Stoic Coffee Break
210 - It will All Be Gone
November 1, 2021
Brief is man’s life and small the nook of the Earth where he lives; brief, too, is the longest posthumous fame, buoyed only by a succession of poor human beings who will very soon die and who know little of themselves, much less of someone who died long ago. —Marcus Aurelius
Brief is man’s life and small the nook of the Earth where he lives; brief, too, is the longest posthumous fame, buoyed only by a succession of poor human beings who will very soon die and who know little of themselves, much less of someone who died long ago.

—Marcus Aurelius

We’re not really here that long, and we don’t really matter that much. Nothing that we do lasts. Eventually, you will fade. Your works will fade. Your children will fade. Your thoughts will fade. These planets will fade. This sun will fade. It will all be gone.

—Naval Ravikant

Each of have our own struggles in life, and at the time they can be overwhelming and epic. But when we take a step back to look at the things that are troubling us through the macroscopic lens of eternity, then our troubles can seem to be rather small and fleeting. 

Since most of us live in space where many of our physical comforts are taken care of, it leaves more space for mental challenges. We have more things to juggle in our daily lives than people did 100 years ago. More of our work is spent in our minds rather than in our bodies. We have more time to read, think, and ponder and to work on improving who we are, and cultivating the personal attributes we want in our lives. The challenges we face are often mental constructs that we create ourselves. Putting them in the long perspective of humankind helps us to have a more holistic view of our lives.

This is not to say that they aren’t important and challenging, but more to gain some perspective to help us see past this moment, this hour, this day. When we can see our problems on a longer timeline, we can recognize that one day none of it will matter. It can free us up to make a choice and move forward.

What things are you struggling with that seem larger than life? How does looking at the longer timeline change how you feel about it and does it change your plan of action?

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