“No man was ever wise by chance”

That phrase is attributed to Seneca (Lucius Annaeus), one of the greatest Roman Stoic philosophers who, together with Marcus Aurelius and the Greek Epictetus, were probably the most influential thinkers that shaped a good part of my life. Together with my father who has the wisdom of a simple and regular guy despite his PhD and his lifelong teaching career.

I remember a good friend asking me how many hours I devoted to hone my designer skills when I was 18. More than 10,000? (You know, there’s a theory saying that you need at least 10,000 hours to learn a craft). My answer was “yes, much more than that”. Seneca, about 2000 years ago, knew that only if you want to do something you can achieve something. And if you really want it you go and go and go for it no matter how many hours. And that journey will bring you experience, disappointments, joy, passion, loss and gains, the whole lot. More than that, learning is key throughout the journey. Learning skills, trade, reading books, learning from people or from situations. Every bit of this self-assumed journey gives you more chances to become wiser, despite the inherent disappointments and sufferings. Epictetus and the Stoics, in general, have a special place for the suffering idea in their philosophy. Simply said, the easy life cannot bring you real joy, satisfaction and achievements.

I’m not a deep connoisseur of stoic philosophers, it just happened some time ago to stumble upon them and got fascinated by their simple and practical way of seeing and living life.