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.
2. Be stoic: Just do the right thing. Just keep going.
3. The tranquility that comes when you stop caring what they say. Or think, or do. Only what you do.
4. The great law of nature is that it never stops. There is no end.
5. Just keep in mind: the more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.
6. To be stoic is not to be emotionless, but to remain unaffected by your emotions.
7. Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.
8. A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.
9. A stoic is a Buddhist with attitude.
10. To be calm is the highest achievement of the self.
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.
12. A nation is born stoic, and dies epicurean.
13. The obstacle is the way.
14. Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one.
15. Much of what other people know isn’t worth knowing.
16. Learn to be indifferent to what makes no difference.
17. Unfollow the mind. Follow the heart. Mute the masses.
18. Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.
19. Always resignation and acceptance. Always prudence and honour and duty.
20. When someone is properly grounded in life, they shouldn’t have to look outside themselves for approval.
21. Plato has a fine saying, that he who would discourse of man should survey, as from some high watchtower, the things of earth.
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.
23. A man is no bigger than the smallest thing that provokes him.
24. Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be, be one.
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.
26. The limit is not the sky. The limit is the mind.
27. Today I escaped from anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions — not outside.
28. The mind that is anxious about future events is miserable.
29. Problems only exist in the human mind.
30. Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.
31. You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.
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.
33. Too many people believe that everything must be pleasurable in life.
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.
35. Discomfort is a wise teacher.
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.
37. While we wait for life, life passes.
38. Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too.
39. You will be attacked for doing the right thing. Do it anyway.
40. Difficulty is what wakes up the genius.
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.
42. Keep your intention pure. Emotions will try to distract you. So keep going. That’s the cure.
43. You have power over your mind—not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
44. Make the mind tougher by exposing it to adversity.
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.
46. Live your life like you’re the hero in your movie.
47. Effortless stoicism will come when you have dismantled everything in your mind that produces reactions.
48. Be so busy building your own life that other people’s bullshit is of no concern.
49. Learn to detach yourself from the chaos of the battlefield.
50. There is no genius without a touch of madness.
51. Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behaviour, not because they won or lost.
52. Take a deep breath. Get present in the moment and ask yourself what is important this very second.
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