You are not unique. Your aspirations are not unique, your desires are not unique, neither your challenges or problems are unique.
Feeling too normal? Too ordinary? Typical? Do you find this to be a bad thing?
Bollocks, this is great! This is the best possible scenario for your life.
Because for all of your aspirations, challenges, and desires, there is, mandatory, one person that has already gone through what you are going through at any given moment in your life and will happily tell you how he managed it and found a solution. Plus, he or she is highly intelligent and experienced and has the best possible answers you are looking for.
I’m talking about books, of course, about reading. Books are your unlimited power at hand.
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
― Charles W. Eliot
It might seem obvious, everyone knows that books teach anything you need or want to know.
But why?! Why! Why! Do people read so little?!
This chart shows the highest reading countries in the world. Can’t find your country? Well, you are not in the first 30 so you need to read more!
According to the World CultureScore, people read on average 4 books per year. The number is inflated by people who read a lot, the truth is that people read less than a book a year or no books at all.
Everyone has problems, everyone has desires, everyone has aspirations. And most importantly, everyone is going to die. This alone should be a reason to, as Seneca said, get busy living.
The highest earning population has the highest ratio of books per year as well. Reading books, is good, is just good, is too good in fact. There isn’t one single point that contradicts this fact.
“As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.”
One thing is to read a quote from Seneca or one of my articles about him, another completely, utterly different is to read The Letters to Lucilious from Seneca. Reading that book opens your mind and eyes to a world that has always been there but that you were blind to see. The same is true for all the great books.
Books enrich our lives and make it not just easier but grandiose.
“You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire”
― Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Your life will not last forever. You are not immortal.
But You Do Are Unique
I was just kidding. People may have the same problems, aspirations and challenges that you have. But you have a unique combination of them. No one in the world experiences the life that you are experiencing right now, so in that sense, you are truly unique.
With this uniqueness, you are in for a ride no one else will have, why not make it as interesting and rich as can be?
Achieve this through reading.
Finally, I’ll leave you with this great video from Max Joseph so you can learn how to read more, enjoy books more and read faster as well.
a great complement to this read: Of Progress
Subscribe and receive for free the Askesis ebook to further develop your practice of stoicism.
Visit our Patreon for more!