The Ultimate Stoic Quote Collection

This is great: The Ultimate Stoic Quote Collection.

Marcus Aurelius

  • When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
  • The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.
  • Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.
  • 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.
  • The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
  • Here is a rule to remember in future, when anything tempts you to feel bitter: not “This is misfortune,” but “To bear this worthily is good fortune.”
  • Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs?
  • You don’t have to turn this into something. It doesn’t have to upset you.
  • To live a good life: We have the potential for it. If we learn to be indifferent to what makes no difference.
  • Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now take what’s left and live it properly.
  • Death smiles at us all, but all a man can do is smile back.
  • The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.
  • Your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought, for the human spirit is coloured by such impressions.
  • The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.
  • You have power over your minds — not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength.
  • It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.
  • Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.
  • Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.
  • Loss is nothing else but change, and change is nature’s delight.
  • A man’s true delight is to do the things he was made for.


  • 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.
  • Begin at one to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.
  • It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.
  • We all sorely complain of the shortness of time, and yet have much more than we know what to do with. Our lives are either spent in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do. We are always complaining that our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end of them.
  • A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.
  • The bravest sight in the world is to see a great man struggling against adversity.
  • Every night before going to sleep, we must ask ourselves: what weakness did I overcome today? What virtue did I acquire?
  • Throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack.
  • Life is never incomplete if it is an honourable one. At whatever point you leave life, if you leave it in the right way, it is whole.
  • We suffer more often in imagination than in reality. You want to live but do you know how to live? You are scared of dying but tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different to being dead?
  • The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be.
  • Man is affected not by events but by the view he takes of them.
  • As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.
  • Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.
  • 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.
  • Until we have begun to go without them, we fail to realise how unnecessary many things are. We’ve been using them not because we needed them but because we had them.
  • He suffers more than necessary, who suffers before it is necessary.
  • Hang on to your youthful enthusiasms; you’ll be able to use them better when you’re older.
  • It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.
  • If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favourable.
  • Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.


  • From this instance on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do — now.
  • What ought one to say then as each hardship comes? “I was practising for this, I was training for this.”
  • Fortify yourself with moderation; for this is an impenetrable fortress.
  • If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.
  • 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 will answer that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.
  • First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.
  • When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings, then you will forget your anger.
  • The trials you encounter will introduce you to your strengths. Remain steadfast… and one day you will build something that endures: something worthy of your potential.
  • The world turns aside to let any man pass who knows where he is going.
  • Attach yourself to what is spiritually superior, regardless of what other people think or do. Hold to your true aspirations no matter what is going on around you.
  • You may fetter my leg, but Zeus himself cannot get the better of my free will.
  • Seek not the good in external things; seek it in yourselves.
  • On the occasion of every accident that befalls you, remember to turn to yourself and inquire what power you have for turning it to use.
  • It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them.
  • Caretake this moment. Immerse yourself in its particulars. Respond to this person, this challenge, this deed. Quit evasions. Stop giving yourself needless trouble. It is time to really live.
  • If you want to be a writer, write.
  • The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.
  • Be discriminating about what images and ideas you permit into your mind.
  • No man is free who is not a master of himself.
  • 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.”
  • It is impossible to being to learn that which one thinks one already knows.
  • Do not seek to have events happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do happen, and all will be well with you.
  • Never depend on the admiration of others. There is no strength in it. Personal merit cannot be derived from an external source.


I was referred to a list of notable quotes:

I particularly liked this one:

What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way around. In prose, the worst thing one can do with words is surrender to them. When you think of a concrete object, you think wordlessly, and then, if you want to describe the thing you have been visualising you probably hunt about until you find the exact words that seem to fit it. When you think of something abstract you are more inclined to use words from the start, and unless you make a conscious effort to prevent it, the existing dialect will come rushing in and do the job for you, at the expense of blurring or even changing your meaning. Probably it is better to put off using words as long as possible and get one’s meaning as clear as one can through pictures and sensations. Afterward one can choose — not simply accept — the phrases that will best cover the meaning, and then switch round and decide what impressions one’s words are likely to make on another person. — George Orwell