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220 Stoic Quotes That Will Change Your Perspective On Life

Timeless wisdom from Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus

Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BC. It is a mindfulness practice that reminds us that the world is unpredictable and that life is fleeting. It teaches you how to be strong in your mind and control your emotions, not eliminate them. According to its teachings, as social beings, the path to eudaimonia (happiness, or blessedness) is found in accepting the moment as it presents itself, by not allowing oneself to be controlled by the desire for pleasure or by the fear of pain, by using one’s mind to understand the world and to do one’s part in nature’s plan, and by working together and treating others fairly and justly.

Two millennia ago, Stoicism emerged as a life-affirming philosophy for the existence and sustenance of the soul, with the power to strengthen the human spirit against the challenges of daily life, the assaults of the world, and most of all, its weaknesses. Stoicism’s central premise focuses on the four cardinal virtues: courage, justice, wisdom, and self-control. Stoicism’s broad appeal is emulated in the diversity of its founders and early advocates, including a famous playwright, a Roman emperor and military leader, a successful businessman, and a former slave. They freed and transformed him into a respected lecturer.

Today, the Stoics’ wisdom is as valid and empowering as ever. These 220 timeless Stoic quotes will help you calm your mind, gather your courage, and face up to whatever life throws your way. Use these stoic quotes to reflect on the world around you and use the perspective you gain as an aid to living a better life.

220 Stoic Quotes

Top 10 Stoic Quotes

“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be One.” – Marcus Aurelius

“It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.” – Marcus Aurelius

“No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.” – Epictetus

“It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult.” – Seneca

“You live as if you were destined to live forever, no thought of your frailty ever enters your head, of how much time has already gone by you take no heed. You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last.” – Seneca

“You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

“If you are pained by any external thing, it is not this thing that disturbs you, but your own judgment about it. And it is in your power to wipe out this judgment now.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” – Seneca

“Books are the training weights of the mind. They are very helpful, but it would be a bad mistake to suppose that one has made progress simply by having internalized their contents.” – Epictetus

“Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day… The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Because other people are fools, must you be so too?” - Marcus Aurelius

What is Stoic?

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“Stoicism is not so much an ethic as it is a paradoxical recipe for happiness.” – Paul Veyne

“Stoicism is about the domestication of emotions, not their elimination.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“A Stoic is someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“A stoic is a Buddhist with attitude.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.” - Marcus Aurelius

Famous Stoic Quotes

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“The average man is a conformist, accepting miseries and disasters with the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain.” – Colin Wilson

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?” – Rumi

“Having the fewest wants, I am nearest to the gods.” – Socrates

“Appearances to the mind are of four kinds. Things either are what they appear to be; or they neither are, nor appear to be; or they are, and do not appear to be; or they are not, and yet appear to be. Rightly to aim in all these cases is the wise man’s task.” – Epictetus

“Be a master of the mind, not mastered by the mind.” – Zen proverb

“Difficulty shows what men are. Therefore when a difficulty falls upon you, remember that God, like a trainer of wrestlers, has matched you with a rough young man. Why? So that you may become an Olympic conqueror, but it is not accomplished without sweat.” – Epictetus

“Don’t just say you have read books. Show that through them you have learned to think better, to be a more discriminating and reflective person.” – Epictetus

“You become what you give your attention to…If you yourself don’t choose what thoughts and images you expose yourself to, someone else will.” – Epictetus

“What upsets people is not things themselves, but their judgements about these things.” – Epictetus

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” – Epictetus

“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” – Epictetus

“Show me someone for whom success is less important than the manner in which it is achieved. Of concern for the means, rather than the ends, of their actions…I want to see him. This is the person I have looked for a long time, the true genius.” – Epictetus

“It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” – Epictetus

“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” – Epictetus

“If you hear that someone is speaking ill of you, instead of trying to defend yourself you should say: ‘He obviously does not know me very well, since there are so many other faults he could have mentioned’.” – Epictetus

“If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make excuses about what is said of you but answer, ‘He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone’.” – Epictetus

“How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself.” – Epictetus

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” – Epictetus

“Give yourself fully to your endeavors. Decide to construct your character through excellent actions and determine to pay the price of a worthy goal. The trials you encounter will introduce you to your strengths.” – Epictetus

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” – Epictetus

“Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behaviour, not because they won or lost.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.” – Joe Rogan

“No human thing is of serious importance.” – Plato

“The universe has been around for a long time, and the universe is a very, very large place. If you’ll study even the smallest bit of science, for all practical purposes we are nothing.” – Naval Ravikant

“What are the secret of success? -one word answer: ‘rational’.” – Charlie Munger

Rule your mind or it will rule you. HERACLITUS

Stoic Quotes On Love

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“True rewards – wealth, knowledge, love, fitness, and equanimity – come from ignoring others and improving ourselves.” – Naval Ravikant

“That one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backwards, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it… but love it.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“I love to go and see all the things I am happy without.” – Socrates

“Think of the life you have lived until now as over and, as a dead man, see what’s left as a bonus and live it according to Nature. Love the hand that fate deals you and play it as your own, for what could be more fitting?” – Marcus Aurelius

“I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.” – Marcus Aurelius

Perhaps the worst willhappen, perhaps not, but until then, look forward to better things. SENECA

Stoic Quotes On Control

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“We should always be asking ourselves: “Is this something that is, or is not, in my control?” – Epictetus

“Understand what you can control and what you can’t. Forget about the things you can’t control and put that energy into the things you can control.” – Shane Parrish

“The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own…” – Epictetus

“Take a lyre player: he’s relaxed when he performs alone, but put him in front of an audience, and it’s a different story, no matter how beautiful his voice or how well he plays the instrument. Why? Because he not only wants to perform well, he wants to be well received — and the latter lies outside his control.” – Epictetus

“Stoicism teaches how to keep a calm and rational mind no matter what happens to you and it helps you understand and focus on what you can control and not worry about and accept what you can’t control.” – Jonas Salzgeber

“Short-term thinking makes people desperate, ungenerous, impulsive. Long-term thinking makes people calm, gracious, controlled.”

“Self-control is strength. Right thought is mastery. Calmness is power.” – James Allen

“Just keep in mind: the more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.” – Epictetus

“If you are easily provoked you are easily controlled.”

“A rational person can find peace by cultivating indifference to things outside of their control.” – Naval Ravikant

“Anything or anyone capable of angering you becomes your master.” – Epictetus

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.” – Viktor Frankl

“Curb your desire—don’t set your heart on so many things and you will get what you need.” – Epictetus

“Don’t be the person that looks at the weather report the night before to decide what you are going to do the next day.” – David Goggins

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl

“Never let people who choose the path of least resistance steer you away from your chosen path of most resistance.” – David Goggins

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

“Success is based off of your willingness to work your ass off no matter what obstacles are in your way.” – David Goggins

The challenges you face introduce you to your strengths. EPICTETUS

Stoic Quotes On Anxiety

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“Stoicism, understood properly, is a cure for a disease. The disease in question is the anxiety, grief, fear, and various other negative emotions that plague humans and prevent them from experiencing a joyful existence.” – William B. Irvine

“The world might call you a pessimist. Who cares? It’s far better to seem like a downer than to be blindsided or caught off guard.” – Ryan Holiday

“This is an era of universal hyperbole. Every day delivers a new banality disguised as an emergency. Distrust your first reactions. Begin with the assumption that you are overreacting. Conserve your emotional energies for your real concerns.”

“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.” – Tim Ferriss

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. SENECA

Stoic Quotes On Death

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“This is our big mistake: to think we look forward to death. Most of death is already gone. Whatever time has passed is owned by death.” – Seneca

“He who fears death will never do anything worth of a man who is alive.” – Seneca

“You will eventually die and the world will keep moving.”

“I have to die. If it is now, well then I die now; if later, then now I will take my lunch, since the hour for lunch has arrived – and dying I will tend to later.” – Epictetus

“A nation is born stoic, and dies epicurean.” – Will Durant

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. MARCUS AURELIUS

Stoic Quotes On Life

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“Great times are great softeners.” – Ryan Holiday

“You are scared of dying—and, tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different than being dead?” – Seneca

“Wisdom lies in cheerful acceptance of whatever life throws at you.”

“While we wait for life, life passes.” – Seneca

“When someone is properly grounded in life, they shouldn’t have to look outside themselves for approval.” – Epictetus

“We must take a higher view of all things, and bear with them more easily: it better becomes a man to scoff at life than to lament over it.” – Seneca

“Too many people believe that everything must be pleasurable in life.” – Robert Greene

“The ultimate power in life is to be completely self-reliant, completely yourself.” – Robert Greene

“Take a deep breath. You’re living the dream life of hundreds of millions who are below poverty line people. You have some of the best comforts available to you. You live better than kings did 100 years ago! What the f*ck are you so worried and stressed out all the time about?”

“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.” – Steve Jobs

“Sometimes in life we must fight not only without fear, but also without hope.” – Alessandro Pertini

“Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer. Put your principles into practice – now. Stop the excuses and the procrastination. This is your life! […] Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do – now.” – Epictetus

“Live your life like you’re the hero in your movie.” – Joe Rogan

“Life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear the future.” – Seneca

“Life is full of hostility — some of it overt, some clever and underhanded.” – Robert Greene

“Life is a storm that will test you unceasingly. Don’t wait for calm waters that may not arrive. Derive purpose from resilience. Learn to sail the raging sea.”

“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” – Voltaire

“In life, it doesn’t matter what happens to you or where you came from. It matters what you do with what happens and what you’ve been given.” – Ryan Holiday

“I judge you unfortunate because you have never lived through misfortune. You have passed through life without an opponent—no one can ever know what you are capable of, not even you.” – Seneca

“Don’t seek for everything to happen as you wish it would, but rather wish that everything happens as it actually will—then your life will flow well.” – Epictetus

“Don’t get mad at others because life is kicking your ass.” – David Goggins

“Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.” – Seneca

“Be so busy building your own life that other people’s bullshit is of no concern.” – Ed Latimore

“As long as you live, keep learning how to live.”

“How do you move forward? One step at a time. How do you lose weight? One kilo at a time. How do you write a book? One page at a time. How do you build a relationship? One day at a time. In a world obsessed with speed, never forget things of real worth and value take time.” – Thibaut

“Sometimes saying “fuck it” at the right time can be a very powerful thing. It tells your mind that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get to the other side.” – David Goggins

“We are bacteria to the universe. We’re basically monkeys on a small rock orbiting a small backwards star in a huge galaxy, which is in an absolutely staggeringly gigantic universe, which itself may be part of a gigantic multiverse.” – Naval Ravikant

“We are quick to forget that just being alive is an extraordinary piece of good luck, a remote event, a chance occurrence of monstrous proportions.” – Nicholas Nassim Taleb

“We’re not really here that long, and we don’t really matter that much. Nothing that we do lasts. Eventually, you will fade. Your works will fade. Your children will fade. Your thoughts will fade. These planets will fade. This sun will fade. It will all be gone.” – Naval Ravikant

You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength. MARCUS AURELIUS

Stoic Quotes On Adversity

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“The wise man is neither raised up by prosperity nor cast down by adversity; for always he has striven to rely predominantly on himself, and to derive all joy from himself.” – Seneca

“Make the mind tougher by exposing it to adversity.” – Robert Greene

“Cling tooth and nail to the following rule: not to give in to adversity, never to trust prosperity, and always take full note of fortune’s habit of behaving just as she pleases, treating her as if she were actually going to do everything it is in her power to do. Whatever you have been expecting for some time comes as less of a shock.” – Seneca

“Missing a train is only painful if you run after it! Likewise, not matching the idea of success others expect from you is only painful if that’s what you are seeking.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“Move toward resistance and pain.” – Robert Greene

Stoic Quotes On Happiness

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“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” – M. Scott Peck

“I’m happy as hell, but I’m also real. Happy didn’t get me here. But going through hell to get to where I’m at made me happy.” – David Goggins

“Desire is a contract that you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.” – Naval Ravikant

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing.” – Seneca

“To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle.” – Albert Einstein

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius

Stoic Quotes On Change

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“You can change it, you can accept it, or you can leave it. What is not a good option is to sit around wishing you would change it but not changing it, wishing you would leave it but not leaving it, and not accepting it.” – Naval Ravikant

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl

“What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.” – Maya Angelou

“Nothing endures but change.” – Heraclitus

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”

“There are two of the most immediately useful thoughts you will dip into. First that things cannot touch the mind: they are external and inert; anxieties can only come from your internal judgement. Second, that all these things you see will change almost as you look at them, and then will be no more. Constantly bring to mind all that you yourself have already seen changed. The universe is change: life is judgement.” – Marcus Aurelius

“The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Effortless stoicism will come when you have dismantled everything in your mind that produces reactions.” – James Pierce

Daily Stoic Quotes

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“Progress is not achieved by luck or accident, but by working on yourself daily.” – Epictetus

“It is not daily increase but daily decrease, hack away the unessential. The closer to the source, the less wastage there is.” – Bruce Lee

“To be stoic is not to be emotionless, but to remain unaffected by your emotions.” – James Pierce

“Always resignation and acceptance. Always prudence and honour and duty.” – Jane Austen

“An hour of deeply contemplating your own moral failures will leave you feeling much more forgiving of the foibles of others.”

“Difficulty is what wakes up the genius.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“Intelligence consists in ignoring things that are irrelevant.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“Learn to detach yourself from the chaos of the battlefield.” – Robert Greene

“Man conquers the world by conquering himself.” – Zeno of Citium

“Many will choose the stability of slavery over the uncertainty of freedom.”

“Much of what other people know isn’t worth knowing.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“Peace must be found in the imperfect present.”

“Order your soul. Reduce your wants.” – Augustine of Hippo

“No one is asking you to look at the world through rose-colored glasses.” – Ryan Holiday

“Short term thinking is everywhere. Noisy feuds over little prizes. The long term thinker will be king. Win the decade, not the day.”

“Show people, don’t tell people.” – David Goggins

“The great law of nature is that it never stops. There is no end.” – Ryan Holiday

“The limit is not the sky. The limit is the mind.” – Wim Hof

“The phrase that I use the most to myself in my head is one word: accept.” – Naval Ravikant

“The obstacle is the way.” – Ryan Holiday

“The more you seek the uncomfortable, the more you will become comfortable.” – Conor McGregor

“The reason why we have two ears and only one mouth is so we might listen more and talk less.” – Zeno of Citium

“The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.” – Dalai Lama

“The willing are led by fate, the reluctant dragged.” – Cleanthes

“The wise man listens to meaning, the fool only gets the noise.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“Think long term. Execute short term. Experience now.”

“To be calm is the highest achievement of the self.” – Zen Proverb

“Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one.” – Voltaire

“To complain is always nonacceptance of what is.” – Eckhart Tolle

“To be evenminded is the greatest virtue.” – Heraclitus

“Unfollow the mind. Follow the heart. Mute the masses.”

“What is to give light must endure burning.” – Viktor Frankl

“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.” – Viktor Frankl

“You amplify everything you react to.”

“Your existence, my existence is just infinitesimal. It’s like a firefly blinking once in the night.” – Naval Ravikant

Stoic Philosophy Quotes

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“That’s why the philosophers warn us not to be satisfied with mere learning, but to add practice and then training. For as time passes we forget what we learned and end up doing the opposite, and hold opinions the opposite of what we should.” – Epictetus

“Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.” – Epictetus

“Be an island of calm in the sea of craziness.”

“Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.” – Randy Pausch

“Don’t aim to be perfect. Aim to be antifragile.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“Discomfort is the currency of success.” – Brooke Castillo

“Discomfort is a wise teacher.” – Caroline Myss

“Is there such a thing as a cheerful pessimist? That’s what I am.” – Charlie Munger

“Relentlessly prune bullshit, don’t wait to do things that matter, and savor the time you have.” – Paul Graham

“Remind yourself that the past and future are ‘indifferent’ to you, and that the supreme good, and eudaimonia, can only exist within you, right now, in the present moment.” – Donald J. Robertson

“The things you own end up owning you.” – Joshua Fields Millburn

Seneca Stoic Quotes

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“Of all people only those are at leisure who make time for philosophy, only they truly live. Not satisfied to merely keep good watch over their own days, they annex every age to their own. All the harvest of the past is added to their store.” – Seneca

“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.” – Seneca

“As each day arises, welcome it as the very best day of all, and make it your own possession. We must seize what flees.” – Seneca

“You need not look about for the reward of a just deed; a just deed in itself offers a still greater return.” – Seneca

“Whatever can happen at any time can happen today.” – Seneca

“We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” – Seneca

“We suffer more in imagination than in reality.” – Seneca

“We should not, like sheep, follow the herd of creatures in front of us, making our way where others go, not where we ought to go.” – Seneca

“We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more in imagination than in reality.” – Seneca

“Until we have begun to go without them, we fail to realize how unnecessary many things are. We’ve been using them not because we needed them but because we had them.” – Seneca

“to err is human, but to persist (in the mistake) is diabolical.” – Seneca

“To bear trials with a calm mind robs misfortune of its strength and burden.” – Seneca

“They lose the day in expectation of the night, and the night in fear of the dawn.” – Seneca

“There is no genius without a touch of madness.” – Seneca

“The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.” – Seneca

“The mind that is anxious about future events is miserable.” – Seneca

“Set aside a certain number of days during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with coarse and rough dress, saying to yourself the while, “Is this the condition that I feared?” – Seneca

“People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering tim ethey are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy.” – Seneca

“Nothing, to my way of thinking, is a better proof of a well ordered mind than a man’s ability to stop just where he is and pass some time in his own company.” – Seneca

“No person has the power to have everything they want, but it is in their power not to want what they don’t have, and to cheerfully put to good use what they do have.” – Seneca

“Many men will meet me who are drunkards, lustful, ungrateful, greedy, and excited by the frenzy of ambition.” – Seneca

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca

“It’s not that we have little time, but more that we waste a good deal of it.” – Seneca

“It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters.” – Seneca

“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.” – Seneca

“It does not matter what you bear, but how you bear it.” – Seneca

“Inwardly, we ought to be different in every respect, but our outward dress should blend in with the crowd.” – Seneca

“If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you’re needing is not to be in a different place but to be a different person.” – Seneca

“If one does not know which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” – Seneca

“If a man knows not which port he sails, no wind is favorable.” – Seneca

“How does it help…to make troubles heavier by bemoaning them?” – Seneca

“He who laughs at the human race deserves better of it than he who mourns for it, for the former leaves it some good hopes of improvement, while the latter stupidly weeps over what he has given up all hopes of mending.” – Seneca

“Hang on to your youthful enthusiasms.” – you’ll be able to use them better when you’re older.” – Seneca

“Everyone faces up more bravely to a thing for which he has long prepared himself, sufferings, even, being withstood if they have been trained for in advance. Those who are unprepared, on the other hand, are panic-stricken by the most insignificant happenings.” – Seneca

“Associate with people who are likely to improve you. Welcome those who you are capable of improving. The process is a mutual one: men learn as they teach.” – Seneca

Marcus Aurelius Stoic Quotes

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“You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Whatever happens to you has been waiting to happen since the beginning of time. The twining strands of fate wove both of them together.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Whatever happens at all happens as it should; you will find this true, if you watch narrowly.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Time is like a river made up of the events which happen, and a violent stream; for as soon as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and another comes in its place, and this will be carried away too.” – Marcus Aurelius

“The tranquility that comes when you stop caring what they say. Or think, or do. Only what you do.” – Marcus Aurelius

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius

“The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.” – Marcus Aurelius

“The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Stop drifting…Sprint to the finish. Write off your hopes, and if your well-being matters to you, be your own savior while you can.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Run down the list of those who felt intense anger at something: the most famous, the most unfortunate, the most hated, the most whatever: Where is all that now? Smoke, dust, legend…or not even a legend. Think of all the examples. And how trivial the things we want so passionately are.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Remember: Matter. How tiny your share of it. Time. How brief and fleeting your allotment of it. Fate. How small a role you play in it.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Objective judgment, at this very moment. Unselfish action, now at this very moment. Willing acceptance – now at this very moment – of all external events. That’s all you need.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Not to assume it’s impossible because you find it hard. But to recognize that if it’s humanly possible, you can do it too.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Men seek out retreats for themselves in the country, by the seaside, on the mountains… nowhere can a man find a retreat more peaceful or more free from trouble than his own soul.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Learn to be indifferent to what makes no difference.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Just that you do the right thing. The rest doesn’t matter.” – Marcus Aurelius

“It’s time you realized that you have something in you more powerful and miraculous than the things that affect you and make you dance like a puppet.” – Marcus Aurelius

“It can ruin your life only if it ruins your character. Otherwise it cannot harm you — inside or out.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Is a world without pain possible? Then don’t ask the impossible.” – Marcus Aurelius

“In your actions, don’t procrastinate. In your conversations, don’t confuse. In your thoughts, don’t wander. In your soul, don’t be passive or aggressive. In your life, don’t be all about business.” – Marcus Aurelius

“If you have your heart set on wearing crowns, why not make one out of roses – you will look even more elegant in that.” – Marcus Aurelius

“If it’s endurable, then endure it. Stop complaining.” – Marcus Aurelius

“If it is not right, do not do it; if it is not true, do not say it..” – Marcus Aurelius

“If anyone can refute me—show me I’m making a mistake or looking at things from the wrong perspective—I’ll gladly change. It’s the truth I’m after, and the truth never harmed anyone.” – Marcus Aurelius

“External thinks are not the problem. It’s your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Everything that happens is either endurable or not. If it’s endurable, then endure it. Stop complaining. If it’s unendurable… then stop complaining. Your destruction will mean its end as well. Just remember: you can endure anything your mind can make endurable, by treating it as in your interest to do so.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Every hour focus your mind attentively…on the performance of the task in hand, with dignity, human sympathy, benevolence and freedom, and leave aside all other thoughts. You will achieve this, if you perform each action as if it were your last.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Don’t allow yourself to be heard any longer griping about public life, not even with your own ears!” – Marcus Aurelius

“Do what you will. Even if you tear yourself apart, most people will continue doing the same things.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Choose not to be harmed — and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed — and you haven’t been.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.” – Marcus Aurelius

The Best Books on Stoicism

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1. The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living

The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living

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2. Lives of the Stoics: The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius

Lives of the Stoics: The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius

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3. Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics)

Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics)

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4. How to Think Like a Roman Emperor

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor

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5. The Stoic Cop

The Stoic Cop

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6. The Practicing Stoic: A Philosophical User’s Manual

The Practicing Stoic: A Philosophical User's Manual

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7. Stoic Challenge

Stoic Challenge

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8. Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience

Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience

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9. How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life

How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life

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10. A Handbook for New Stoics: How to Thrive in a World Out of Your Control―52 Week-by-Week Lessons

A Handbook for New Stoics: How to Thrive in a World Out of Your Control―52 Week-by-Week Lessons

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In Conclusion

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Stoicism is an honest review of the self and our culture about becoming better people. These stoic quotes offer a reflection on how to deal with the challenges life presents to grow to be happier and more mindful.

Use these stoic quotes and sayings to reflect on the world around you and use the perspective you gain as an aid to living a better life. I hope you enjoyed these tremendous stoic quotes. If you did, please share them with a friend today!

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Originally published December 16, 2020, updated October 16, 2021

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