As a young man, Marcus Aurelius was introduced to the philosophy that would change his life by his teacher Rusticus. Rusticus is the person who first handed Marcus the works of Epictetus. In fact, he may have handed him his personal lecture notes from lectures he actually heard Epictetus give in person.
One person passing along great and brilliant writing to a friend or a pupil? It’s a tradition as old as time. You may even think of some times in your own life when you were introduced to a world-changing book by a friend or a family member.
But do you actively seek these experiences out? When was the last time you asked someone you admired for a book recommendation–or more specifically, for the ‘best book they’ve ever read?’ You see smart people talking about things they’re reading or thinking about all the time, but do you actually follow up? Or does it just go in your mental to-do list or your Amazon wishlist, to never be chased down?
Imagine if Marcus had let that copy of Epictetus sit on his desk. Imagine if he told himself, “I just don’t have the time,” or “What use this stodgy old thing anyway?” His whole life might have turned out differently. The history of the Western World might have been altered. Don’t let a version of that happen to you. Change your life!