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52 Epic Stoic Quotes on Love, Hardship and Happiness

In the last few months, since finding Ryan Holiday, I’ve been delving deeper into Stoic Philosophy. It’s refreshing in an otherwise noisy world of self help, and I hope these quotes inspire you as much as they have me.

Best Stoicism Quotes to Change Our Perspective

1. He has the most who is content with the least.

Diogenes

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

Maxime Lagacé

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

Marcus Aurelius

4. The great law of nature is that it never stops. There is no end.

Ryan Holiday

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

Epictetus

6. To be stoic is not to be emotionless, but to remain unaffected by your emotions.

James Pierce

7. Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.

Voltaire

8. A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.

Seneca

9. A stoic is a Buddhist with attitude.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

10. To be calm is the highest achievement of the self.

Zen proverb

11. 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

12. A nation is born stoic, and dies epicurean.

Will Durant

13. The obstacle is the way.

Ryan Holiday

14. Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one.

Voltaire

15. Much of what other people know isn’t worth knowing.

Nicholas Taleb

16. Learn to be indifferent to what makes no difference.

Marcus Aurelius

17. Unfollow the mind. Follow the heart. Mute the masses.

@TheAncientSage

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

Epictetus

19. Always resignation and acceptance. Always prudence and honour and duty.

Jane Austen

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

Epictetus

21. Plato has a fine saying, that he who would discourse of man should survey, as from some high watchtower, the things of earth.

Marcus Aurelius

22. 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

23. A man is no bigger than the smallest thing that provokes him.

Dan Horton

24. Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be, be one.

Marcus Aurelius

25. Floods will rob us of one thing, fire of another. These are conditions of our existence which we cannot change. What we can do is adopt a noble spirit, such a spirit as befits a good person, so that we may bear up bravely under all that fortune sends us and bring our wills into tune with nature’s.

Seneca

26. The limit is not the sky. The limit is the mind.

Wim Hof

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

Marcus Aurelius

28. The mind that is anxious about future events is miserable.

Seneca

29. Problems only exist in the human mind.

Anthony de Mello

30. Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.

Epictetus

31. You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.

Greg McKeown

32. 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

33. Too many people believe that everything must be pleasurable in life.

Robert Greene

34. It’s something like going on an ocean voyage. What can I do? Pick the captain, the boat, the date, and the best time to sail. But then a storm hits… What are my options? I do the only thing I am in a position to do, drown — but fearlessly, without bawling or crying out to God, because I know that what is born must also die.

Epictetus

35. Discomfort is a wise teacher.

Caroline Myss

36. 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

37. While we wait for life, life passes.

Seneca

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

Marcus Aurelius

39. You will be attacked for doing the right thing. Do it anyway.

@TheStoicEmperor

40. Difficulty is what wakes up the genius.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

41. 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

42. Keep your intention pure. Emotions will try to distract you. So keep going. That’s the cure.

Maxime Lagacé

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

Marcus Aurelius

44. Make the mind tougher by exposing it to adversity.

Robert Greene

45. 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

46. Live your life like you’re the hero in your movie.

Joe Rogan

47. Effortless stoicism will come when you have dismantled everything in your mind that produces reactions.

James Pierce

48. Be so busy building your own life that other people’s bullshit is of no concern.

Ed Latimore

49. Learn to detach yourself from the chaos of the battlefield.

Robert Greene

50. There is no genius without a touch of madness.

Seneca

51. Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behaviour, not because they won or lost.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

52. Take a deep breath. Get present in the moment and ask yourself what is important this very second.

Greg McKeown

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