An old recipe for a good life

Apparently living in the old days wasn’t that different, fundamentally, than it is for us today.

While science and technology move ahead with their changes occurring exponentially, human nature has changed very little, if at all. Our surroundings are quite a bit different now in the 21st century but we’re still the same creatures we were in ancient times. Maybe it’s good to remember some of the insights on human nature that were figured out some time ago. And plug them in today.

Epicurus was a Greek philosopher who, above all, valued friendship and freedom from fear. Anxiety,┬ásays Epicurus, was the fundamental obstacle to happiness. I think it’s safe to say anxiety is still a fundamental obstacle to happiness now in 2012.

His 2,300 year old recipe for a good life (called the Tetrapharmakos) is:

Don’t fear god,
Don’t worry about death;
What is good is easy to get, and
What is terrible is easy to endure.

Sounds like pretty good advice to me.