The Roman philosopher Seneca grew up during the first century CE in a high-born patrician family in ancient Rome. This granted him an education in philosophy and rhetoric. His oratory skills earned him a seat in the Senate and a role as Emperor Nero’s advisor. Seneca’s intellectual prowess formed from great practice and effort, which led him to elegantly point out that just as physical muscles grow under strain and stress, our “mental muscle” strengthens with challenges. If you want your mind to grow, give it plenty of opportunities for exercise.