In antiquity, Rome and Greece were self-declared beacons of democracy, civilization, art, and philosophic thought. Nonetheless, they were plagued with problems that any civilization in its infanthood would experience.
Self-help books were at the pinnacle of literature. The most admired thinkers – Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, Plutarch and Marcus Aurelius – all wrote self-help books, whose aim was to teach us to live and die well. Furthermore, they deployed every resource of intelligence, wit and style in writing their manuals so as to ensure that their messages would delight the intellectual as well as the emotional faculties.
When it comes to your goals, never take no for an answer. You’ve probably heard the tale of Thomas Edision trying the Light Bulb 999 times, and getting it right on the thousandth. Do you think we would even have light bulbs today if there wasn’t a man as stubborn as this to conduct its trail and errors? Or even attempt to do something that has never been done? Do you think Mr. Edison would have tried his experiment one-thousand times if hadn’t already seen it work in his dreams, visions, and/or notations?
That means you’re going to have to be extremely picky on what you spend your time reading. Because even if you read a book a day for the rest of your life, you aren’t even going to make a 1% dent in the archives of the Library of Congress. And if you don’t read them the right way, you aren’t going to get anything from it! What do I mean by this? Let’s just say a year or two into my classic’s studies I picked up a book called: The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli – tried reading it, and put it down after 10 painful-to-read pages.