Seneca was the opposite of violent and irrational. He made some very famous statements that are still part of everyday speech. For example, many people don’t know that he said: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
This is an important statement because back in his times, people believed that things happened because the capricious gods wanted to play with humans. Humans were like puppets in the hands of Fate. Now Seneca is saying that we make a contribution to our own success and outcome of our lives. Work hard every day towards your goals, even during the down times. If you do this, when opportunity comes your way, you can grab it and sail away towards success in whatever undertaking you desire.
But if you sit back and say everything is useless because it is all out of your control anyway, you will not live a fulfilled life. You will be stuck in the doldrums and be left with unhappiness and loss of hope. Just in this one little statement, Seneca gives people the power to guide their own lives according to their dreams. They can display talents and abilities, create art and beauty, and are even capable of peace on earth. But if we lie back and think that someone or something else is going to do it for us, we will end up in misery.
Self-help books since Seneca said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” have been saying the same thing in different ways. We are the ones who control our thoughts. Our inner climate is reflected in our outer climate. He said, “We suffer more in imagination than in reality.” So many people have been saying this since Seneca: If we let our negatively-biased minds control our lives, we will suffer. And that is the importance of Seneca.