives As You Wish

John Cousins
February 7, 2023
2 min read
Mountains Beyond Mountains

If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality. — Benjamin Franklin

Sometimes I wrestle with how to best spend my time so I am getting the most juice out of life. I ask myself whether what I am doing is the highest and best use of my time. Am I really seizing the day? or just killing time. Maybe its FOMO.

We are given a bounded amount of time and it is our responsibility not to squander it.

The stoic philosopher Seneca admonished us to protect our time like the most precious resource it is. We don’t go around giving people our house or car or anything else that we perceive valuable, yet we let people waste our time. Check out his essay On the Shortness of Life.

Really successful people understand this and say no to almost everything.

Its our responsibility not only not to squander our precious time, but to actively and consciously enjoy our days and use them productively. A powerful way to concentrate living is by reading.

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish.

S.I. Hayakawa

If we rubbed a bottle and a Genie appeared and told us that we could avail ourselves of any mentors, guides, and sage advice from the wisest people on Earth, we would be elated at such a magical gift. And if the Genie then said that we could also access these resources from not only from those presently living, but the sum total of all the best throughout history, we would be astonished, grateful and amazed.

This is what written language represents in the repositories of books. All we have to do to access it is read. Its our choice. Its up to us. A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.

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John Cousins
Author, Entrepreneur, & Teacher

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