Stoicism Quotes: 500 of the Best Quotes From The Wisest Stoics

A Stoic Quote For every Occasion 

Here is a list of The Best Stoic Quotes for All Occasions.

Stoic Quotes – The Day:

“Stoicism, in our day, is not strength to overcome wishes, but to hide them.”

Rollo May

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

Seneca

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

Marcus Aurelius.

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

Epictetus

“To be even minded is the greatest virtue.”

Heraclitus

“Sometimes in life, we need a few bad days in order to keep the good ones in perspective.”

Colleen Hoover

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

Seneca

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

Seneca

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

Seneca

“There is no better way to grow as a person than to do something you hate every day.”

David Goggins

“Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions — not outside.”

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”


Marcus Aurelius

Stoic Quotes –  Choice:

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

Robert Greene

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

Seneca

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

Zen proverb

“We’re never unhappy until we remember why we’re supposed to be unhappy.”

Daniel V Chappell

“All vices are at odds with nature.”

Seneca

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

Voltaire

“The good things of prosperity are to be wished; but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.”

Seneca

Stoic Quotes –  Adversity:

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

Seneca

“What injures the hive injures the bee.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Problems only exist in the human mind.”

Anthony de Mello

“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

Lao Tzu

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

Marcus Aurelius

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

Robert Greene

Stoic Quotes –   Death:

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

Marcus Aurelius

“For it is better to die of hunger, but free from distress and fear, than to live in plenty with a troubled mind.”

Epictetus

“That man lives badly who does not know how to die well.”

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“The stoicism that comes of endurance has something of death in it.”

Mary Catherwood

“I cannot escape death, but at least I can escape the fear of it.”

Epictetus

“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

“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.”

Marcus Aurelius

Fear:

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

Alessandro Pertini.

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

Seneca

“It is more civilized to make fun of life than to bewail it.”

Seneca

“Ignorance is the cause of fear.”

Seneca

“For it is better to die of hunger, but free from distress and fear, than to live in plenty with a troubled mind.”

Epictetus

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

Stoic Quotes –  Taking Action:

Concentrate every minute like a Roman— like a man— on doing what’s in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. And on freeing yourself from all other distractions.

Marcus Aurelius

Stoic Quotes To Live By

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“There is no better way to grow as a person than to do something you hate every day.”

David Goggins.

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

Marcus Aurelius

The tranquillity that comes when you stop caring what they say. Or think, or do. Only what you do.

Marcus Aurelius

Be stoic: Just do the right thing. Just keep going.

Maxime Lagacé

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

Paul Graham

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

Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.

Epictetus

Stoic Quotes –  Anxiety:

“I’ve let people’s opinions; my own self-judgements and many negative things take this life away from me.”

Tiisetso Maloma

“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

“Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done.”

Robert Greene

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

Seneca

“Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions — not outside.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Many of the anxieties that harass you are superfluous. Expand into an ampler region, letting your thought sweep over the entire universe.”

Marcus Aurelius

“No amount of anxiety makes any difference to anything that is going to happen.”

Alan Watts

Stoic Quotes –  Books:

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

Marcus Aurelius

“For books are more than books, they are the life, the very heart and core of ages past, the reason why men worked and died, the essence and quintessence of their lives.”

Cicero

“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

“Events in life mean nothing if you do not reflect on them in a deep way, and ideas from books are pointless if they have no application to life as you live it.”

Robert Greene

“He does not write at all whose poems no man reads”

Marcus Aurelius

“In reading and writing, you cannot lay down rules until you have learnt to obey them. Much more so in life.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Neither in writing nor in reading wilt thou be able to lay down rules for others before thou shalt have first learned to obey rules thyself.”

Marcus Aurelius

“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

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Stoic Quotes – Business:

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“Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.”

Marcus Aurelius

“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

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

David Goggins

“What is the secret of success -one word answer: “rational”.

Charlie Munger

“Discomfort is the currency of success.”

Brooke Castillo

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

Stoic Quotes – Marcus Aurelius:

“Love the discipline you know, and let it support you.
Entrust everything willingly to the gods, and then make your way through life—no one’s master and no one’s slave.”

“Unhappy am I because this has happened to me- Not so, but happy am I, though this has happened to me, because I continue free from pain, neither crushed by the present nor fearing the future.”

“How ridiculous and unrealistic is the man who is astonished at anything that happens in life.”

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.”

“Adapt yourself to the life you have been given; and truly love the people with whom destiny has surrounded you”

“No one can keep you from living as your nature requires. Nothing can happen to you that is not required by Nature.”

“The others obey their own lead, follow their own impulses. Don’t be distracted. Keep walking. Follow your own nature, and follow Nature—along the road they share.”

Stoic Quotes – Anger:

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Your true self is not your emotion such as anger, frustration or hate. It is the inner witness that knows the rise and fall of your emotion.

Haemin Sunim

The best answer to anger is silence.

Marcus Aurelius

How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.

Marcus Aurelius

Not to display anger or other emotions. To be free of passion and yet full of love.

Marcus Aurelius

The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.

Dalai Lama

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

If you drop your ego, don’t take things personally and adopt a detached perspective, your ability to deal with all types of people/situations will immensely improve.

The Ancient Sage

Stoic Quotes – Change:

“Change is never painful, only your resistance to change is painful.”

Buddhist proverb

“Nothing endures but change.”

Heraclitus

“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

“Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature’s delight.”

Marcus Aurelius

“You are not affected by reality itself but by your interpretation of reality. A change of perspective changes everything.”

The Ancient Sage

Stoic Quotes – Control:

Not reacting to deliberate provocation is a superpower. If you have the awareness and self-control to not react predictably, there is nothing that can put you off your path. Remember: the only enemy you need to fear is your own self – your lack of awareness and loss of control.

The Ancient Sage

– 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.

The Stoic Emperor

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

“Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own…”

Epictetus

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

Epictetus

“Because he not only wants to perform well, he wants to be well received — and the latter lies outside his control.”

Epictetus

Stoic Quotes – Courage:

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

Cleanthes of Assos

“Get busy with life’s purpose, toss aside empty hopes, get active in your own rescue.”

Marcus Aurelius

“The final hour when we cease to exist does not itself bring death; it merely of itself completes the death-process. We reach death at that moment, but we have been a long time on the way.”

Seneca

“Dig deep; the water- goodness- is down there. And as long as you keep digging, it will keep bubbling up.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.”

Seneca

“Circumstances don’t make the man, they only reveal him to himself.”

Epictetus

“The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests. ”

Epictetus

Stoic Quotes – Desire:

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

Epictetus

“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

“That which we desire lies across an ocean of hard won knowledge.”

The Stoic Emperor

A man thus grounded must, whether he wills or not, necessarily be attended by constant cheerfulness and a joy that is deep and issues from deep within, since he finds delight in his own resources, and desires no joys greater than his inner joys.

Seneca

Happiness is not to acquire and enjoy, but nothing to be desired, as it is to be free.

Epictetus

He who does not desire or fear the uncertain day or capricious fate, is equal to the gods above and loftier than mortals.

Justus Lipsius

Stoic Quotes – Seneca:

“As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.”

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

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

“It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.”

“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.”

“No man was ever wise by chance”

“A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer’s hand.”

Stoic Quotes – Epictetus:

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

“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. 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.”

“You are a little soul carrying around a corpse”

“First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.”

“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.”

“Seek not the good in external things; seek it in yourselves.”

“Small-minded people blame others. Average people blame themselves. The wise see all blame as foolishness”

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Stoic Quotes – Pain:

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

Marcus Aurelius

“How can a man find a sensible way to live? One way and one only- Philosophy. And my philosophy means keeping that vital spark within you free from damage and degradation, using it to transcend pain and pleasure, doing everything with a purpose, avoiding lies and hypocrisy, not relying on another person’s actions or failings. To accept everything that comes, and everything that is given, as coming from that same spiritual source.”

Marcus Aurelius

“It will suffice thee to remember as concerning pain … that the mind may, by stopping all manner of commerce and sympathy with the body, still retain its own tranquillity.”

Marcus Aurelius

When pain is unbearable it destroys us; when it does not it is bearable.

Marcus Aurelius

It is not fit that I should give myself pain, for I have never intentionally given pain even to another.

Marcus Aurelius

Stoic Quotes – Emotion:

“The tales of our exploits will survive as long as the human voice itself.”

Augustus

“Make haste cautiously.”

Augustus

Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.

Marcus Aurelius

“A good man does not spy around for the black spots in others, but presses unswervingly on towards his mark.”

Marcus Aurelius

“The gods have provided me with clear and compelling signs of what it means to live in conformity to nature. They did their part. So far as their gifts, aid, and inspiration are concerned, nothing prevented me from following the path prescribed by nature. If from time to time I have strayed from this path, the fault lies with me and with my failure to heed the gods’ signs, or rather, their explicit instructions.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Always run to the short way; and the short way is the natural: accordingly say and do everything in conformity with the soundest reason. For such a purpose frees a man from trouble, and warfare, and all artifice and ostentatious display.”

Marcus Aurelius

Stoic Quotes – Truth:

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”

Marcus Aurelius

“I cannot comprehend how any man can want anything but the truth.”

Marcus Aurelius

“If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one ever was truly harmed. Harmed is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance.”

Marcus Aurelius

“A man should be upright, not kept upright.”

Marcus Aurelius

“I seek the truth…it is only persistence in self-delusion and ignorance that does harm.”

Marcus Aurelius

“One universe made up all that is; and one God in it all, and one principle of being, and one law, the reason shared by all thinking creatures, and one truth.”

Marcus Aurelius

Stoic Quotes – Education:

“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”

Epictetus

“Only the educated are free.”

Epictetus

“To accuse others for one’s own misfortunes is a sign of want of education. To accuse oneself shows that one’s education has begun. To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one’s education is complete.”

Epictetus

Stoic Quotes – Time:

“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Give thyself time to learn something new and good, and cease to be whirled around.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.”

Marcus Aurelius

“You must become an old man in good time if you wish to be an old man long.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Live each day as if it be your last.”

Marcus Aurelius

“The passing minute is every man’s equal possession but what has once gone by is not ours.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Be not as one that hath ten thousand years to live; death is nigh at hand: while thou livest, while thou hast time, be good.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Limit time to the present. Meditate upon your last hour.”

Marcus Aurelius

Stoic Quotes – Parents:

“If I and my two children cannot move the gods, the gods must have their reasons.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Everything is born from change. …there is nothing nature loves more that to alter what exists and make new things like it. All that exists is the seed of what will emerge from it. You think the only seeds are the one that make plants and children? Go deeper.”

Marcus Aurelius

“What use do I put my soul to? It is a serviceable question this, and should frequently be put to oneself. How does my ruling part stand affected? And whose soul have I now? That of a child, or a young man, or a feeble woman, or of a tyrant, of cattle or wild beasts.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Consider, for example, and you will find that almost all the transactions in the time of Vespasian differed little from those of the present day. You there find marrying and giving in marriage, educating children, sickness, death, war, joyous holidays, traffic, agriculture, flatterers, insolent pride, suspicions, laying of plots, longing for the death of others, newsmongers, lovers, misers, men canvassing far the consulship and for the kingdom; yet all these passed away, and are nowhere.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant.”

Epictetus

Stoic Quotes –Destiny:

“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Whatever may happen to you was prepared for you from all eternity; and the implication of causes was from eternity spinning the thread of your being.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Just consider, my friend, whether a pure spirit and virtue are anything other than saving your life and being saved. Perhaps we need to discard the idea of longevity and cease loving this life, instead committing these things to God and, believing that no one ever escapes destiny, to consider, with that in mind, how we may live the best possible life in the time that remains.”

Marcus Aurelius

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“Think of the universal substance, of which thou has a very small portion; and of universal time, of which a short and indivisible interval has been assigned to thee; and of that which is fixed by destiny, and how small a part of it thou art.”

Marcus Aurelius

“This is the chief thing: be not perturbed, for all things are according to the nature of the universal.”

Marcus Aurelius

Stoic Quotes – Mistake:

“If someone can prove me wrong and show me my mistake in any thought or action, I shall gladly change. I seek the truth, which never harmed anyone: the harm is to persist in one’s own self-deception and ignorance.”

Marcus Aurelius

“When you are annoyed at someone’s mistake, immediately look at yourself and reflect how you also fail; for example, in thinking that good equals money, or pleasure, or a bit of fame. By being mindful of this you’ll quickly forget your anger, especially if you realize that the person was under stress, and could do little else. And, if you can, find a way to alleviate that stress.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Leave other people’s mistakes where they lie.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?”

Marcus Aurelius

Stoic Quotes – Love & friendship:

“Be not disgusted, nor discouraged, nor dissatisfied, if thou dost not succeed in doing everything according to right principles; but when thou bast failed, return back again, and be content if the greater part of what thou doest is consistent with man’s nature, and love this to which thou returnest.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Love the little trade which thou hast learned, and be content therewith.”

Marcus Aurelius

“When friendship is settled, you must trust; before friendship is formed, you must pass judgment.”

Seneca

“To refrain from imitation is the best revenge.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Remind yourself that what you love is mortal.”

Epictetus

“Consult your friend on all things, especially on those which respect yourself. His counsel may then be useful where your own self-love might impair your judgment.”

Seneca

“In marriage, there must be complete companionship and concern for each other on the part of both husband and wife, in health and in sickness and at all times, because they entered upon the marriage for this reason as well as to produce offspring.”

Musonius Rufus

Stoic Quotes – Leadership & strength:

“Make sure you’re not made ‘Emperor,’ avoid that imperial stain. It can happen to you, so keep yourself simple, good, pure, saintly, plain, a friend of justice, god-fearing, gracious, affectionate, and strong for your proper work.”

Aurelius

“It is the responsibility of leadership to work intelligently with what is given, and not waste time fantasizing about a world of flawless people and perfect choices.”

Marcus Aurelius

“A real man doesn’t give way to anger and discontent, and such a person has strength, courage, and endurance — unlike the angry and complaining. The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.”

Marcus Aurelius

“A man’s worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions.”

Marcus Aurelius

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Dave Peterson
Dave Peterson
Be a little better today than yesterday.

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