“Continue to act thus, my dear Lucilius – set yourself free for your own sake; gather and save your time, which till lately has been forced from you, or filched away, or has merely slipped from your hands. Make yourself believe the truth of my words, – that certain moments are torn from us, that some are gently removed, and that others glide beyond our reach.”
Being mindful of our time is the first key to freedom, to success, and to many other attributes we aspire to. It is a component of Zen, of meditation, of prayer, and of business. Being present.
Seneca’s assertion to gather and save your time is the fundamental principle of mindfulness.
“…if you will pay close heed to the problem, you will find that the largest portion of our life passes while we are doing ill, a goodly share while we are doing nothing, and the whole while we are doing that which is not to the purpose. “
He continues on asking Lucilius to pay close heed to the problem of time slippage. Stick to the purpose! Which means knowing the purpose.
And what is your purpose? How can you know if you’re wasting time not chasing it, if you’re not really sure what it is?
Or maybe the problem isn’t that you don’t know your one purpose – rather, your purpose is so complex and multi-faceted that you must proceed down several avenues at once to achieve it. And if that is the case, then your attention to time must be even more strict.