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.
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.
No one is asking you to look at the world through rose-colored glasses.
You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.
Be silent for the most part, or, if you speak, say only what is necessary and in a few words.
How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?
Progress is not achieved by luck or accident, but by working on yourself daily.
Self-discipline and self-control determine the quality of your life more than anything else.
Think clearly from the ground up. Understand and explain from first principles. Ignore society and politics. Acknowledge what you have. Control your emotions.
He who angers you conquers you.
The only thing you can control is the thought you are having right now. Make it calm, clear and simple. Make it your superpower.
He who reigns within himself, and rules passions, desires, and fears, is more than a king.
Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.
Don't argue with people nor insist on showing them truth. Maybe it is you who needs to change your mind. Even if you are right you only incur resentment by trying to correct others.
If you cannot change something, it is best to accept it cheerfully rather than adding to one's misfortune by grieving over it.
Self-control is all about moment to moment self awareness. You catch yourself doing - or about to do - something undesirable, see that it isn't good for you in the long term, and as a result of this awareness abstain from doing it.
One must be gullible yet skeptical, sane yet mad, proud yet humble, warm yet indifferent, faithful yet a heretic, loving yet uncompromising, fearless yet cautious, open yet decisive. These are not contradictions. They make a person whole. And above all one must be whole, not fragmentary.
If you lose self-control everything will fall.
It is easy to blame them. It is hard to confront me. The easy path is the road to ruin. The hard path is the way of growth.
Be true to whoever or whatever you are and wear it like a badge of honor. Fit in with one person and one person only: yourself.
There is no better way to grow as a person than to do something you hate every day.
People are always looking for shortcuts. The only way to achieve greatness in life is to have patience, consistency, and discipline.
Watch every thought. Always ask, why am I having this thought?
Meditation is intermittent fasting for the mind. Too much sugar leads to a heavy body, and too many distractions lead to a heavy mind. Time spent undistracted and alone, in self-examination, journaling, meditation, resolves the unresolved and takes us from mentally fat to fit.
You find peace by coming to terms with what you don't know.
When you are upset you are likely to sacrifice the wellbeing of tomorrow to appease the hurt feelings of today. Not a good trade. Subject your emotions to a cooling-off period before you allow them to guide major decisions.
Try to avoid making important decisions when you're angry. Acknowledge the emotion. Recognize that it clouds your judgement. Remember that angry people tend to sacrifice the long-term good in response to short-term provocation.
What matters most is not what our obstacles are but how we see them, how we react to them, and whether we keep our composure.
You stuck to your principles and when opportunities came along, you pounced on them with vigour.
Stop trying to impress others with your stuff and start trying to impress them with your life.
Talk, but rarely, if occasion calls you, but do not talk of ordinary things - of gladiators or horses races or athletes or of meats or drinks - these are topics that arise everywhere - but above all do not talk about men in blame or compliment or comparison.
We must indulge the mind and from time to time allow it the leisure which is its food and strength. We must go for walks out of doors, so that the mind can be strengthened by a clear sky and plenty of fresh air.
Together with intelligence, self-control turns out to be the best predictor of a successful and satisfying life.
Growth and comfort do not coexist.
The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.
True stoics don't care about the outcome. They just care to give their best shot, right here, right now.
The more time you spend in your discomfort zone, the more your comfort zone will expand.
Cultivate a fearless approach to life, attack everything with boldness and energy.
I like times of turbulence more than times of stability. More opportunity to seize and grow.
True success is achieved by stretching oneself, learning to feel comfortable being uncomfortable.
It takes courage to accept life fully, to say yes to our life, yes to our karma, yes to our mind, emotions and whatever else unfolds.
Start living in discomfort. Gradually increase it little by little, and you will steadily grow. If you want sudden growth, deluge yourself in great discomfort and do not retreat from it. The more discomfort you are willing to bear, the more you can grow.
I like to see what I'm made of. I want to see if there is a limit to the human soul.
The path to success will leave you callused, bruised, and very tired. It will also leave you empowered.
Comfort makes you weaker. We need some variability, some stressors. Not too much, but just enough.
When the pools of perception are clear, everything appears 'as is'.
When we become fixed in our perceptions we lose our ability to fly.
Remember that your perception of the world is a reflection of your state of consciousness.
Be disentangled from all perceptions. They are not you.
Why do you so earnestly seek the truth in distant places? Look for delusion and truth in the bottom of your own hearts.
Drop your concepts, drop your opinions, drop your prejudices, drop your judgments, and you will see that.
Understand: in life as in war, nothing ever happens just as you expect it to.
Realists are not afraid to look at the harsh circumstances of life.
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.
Assume life will be really tough, and then ask if you can handle it. If the answer is yes, you've won.
Life isn't always about doing the things we like to do. It's about doing things we have to do.
Drama provides a convenient distraction. We light small fires and busy ourselves with putting them out. Short term emergencies give us an excuse to ignore the long term issues that we don't wish to acknowledge.
Not everything requires a response. This is truth for many things in life and almost everything in the news.
Expectation is the only seed of disappointment.
The fundamental delusion ” there is something out there that will make me happy and fulfilled forever.
It's hard to prioritize the long term when you think you should feel comfortable in every moment.
Don't let jerks live rent-free in your head.
The great law of nature is that it never stops. There is no end.
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.
The mind that is anxious about future events is miserable.
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.
Don't explain your philosophy. Embody it.
Stoicism is about the domestication of emotions, not their elimination.
A Stoic is someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.
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.
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.
Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be, be one.
The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.
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.
When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly. They are like this because they can't tell good from evil.
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.
Many men will meet me who are drunkards, lustful, ungrateful, greedy, and excited by the frenzy of ambition.
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?
Is there such a thing as a cheerful pessimist? That's what I am.
The reason why we have two ears and only one mouth is so we might listen more and talk less.
I begin to speak only when I'm certain what I'll say isn't better left unsaid.
Nothing endures but change.
Having the fewest wants, I am nearest to the gods.
No human thing is of serious importance.
Just keep going. Be stoic.
Ensure you endure.
Great times are great softeners.
The limit is not the sky. The limit is the mind.
Problems only exist in the human mind.
Discomfort is the currency of success.
Show people, don't tell people.
Discomfort is a wise teacher.
To complain is always nonacceptance of what is.
If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you.
What are the secret of success? -one word answer: rational.
Don't aim to be perfect. Aim to be antifragile.
Peace must be found in the imperfect present.
Think long term. Execute short term. Experience now.
You amplify everything you react to.
There is no genius without a touch of madness.
Live your life like you're the hero in your movie.
Do what you will. Even if you tear yourself apart, most people will continue doing the same things.
It can ruin your life only if it ruins your character. Otherwise it cannot harm you ” inside or out.
Keep your intention pure. Emotions will try to distract you. So keep going. That's the cure.
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.
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.
Make the mind tougher by exposing it to adversity.
You can accomplish anything if you can: 1) prioritize ruthlessly 2) control your attention. Both of these have become particularly hard in the present age. As such those who can control these two critical factors will rule the world.
Never let people who choose the path of least resistance steer you away from your chosen path of most resistance.
Short term thinking is everywhere. Noisy feuds over little prizes. The long term thinker will be king. Win the decade, not the day.
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.
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.
As each day arises, welcome it as the very best day of all, and make it your own possession. We must seize what flees.
Inwardly, we ought to be different in every respect, but our outward dress should blend in with the crowd.
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.
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.
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.
Be so busy building your own life that other people's bullshit is of no concern.
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.
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.
Difficulty is what wakes up the genius.
A stoic is a Buddhist with attitude.
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.
If you have your heart set on wearing crowns, why not make one out of roses - you will look even more elegant in that.
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.
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.
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.
Why did this happen to me? Why not? Events will never conform perfectly to your desires. Move forward.
At any given moment, you can choose to follow the chain of thoughts, emotions, and sensations that reinforce a perception of yourself as vulnerable and limited, or to remember that your true nature is pure, unconditioned, and incapable of being harmed.
Humility is a knowledge of our weaknesses, confidence is a knowledge of our strengths, and ego is something dangerous with none of the former and a skewed sense of the latter.
Emotions are easily hijacked by illusory threats that tap into our insecurities. We can't be strategically dynamic if we are always on the defensive. We are more effective when we realize how many things don't require any response at all.
People think that if they complain about life, life or the world might change. But of course this does not happen. You cannot change Nature and its laws. It is what it is. No amount of complaining, resentment or mourning will help. Accept, let go and move on.
Ignoring someone is more powerful than hating them. Hate means that you are somehow bothered by the person and can't stop thinking about them. They possess you. Indifference indicates that you just don't care. It is freedom.
Greatness starts with the replacement of hatred with polite disdain.
If we seek social status, we give other people power over us: We have to do things calculated to make them admire us, and we have to refrain from doing things that will trigger their disfavor.
It is a narrow passageway that leads to the garden of contentment. Big egos don't fit.
A minute of rage can undo a lifetime of diligent effort. Self-control is self-preservation. Most of us won't look back on the moments we acted in anger as among our finest.
Do not act when the tide of rage flows in. Wait for it to go out. Then act with reason and proportion.
To not be distracted by the darkness of others, to head towards the light. To be good without hesitation, even when other people are not. That's our job.
Does what's happened keep you from acting with justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straightforwardness, and all other qualities that allow a person's nature to fulfil itself? So remember this principle when something threatens to cause you pain: the thing itself was no misfortune at all; to endure it and prevail is great good fortune.
Why does he smile when misfortune strikes? He knows it is an opportunity to cultivate virtue. Death, loss, decline. These things come for us all. Facing pain is how we make ready. Adversity sharpens the blade of will. Greet the test gladly. Endure.
We must be willing to roll the dice and lose. Prepare, at the end of the day, for none of it to work.
The path of least resistance is a terrible teacher.
All greatness comes from suffering.
Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.
What people say or think about him, or how they treat him, isn't something he worries about.
Accustom yourself to criticism.
Become your own worst critic; see your work as if through the eyes of others.
Understand: a critic doesn't disturb you, it disturbs your ego. You want to know the truth. Your ego is scared of it.
Never be angry at someone for telling you the truth, no matter how unpleasant.
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.
Do not care what others think of you. Be an unapologetic rebel. The masses are lost. Looking up to them for guidance is like a person with eyes looking up to the blind. Feel free to do your own thing without fearing the disapproval of others. If they don't like it's their problem.
Many think great success will pacify their critics. Quite the contrary. Criticism will multiply as you grow and progress. Positive attention does not come without negative attention. This is the price of having an impact.
Most people who doubt you doubt you because they can never see themselves doing what you are trying to do.
Your reputation is harmed the most by what you say to defend it.
If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it's a lie, laugh at it.
Love without sacrifice is like theft.
It is a sign of weakness to avoid showing signs of weakness.
Life without love would be a strange thing. But don't be surprised if you get burned.
There is nothing more precious than trust. Low trust environments are full of friction and inefficiency. Every interaction is a fierce negotiation. Trust makes a marriage warm and a nation wealthy.
You don't develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.
Fragile egos make for fragile friendships.
Keep company only with people who uplift you.
We should love all our dear ones... but always with the thought that we have no promise that we may keep them forever”nay, no promise even that we may keep them for long.
Winning is not about talent, being smart, taking shortcuts. It's about finding the right thing to do, and doing it.
The mind should not be kept continuously at the same pitch of concentration, but given amusing diversions... Our minds must relax: they will rise better and keener after a rest. Just as you must not force fertile farmland, as uninterrupted productivity will soon exhaust it, so constant effort will sap our mental vigor, while a short period of rest and relaxation will restore our powers.
Lean into the discomfort of the work.
What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.
You are not tied to a particular position; your loyalty is not to a career or company.
Understand: people will constantly attack you in life. One of their main weapons will be to instill in you doubts about yourself. They will often disguise this as their objective opinion, but invariably it has a political purpose - they want to keep you down.
If it is time to rest, rest completely. A good rest rejuvenates you so that you may do quality work. If it is time to work, work with complete focus. Time spent working earnestly earns you a well deserved rest. Don't mix work and rest; this compromises the quality of both.
If you're more passionate about founding a business than the business itself, you can fall into a ten year trap. Better to stay emotionally unattached and select the best opportunity that arises. Applies to relationships too.
Weak men act to satisfy their needs, stronger men their duties.
A single day among the learned lasts longer than the longest life of the ignorant.
Discomfort is your friend. It doesn't matter if you're sick, if you have kids... if you're a pro, you go to work.
Finding information is easier than ever. Filtering information is harder than ever. We are bombarded with irrelevant data and unsolicited stimulation. Choosing what to ignore is as important as choosing what to pay attention to.
Bad companies are destroyed by crisis. Good companies survive them. Great individuals, like great companies, find a way to transform weakness into strength.
It's waiting that helps you as an investor, and a lot of people just can't stand to wait.
You need patience, discipline, and an agility to take losses and adversity without going crazy.
Our job is to find a few intelligent things to do, not to keep up with every damn thing in the world.
It's not supposed to be easy. Anyone who finds it easy is stupid.
Consider if you have behaved to all in such a way that this way be said of you: Never has he wronged a man in deed or word.
If you like doing something, do it regularly; if you don't like doing something, make a habit of doing something different. The same goes for moral inclinations. When you get angry, you should know that you aren't guilty of an isolated lapse, you've encouraged a trend and thrown fuel on the fire.
When jarred, unavoidably, by circumstance, revert at once to yourself and don't lose the rhythm more than you can help. You'll have a better grasp of harmony if you keep going back to it.
So you were born to feel nice? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don't you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you're not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren't you running to do what your nature demands?
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.
Take the shortest route, the one that nature planned - to speak and act in the healthiest way. Do that, and be free of pain and stress, free of all calculation and pretention.
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.
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.
As if you had died and your life had extended only to this present moment, use the surplus that is left to you to live from this time onward according to nature.
And thou wilt give thyself relief, if thou doest every act of thy life as if it were the last.
How long will you wait before you demand the best of yourself, and trust reason to determine what is best?
I will throw you into prison.' Correction - it is my body you will throw there.
When faced with anything painful or pleasurable, anything bringing glory or disrepute, realize that the crisis is now, that the Olympics have started, and waiting is no longer an option; that the chance for progress, to keep or lose, turns on the events of a single day.
In the morning, when you rise unwillingly, let this thought be present: I am rising to the work of a human being.
No man can escape his destiny, the next inquiry being how he may best live the time that he has to live.
Do you have reason? I have. Why then do you not use it?
Have I been made for this, to lie under the blankets and keep myself warm?
But I get to wear a crown of gold.' If you have your heart set on wearing crowns, why not make one out of roses - you will look even more elegant in that.
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'.
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.
The average man is a conformist, accepting miseries and disasters with the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain.
Don't get mad at others because life is kicking your ass.
What is to give light must endure burning.
Life is full of hostility ” some of it overt, some clever and underhanded.
Expect the river to be wild, surprising and challenging. To expect the opposite is to live in delusion.
You are scared of dying”and, tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different than being dead?
Unfollow the mind. Follow the heart. Mute the masses.
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.
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.
What upsets people is not things themselves, but their judgements about these things.
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.
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.
Whatever happens at all happens as it should; you will find this true, if you watch narrowly.
Why is this so unbearable? Why can't I endure it? You'll be embarrassed to answer.
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.
An hour of deeply contemplating your own moral failures will leave you feeling much more forgiving of the foibles of others.
Many will choose the stability of slavery over the uncertainty of freedom.
Much of what other people know isn't worth knowing.
To be stoic is not to be emotionless, but to remain unaffected by your emotions.
Success is based off of your willingness to work your ass off no matter what obstacles are in your way.
If you make happiness your goal, you'll be disappointed. If you make presence your goal, you'll be satisfied.
To be evenminded is the greatest virtue.
Just keep in mind: the more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.
The tranquility that comes when you stop caring what they say. Or think, or do. Only what you do.
It does not matter what you bear, but how you bear it.
He has the most who is content with the least.
Self-control is strength. Right thought is mastery. Calmness is power.
Learn to be indifferent to what makes no difference.
The willing are led by fate, the reluctant dragged.
Too many people believe that everything must be pleasurable in life.
If you are easily provoked you are easily controlled.
Be an island of calm in the sea of craziness.
Relentlessly prune bullshit, don't wait to do things that matter, and savor the time you have.
Be a master of the mind, not mastered by the mind.
The more you seek the uncomfortable, the more you will become comfortable.
If it's endurable, then endure it. Stop complaining.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.
In the mean time, cling tooth and nail to the following rule: not to give in to adversity, not to trust prosperity, and always take full note of fortune's habit of behaving just as she pleases.
Let us not postpone anything, let us engage in combats with life each day.
It's not that we have little time, but more that we waste a good deal of it.
Life will punch you in the face if your head gets too big. Don't ever pretend, don't lie, don't feel superior. Just be honest and do your own thing.
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.
The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyong themselves.
You are not affected by reality itself but by your interpretation of reality. A change of perspective changes everything.
A person who has built his life around pleasure is bound to be disillusioned. Hedonism is not sustainable, and it leaves a person empty. We are not meant to experience sustained pleasure. Therefore, to cope with the drab routine of daily existence, one must find meaning somewhere.
Life is a slow treadmill. People who stand still are actually going behind.
There is no beginning and there is no end to time. There is only your perception of time.
The easiest way to live unhappy and unsatisfied is to hope. More often than not, you'll be disappointed. Thus, your main aim should be to do the best you can right now and to expect nothing at all. Accept the way things turn out despite your best effort. That's the only path to a peaceful mind.
Because most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you'll have more time, and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, 'Is this necessary?'.
If you seek tranquility, do less. Or do what's essential - what the reason of a social being requires, and in the requisite way. Which brings a double satisfaction: to do less, better.
The fundamental human fallacy: the illusion that a change in external circumstances will lead to permanent bliss. That the attainment of a future goal will make you satisfied forever. The illusion is so entrenched that it persists despite being refuted by repeated experience.
So, concerning the things we pursue, and for which we vigorously exert ourselves, we owe this consideration - either there is nothing useful in them, or most aren't useful. Some of them are superfluous, while others aren't worth that much. But we don't discern this and see them as free, when they cost us dearly.
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.
Your food should appease your hunger, your drink quench your thirst, your clothing keep out the cold, your house be a protection against inclement weather. It makes no difference whether it is built of turf or of variegated marble imported from another country.
Barley porridge, or a crust of bread, and water do not make a very cheerful diet, but nothing gives one keener pleasure than the ability to derive pleasure even from thatŠ”Šand the feeling of having arrived at something which one cannot be deprived of by any unjust stroke of fortune.
Set aside now and then a number of days during which you will be content with the plainest of food, and very little of it, and with rough, coarse clothing, and will ask yourself, 'Is this what one used to dread?
Never have I put my trust in fortune, even when she appeared to be offering peace; all those gifts she bestowed on me in her kindness ” money, position, influence ” I stored where she would be able to reclaim them with no disturbance to me.
It is essential to make oneself used to putting up with a little. Even the wealthy and the well provided are continually met and frustrated by difficult times and situations. It is in no man's power to have whatever he wants; but he has it in his power not to wish for what he hasn't got, and cheerfully make the most of the things that do come his way.
The happiness of those who want to be popular depends on others; the happiness of those who seek pleasure fluctuates with moods outside their control; but the happiness of the wise grows out of their own free acts.
When you transform your mind, everything you experience is transformed.
The expectation that you bring to your meditation are often the greatest obstacles you will encounter.
Happiness isn't outside of us, but actually comes from within.
Happiness is not to acquire and enjoy, but nothing to be desired, as it is to be free.
I am happy because I want nothing from anyone. I do not care for money. Decorations, titles or distinctions mean nothing to me. I do not crave praise. The only thing that gives me pleasure, apart from my work, my violin and my sailboat, is the appreciation of my fellow workers.
When you internalize that the source of your satisfaction is within you not without, you are then prepared to receive bliss that never ends because it does not rely on the ever changing external circumstances.
Contentment doesn't mean you stop improving your situation. In fact it has nothing to do with your external situation. It is a state of mind in which your happiness does not depend on external circumstances. It is the absence of neediness. You become self sufficient.
Getting more of something has not satisfied anyone. It will not satisfy you either. It will only increase your discontent. He who has little can be content, but not the one who has a lot. The more one attains, the higher the expectations, and the greater the discontent.
We humans are unhappy in large part because we are insatiable; after working hard to get what we want, we routinely lose interest in the object of our desire. Rather than feeling satisfied, we feel a bit bored, and in response to this boredom, we go on to form new, even grander desires.
The most important reason to live in the moment is nothing lasts forever. Enjoy the moment while it's in front of you. Be present. Accept life for what it is: a finite span of time with infinite possibilities.
It is impossible that happiness, and yearning for what is not present, should ever be united.
Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times.
As long as you remember that everything is exactly how it's supposed to be, you will always be sane.
Amor fati - Love your fate, which is in fact your life.
Don't demand or expect that events happen as you would wish them to. Accept events as they actually happen. That way peace is possible.
Once you've truly controlled your own fate, for better or for worse, you'll never let anyone else tell you what to do.
It is better to perform one's own predetermined duty, even if one performs that duty imperfectly, than perform the duty of another. When one performs his own predetermined duty in accordance with one's nature, one does not incur any sin.
Human beings want control and certainty. Accepting fate means the opposite. That's why it seems absurd to us.
Everything comes and goes in life. Happiness and unhappiness are temporary experiences that rise from sense perception. Heat and cold, pleasure and pain, will come and go. They never last forever. So, do not get attached to them. We have no control over them.
In all things we should try to make ourselves be as grateful as possible.
Whatever anyone does or says, I'm bound to the good. Whatever anyone does or says, I must be what I am and show my true colors.
Death could be around the corner, for you, for your friends and for your family. I'm not trying to scare you. I'm just realist.
Consider the abyss of time past, infinite future. Three das of life or three generations: what's the difference?
Life is so hard, how can we be anything but kind?
Everywhere, at each moment, you have the option: to accept this event with humility; to treat this person as he should be treated; to approach this thought with care, so that nothing irrational creeps in.
Focus on what nature demands, as if you were governed by that alone. Then do that, and accept it, unless your nature as a living being would be degraded by it.
Only these two questions: Is what he's doing now the right thing to be doing? Does he accept and welcome what he's been assigned?
Accept things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.
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.'
He who does not desire or fear the uncertain day or capricious fate, is equal to the gods above and loftier than mortals.
Man's character is his fate.
Timendi causa est nescire ” Ignorance is the cause of fear.
Don't let your fears paralyze you into becoming a lesser version of yourself. Eliminate fear by confronting what you're afraid of.
I'm not asking you to be fearless. I'm asking you to be courageous.
If anyone can refute meš show me I'm making a mistake or looking at things from the wrong perspectiveš I'll gladly change. It's the truth I'm after.
Many of the anxieties that harass you are superfluous... Expand into an ampler region, letting your thought sweep over the entire universe.
We define ourselves far too often by our past failures. That's not you. You are this person right now. You're the person who has learned from those failures.
Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done.
No amount of anxiety makes any difference to anything that is going to happen.
Life's three best teachers: heartbreak, empty pocket, failures.
Fear is the basis of all suffering. Both desire and anger are manifestations of fear. Fear itself is a creation of your mind. It does not exist independently. Since it is a fabrication, you don't have to fight it. Just understand it. Understanding is the key to freedom.
Don't let fear, low self-esteem and the negative voices hold you back from your true destiny.
Learn to fail with pride ” and do so fast and cleanly. Maximise trial and error ” by mastering the error part.
The cause of an event is often unclear. You will feel less anxiety if you can learn to be comfortable with ambiguity.
Human beings worry incessantly about their social status. Making every device socially connected turned every device into an anxiety machine. The machine becomes symbolic of the set of all people that may be judging you. If hell is other people then hell is in our pocket.
If you are ever tempted to look for outside approval, realize that you have compromised your integrity. If you need a witness, be your own.
Focus on the moment, not the monsters that may or may not be up ahead.
Live as if you died, but were resuscitated and every minute was a gift.
He has stripped away his body and - realizing that at some point soon he will have to abandon mankind and leave all this behind - has dedicated himself to serving justice in all he does, and nature in all that happens.
Keep death and exile before your eyes each day, along with everything that seems terrible ” by doing so, you'll never have a base thought nor will you have excessive desire.
There will come a time in the distant future, where no one will know who you were, no one will know of your existence and contributions, no one will know your pain and suffering, and your happiness. Time will wipe away both men and the memories of men. Let yourself be free.
Things you won't say on your deathbed: I wish I paid more attention to what other people think.
Life is all the more precious and beautiful because it is so fleeting.
I'm not afraid of dying. I'm afraid not to have lived.
By contemplating the impermanence of everything in the world, we are forced to recognize that every time we do something could be the last time we do it, and this recognition can invest the things we do with a significance and intensity that would otherwise be absent.
Some reach the heights of power. Some live quiet lives of virtue and purpose. Some seek nothing but mischief. All find their way to the grave. Time will make ashes of us all. Do not squander this moment. It will not come again.
What is quite unlooked for is more crushing in its effect, and unexpectedness adds to the weight of a disaster. The fact that it was unforeseen has never failed to intensify a person's grief. This is a reason for ensuring that nothing ever takes us by surprise. We should project our thoughts ahead of us at every turn and have in mind every possible eventuality instead of only the usual course of events.
This is why we need to envisage every possibility and to strengthen the spirit to deal with the things which may conceivably come about. Rehearse them in your mind: exile, torture, war, shipwreck. Misfortune may snatch you away from your country... If we do not want to be overwhelmed and struck numb by rare events as if they were unprecedented ones; fortune needs envisaging in a thoroughly comprehensive way.
That person has lost their children: you too, can lose yours; that person received sentence of death: your innocence too, stands under the hammer. This is the fallacy that takes us in and makes us weak while we suffer misfortunes that we never foresaw that we could suffer. The person who has anticipated the coming of troubles takes away their power when they arrive.
Since every man dies, it is better to die with distinction than to live long.
It's better to conquer grief than to deceive it.
Let us prepare our minds as if we'd come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing.
All cruelty springs from weakness.
Being angry means your lizard brain took control. Being calm means you stayed above your emotions.
Happiness is a choice. Forgiveness is a choice. Acceptance, anger, desire, love... all choices. Your time. Your choice.
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.
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.
Whatever seems lofty is dangerous... Those whom an unfavorable fortune has placed in a critical position will be safer if they eliminate pride from their proud circumstances and bring down their fortune as much as possible to a lowly state.
Zoom out. In the grand scheme of things, is this really going to affect you? We can't even remember what we were doing 5 days ago, let alone five years. What matters is how you feel now. If it makes you upset, let it go. If it feels good, let it consume you.
Do not envy those who seems naturally gifted; it is often a curse.
When you think you're done, you're only at 40% of your body's capability.
Even if you are hurting, never let your competition see the look of defeat or even vulnerability on your face.
You're never given more pain than you can handle.
It will only hurt if you keep remembering it but a true stoic looks forward.
What is the point of dragging up sufferings that are over, of being miserable now, because you were miserable then?
You don't suffer because things are impermanent. You suffer because things are impermanent and you think they are permanent.
Change is never painful, only your resistance to change is painful.
A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.
You need not look about for the reward of a just deed; a just deed in itself offers a still greater return.
A nation is born stoic, and dies epicurean.
Your existence, my existence is just infinitesimal. It's like a firefly blinking once in the night.
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.
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.
Effortless stoicism will come when you have dismantled everything in your mind that produces reactions.
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.
You will eventually die and the world will keep moving.
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?
Why do I keep repeating harmful behaviors/habits when I know they are bad for me? Because they give you pleasure or help you avoid discomfort. And you are too weak to let go of a little pleasure or to bear a little discomfort.
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.
Conviction is much more powerful than positive thinking. Positive thinking is fragile and easily shattered by random tragedy. Random tragedy is an inevitable feature of life. Conviction guides you through misfortune. It does not wish it away. Purpose outdoes positivity.
Always resignation and acceptance. Always prudence and honour and duty.
Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one.
True rewards - wealth, knowledge, love, fitness, and equanimity - come from ignoring others and improving ourselves.
A man is no bigger than the smallest thing that provokes him.
Some can delay gratification. Others don't seek it at all. Be the latter.
The news allows you to dedicate massive amounts of energy and attention to things you probably cannot impact while the things you can impact go unaddressed.
Learn to detach yourself from the chaos of the battlefield.
The wise man needs nothing and yet he can make good use of anything, whereas the fool 'needs' countless things but can make good use of none of them.
Welcome if it comes. Let go if it goes. Chase nothing. Cling to nothing. Remain unconcerned.
Wisdom lies in cheerful acceptance of whatever life throws at you.
Don't allow yourself to be heard any longer griping about public life, not even with your own ears!
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.
We must remember: There is no easy way.
Genius often really is just persistence in disguise.
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.
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.
What is the work of a Master? said a solemn-faced visitor. To teach people to laugh, said the Master gravely.
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.
Intelligence consists in ignoring things that are irrelevant.
The wise man listens to meaning, the fool only gets the noise.
Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behaviour, not because they won or lost.
The fragile wants tranquility, the antifragile grows from disorder, and the robust doesn't care too much.
That which we desire lies across an ocean of hard won knowledge.
True will is quiet humility, resilience, and flexibility; the other kind of will is weakness disguised by bluster and ambition.
This is the mark of perfection of character”to spend each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, laziness, or any pretending.
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.
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.
When you're called upon to speak, then speak, but never about banalities like gladiators, horses, sports, food and drink - common-place stuff. Above all don't gossip about people, praising, blaming or comparing them.
You are composed of three things: body, breath , intelligence. Of these the first two are yours insofar as it is your duty to take care of them; but the third alone is truly yours.
Do not waste what remains of your life in speculating about your neighbors, unless with a view to some mutual benefit. To wonder what so-and-so is doing and why, or what he is saying, or thinking, or scheming - in a word, anything that distracts you from fidelity to the ruler within you - means a loss of opportunity for some other task.
True good fortune is what you make for yourself. Good fortune: good character, good intentions, good actions.
It is in our power to have no opinion about a thing and not to be disturbed in our soul; for things themselves have no natural power to form our judgments.
I see no virtue that is opposed to justice; but I see a virtue that is opposed to love of pleasure, and that is temperance.
Settle on the type of person you want to be and stick to it, whether alone or in company.
It will even do to socialize with men of good character, in order to model your life on theirs, whether you choose someone living or someone from the past.
Remember, too, on every occasion that leads you to vexation to apply this principle: not that this is a misfortune, but that to bear it nobly is good fortune.
Do not be perturbed, for all things are according to the nature of the universal; and in a little time you will be nobody and nowhere.
To be the same in all circumstances - intense pain, the loss of a child, chronic illness. And to see clearly, from his example, that a man can show both strength and flexility.
Do not let your thoughts at once embrace all the various troubles that you may expect to befall you: but on every occasion ask yourself, What is there in this that is intolerable and past bearing? For you will be ashamed to confess.
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.
Let it make no difference to you whether you are cold or warm, if you are doing your duty; and whether you are drowsy or satisfied with sleep; and whether ill-spoken of or praised; and whether dying or doing something else.
Remember this, that there is a proper dignity and proportion to be observed in the performance of every act of life.
Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.
If then there is an invincible necessity, why do you resist?
Human life. Duration: momentary. Nature: changeable. Perception: dim. Conditions of body: decaying. Soul: spinning around. Fortune: unpredictable. Lasting fame: uncertain.
Yes, keep on degrading yourself, soul. But soon your chance at dignity will be gone. Everyone gets one life. Yours is almost used up, and instead of treating yourself with respect, you have entrusted your own happiness to the souls of others.
What can guide us? Only philosophy. Which means making sure that the power within stays safe and free from assault, superior to pleasure and pain, doing nothing randomly or dishonestly and with imposture, not dependent on anyone else's doing something or not doint it.
The present is all that they can give up, since that is all you have, and what you do not have, you cannot lose.
Do external things distract you? Then make time for yourself to learn something worthwhile; stop letting yourself be pulled in all directions.
Marcus Aurelius: Are you ready to do your duty for Rome? Commodus: Yes, father.
Your faults as a son is my failure as a father.
For 25 years, I have conquered, spilt blood, expanded the empire. Since I became Caesar, I have known four years without war, four years of peace in twenty. And for what? I brought the sword. Nothing more.
Maximus: Caesar, your life... Marcus Aurelius: Please. Please, don't call me that. Please, come sit. Let us talk together now, very simply, as men. Maximus, talk.
Marcus Aurelius: I want you to become the protector of Rome after I die. I will empower you to one end alone: To give power back to the people of Rome, and end the corruption that has crippled it. Will you accept this great honor I have offered you? Maximus: With all my heart, no.
A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.
No one is laughable who laughs at himself.
When love is in excess it brings a man no honor nor worthiness.
When a good man is hurt, all who would be called good must suffer with him.
Marcus Aurelius: You have proven your valor once again, Maximus. Let us hope for the last time. Maximus: There is no one left to fight, sire. Marcus Aurelius: There is always someone left to fight.
How will the world speak my name in years to come? Will I be known as the philosopher? The warrior? The tyrant...? Or will I be the emperor who gave Rome back her true self?
Keep silence for the most part, and speak only when you must, and then briefly.
No greater 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 you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.
Difficulties are things that show a person what they are.
No man steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.
It is in changing that we find purpose.
Wisdom is the oneness of mind that guides and permeates all things.
Man conquers the world by conquering himself.
No evil is honorable, but death is honorable, therefore death is not evil.
It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.
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.
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 was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.
In a little while you will have forgotten everything; in a little while everything will have forgotten you.
Now it is in my power to let no badness be in this soul, nor desire nor any perturbation at all; but looking at all things, I see their true nature, and I use each according to its value.
Take me and cast me where you will; for there I shall keep my divine part tranquil, that is, content, if it can feel and act conformably to its proper constitution.
The man who spends his time choosing one resort after another in a hunt for peace and quiet, will in every place he visits find something to prevent him from relaxing.
Show me one person who cares how they act, someone for whom success is less important than the manner in which it is achieved. While out walking, who gives any thought to the act of walking itself? Who pays attention to the process of planning, not just the outcome?
The way he handled the material comforts that fortune had supplied him in such abundance - without arrogance and without apology. If they were there, he took advantage of them. If not, he didn't miss them.
To rest in these principles only: the one, that nothing will happen to me which is not conformable to the nature of the universe; and the other, that it is in my power never to act contrary to my god and daimon: for there is no man who will compel me to this.
It is a proper work of a man to be benevolent to his own kind, to despise the movements of the senses, to form a just judgment of plausible appearances, and to take a survey of the nature of the universe and of the things that happen in it.
Constantly recall those who have complained greatly about anything, those who have been most conspicuous by the greatest fame or misfortunes or enmities or fortunes of any kind: then think, where are they all now? Smoke and ash and a tale, or not even a tale.
Observe constantly that all things take place by change, and accustom thyself to consider that the nature of the Universe loves nothing so much as to change the things which are, and to make new things like them.
Others have been plundered, indiscriminately, set upon, betrayed, beaten up, attacked with poison or with calumny - mention anything you like, it has happened to plenty of people.
With respect to what may happen to you from without, consider that it happens either by chance or according to Providence, and you must neither blame chance nor accuse Providence.
To move from one unselfish action to another with God in mind. Only there, delight and stillness.
He who is afraid of pain will sometimes also be afraid of some of the things that will happen in the world, and even this is impiety. And he who pursues pleasure will not abstain from injustice, and this is plainly impiety.
A fool cannot be convinced or even compelled to renounce his folly.' God save me from fools with a little philosophy - no one is more difficult to reach.
You ought to realize, you take up very little space in the world as a whole - your body, that is; in reason, however, you yield to no one, not even to the gods, because reason is not measured in size but sense. So why not care for that side of you, where you and the gods are equals?
You might as well get on your knees and pray that your nose won't run. A better idea would be to wipe your nose and forgo the prayer. The point is, isn't there anything God gave you for your present problem?
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.
Injustice is impiety. For since the universal nature has made rational animals for the sake of one another to help one another according to their deserts, but in no way to injure one another, he who transgresses her will is clearly guilty of impiety toward the highest divinity.
The gods are not to blame. They do nothing wrong, on purpose or by accident. Nor men either; they don't do it on purpose. No one is to blame.
Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature's delight.
The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.
How easy it is to repel and to wipe away every impression which is troublesome or unsuitable, and immediately to be in all tranquility.
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.
Does what's happened keep you from acting with justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straightforwardness, and all other qualities that allow a person's nature to fulfill itself? So remember this principle when something threatens to cause you pain: the thing itself was no misfortune at all; to endure it and prevail is great good fortune.
Stop allowing yourself your mind to be a slave, to be jerked about by selfish impulses, to kick against fate and the present, and to mistrust the future.
Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs?
The world is maintained by change - in the elements and in the things they compose. That should be enough for you; treat it as an axiom.
But if you accept the obstacle and work with what you're given, an alternative will present itself - another piece of what you're trying to assemble. Action by action.
Bear in mind that everything that exists is already fraying at the edges, and in transition, subject to fragmentation and to rot. Or that everything was born to die.
Before long, nature, which controls it all, will alter everything you see and use it as material for something else - over and over again. So that the world is continually renewed.
Don't be disappointed if you return home with the very same set of ideas you arrived with. Because you had no intention of changing, correcting or adopting others in their place.
If we try to adapt our mind to the regular sequence of changes and accept the inevitable with good grace, our life will proceed quite smoothly and harmoniously.
In like manner view also the other epochs of time and of whole nations, and see how many after great efforts soon fell and were resolved into the elements.
All things are changing: and you yourself are in continuous mutation and in a manner in continuous destruction, and the whole universe, too.
Everything that exists is in a manner the seed of that which will be.
It is in no man's power to have whatever he wants; but he has it in his power not to wish for what he hasn't got, and cheerfully make the most of the things that do come his way.
Observe always that everything is the result of change, and get used to thinking that there is nothing nature loves so well as to change existing forms and make new ones like them.
So does this misfortune prevent you in any way from being just, generous, sober, reasonable, careful, free from error, courteous, free, etc. - all of which together make human nature complete?
Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too.
Acquire the contemplative way of seeing how all things change into one another, and constantly attend to it, and exercise yourself about this part of philosophy. For nothing is so much adapted to produce magnanimity.
When it comes to all we're required to go through, we're equals. No one is more vulnerable than the next man, and no one can be more sure of his surviving to the morrow.
If any man is able to convince me and show me that I do not think or act right, I will gladly change; for I seek the truth by which no man was ever injured. But he is injured who abides in his error and ignorance.
I am unhappy, because this has happened to me. Not so: say, I am happy, though this has happened to me, because I continue free from pain, neither crushed by the present nor fearing the future.
A setback has often cleared the way for greater prosperity. Many things have fallen only to rise to more exalted heights.
Another thing which will help you is to turn your mind to other thoughts and that way get away from your suffering. Call to mind things which you have done that have been upright or courageous; run over in your mind the finest parts you have played.
Don't be ashamed to need help. Like a soldier storming a wall, you have a mission to accomplish. And if you've been wounded and you need a comrade to pull you up? So what?
There are times when even to live is an act of bravery.
Throw away your books; stop letting yourself be distracted.
The best way to avenge yourself is to not be like that.
At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: I have to go to work ” as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I'm going to do what I was born for ” the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?
Don't be overheard complaining... Not even to yourself.
Such as are your habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of your mind.
Very little is needed for everything to be upset and ruined, only a slight lapse in reason.
Is a world without shameless people possible? No. So this person you've just met is one of them. Get over it.
Perfection of character is this: to live each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, without apathy, without pretence.
The operations of the will are in our power; not in our power are the body, the body's parts, property, parents, siblings, children, country or friends.
Stick with the situation at hand, and ask, Why is this so unbearable? Why can't I endure it? You'll be embarrassed to answer.
You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can't control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.
Yes, you can - if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered, irritable.
You see how few things you have to do to live a satisfying and reverent life? If you can manage this, that's all even the gods can ask of you.
Remember to act always as if you were at a symposium. When the food or drink comes around, reach out and take some politely; if it passes you by don't try pulling it back. And if it has not reached you yet, don't let your desire run ahead of you, be patient until your turn comes.
Labor willingly and diligently, undistracted and aware of the common interest.
Remember, it is not enough to be hit or insulted to be harmed, you must believe that you are being harmed. If someone succeeds in provoking you, realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation. Take a moment before reacting, and you will find it is easier to maintain control.
When you have been compelled by circumstances to be disturbed in a manner, quickly return to yourself and do not continue out of tune longer than the compulsion lasts.
In whatever I do, either by myself or with another, I must direct my energies to this alone, that it shall conduce to the common interest and be in harmony with it.
The mind that is free from passions is a citadel, for man has nothing more secure to which he can fly for refuge and repel every attack.
We should discipline ourselves in small things, and from there progress to things of greater value. If you have a headache, practise not cursing. Don't curse every time you have an earache. And I'm not saying that you can't complain, only don't complain with your whole being.
Look not round at the depraved morals of others, but run straight along the line without deviating from it.
From Maximus I learned self-government, and not to be led aside by anything; and cheerfulness in all circumstances, as well as in illness.
Abstinence, not only from evil deeds, but even from evil thoughts; and further, simplicity in my way of living, far removed from the habits of the rich.
The recognition that I needed to train and discipline my character.
To read attentively - not to be satisfied with 'just getting the gist of it'. And not to fall for every smooth talker.
Self-control and resistance to distractions.
Doing your job, without whining.
Not to busy myself about trifling things.
The sense he gave of 'staying' on the path rather than being 'kept' on it.
Drunkenness inflames and lays bare every vice, removing the reserve that acts as a chuck on impulses to wrong behaviour.
Justice will not be observed, if we either care for indifferent things or are easily deceived and careless and changeable.
Turn your desire to stone. Quench your appetites. Keep your mind centered on itself.
If you want to be a man of honour and a man of your word, who is going to stop you? You say you don't want to be obstructed or forced to do something against your will - well, who is going to force you to desire things that you don't approve, or dislike something against your better judgement?
Consider at what price you sell your integrity; but please, for God's sake, don't sell it cheap.
It is in your power whenever you choose to retire into yourself. For there is no retreat that is quieter or freer from trouble than a man's own soul.
Be like the promontory against which the waves continually break; but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it.
Independence and unvarying reliability, and to pay attention to nothing, no matter how fleetingly, except the logos.
Good morals and the government of my temper.
Compassion. Unwavering adherence to decisions, once he'd reached them. Indifference to superficial honors. Hard work. Persistence.
They saw him for what he was: a man tested by life, accomplished, unswayed by flattery, qualified to govern both himself and them.
That he respected tradition without needing to constantly congratulate himself for safeguarding our traditional values.
What is your art? To be good. And how is this accomplished well except by general principles, some about the nature of the universe, and others about the proper constitution of man?
When a guide meets up with someone who is lost, ordinarily his reaction is to direct him on the right path, not mock or malign him, then turn on his heel and walk away. As for you, lead someone to the truth and you will find that he can follow. But as long as you don't point it out to him, don't make fun of him; be aware of what you need to work on instead.
If you have been placed in a position above others, are you automatically going to behave like a despot? Remember who you are and whom you govern - that they are kinsmen, brothers by nature, fellow descendants of Zeus.
'Well, what will my profession in the community be?' Whatever position you are equipped to fill, so long as you preserve the man of trust and integrity.
Perhaps there are none more lazy, or more truly ignorant, than your everlasting readers.
Let men see, let them know, a real man, who lives as he was meant to live.
So when you hear that even life and the like are indifferent, don't become apathetic; and by the same token, when you're advised to care about them, don't become superficial and conceive a passion for externals.
Whenever externals are more important to you than your own integrity, then be prepared to serve them the remainder of your life.
Being attached to many things, we are weighed down and dragged along with them.
Nothing important comes into being overnight; even grapes or figs need time to ripen. If you say that you want a fig now, I will tell you to be patient. First, you must allow the tree to flower, then put forth fruit; then you have to wait until the fruit is ripe. So if the fruit of a fig tree is not brought to maturity instantly or in an hour, how do you expect the human mind to come to fruition, so quickly and easily?
Never get into family fights over material things; give them up willingly, and your moral standing will increase in proportion.
If you are pained by external things, it is not they that disturb you, but your own judgement of them. And it is in your power to wipe out that judgement now.
To be sure, external things of whatever kind require skill in their use, but we must not grow attached to them; whatever they are, they should only serve for us to show how skilled we are in our handling of them.
Do as Socrates did, never replying to the question of where he was from with, I am Athenian, or I am from Corinth, but always, I am a citizen of the world.
What is the goal of virtue, after all, except a life that flows smoothly?
For where else is friendship found if not with fairness, reliability and respect for virtue only?
Just prove to me that you are trustworthy, high-minded and reliable, and that your intentions are benign - prove to me that your jar doesn't have a hole in it - and you'll find that I won't even wait for you to open your heart to me, I'll be the first to implore you to lend an ear to my own affairs.
When you have done a good act and another has received it, why do you look for a third thing besides these, as fools do, either to have the reputation of having done a good act or to obtain a return?
If money is your only standard, then consider that, by your lights, someone who loses their nose does not suffer any harm.
It is not right that anything of any other kind, such as praise from the many, or power, or enjoyment of pleasure, should come into competition with that which is rationally and politically and practically good.
Perhaps the desire of the thing called fame torments you. See how soon everything is forgotten, and look at the chaos of infinite time on each side of the present, and the emptiness of applause, and the fickleness and lack of judgment in those who pretend to give praise, and the narrowness of its domain, and be quiet at last.
Or is it your reputation that's bothering you? But look at how soon we're all forgotten. The abyss of endless time that swallows it all. The emptiness of those applauding hands. The people who praise us; how capricious they are, how arbitrary. And the tiny region it takes place. The whole earth a point in space - and most of it uninhabited.
Give thyself time to learn something new and good, and cease to be whirled around.
Despise not death, but welcome it, for nature wills it like all else.
Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now take what's left and live it properly.
Death and pain are not frightening, its the fear of pain and death we need to fear. Which is why we praise the poet who wrote, Death is not fearful, but dying like a coward is.
On the occasion of every act ask yourself, How is this with respect to me? Will I regret it? A little time and I am dead, and all is gone.
Speaking for myself, I hope death overtakes me when I'm occupied solely with the care of my character, in an effort to make it passionless, free, unrestricted and unrestrained.
Not to live as if you had endless years ahead of you. Death overshadows you. While you're alive and able - be good.
Death, like birth, is a secret of Nature.
When somebody's wife or child dies, to a man we all routinely say, 'Well, that's part of life.' But if one of our own family is involved, then right away it's 'Poor, poor me!' We would do better to remember how we react when a similar loss afflicts others.
Every part of me then will be reduced by change into some part of the universe, and that again will change into another part of the universe, and so on forever.
Since it is possible that you might depart from life this very moment, regulate every act and thought accordingly.
Think continually that all kinds of men, pursuits, and nations are dead.
How quickly things disappear: in the universe the bodies themselves, but in time the memory of them.
Whether it is a dispersion, or a resolution into atoms, or annihilation, it is either extinction or change.
Finally, waiting for death with a cheerful mind, as being nothing else than a dissolution of the elements of which every living being is compounded. But if there is no harm to the elements themselves in each continually changing into another, why should a man have any apprehension about the change and dissolution of all the elements?
Death is necessary and cannot be avoided. I mean, where am I going to go to get away from it?
Think not disdainfully of death, but look on it with favor; for even death is one of the things that Nature wills.
One thing I know: all the works of mortal man lie under sentence of mortality; we live among things that are destined to perish.
Death is a release from the impressions of the senses, and from desires that make us their puppets, and from the vagaries of the mind, and from the hard service of the flesh.
Because we're the only animals who not only die but are conscious of it even while it happens, we are beset by anxiety.
This, then, is consistent with the character of a reflecting man, to be neither careless nor impatient nor contemptuous with respect to death, but to wait for it as one of the operations of nature.
The act of dying is one of the acts of life.
Death is not an evil. What is it then? The one law mankind has that is free of all discrimination.
There is no man so fortunate that there shall not be by him when he is dying some who are pleased with what is going to happen.
I cannot escape death, but at least I can escape the fear of it.
When thou art above measure angry, bethink thee how momentary is man's life.
Who wants to live with delusion and prejudice, being unjust, undisciplined, mean and ungrateful? 'No one.' No bad person, then, lives the way he wants, and no bad man is free.
He who does wrong does wrong against himself. He who acts unjustly acts unjustly to himself, because he makes himself bad.
Show me someone untroubled with disturbing thoughts about illness, danger, death, exile or loss of reputation. By all the gods, I want to see a Stoic!
Not to display anger or other emotions. To be free of passion and yet full of love.
When another blames you or hates you, or when men say anything injurious about you, approach their poor souls, penetrate within, and see what kind of men they are. You will discover that there is no reason to be concerned that these men have this or that opinion about you.
Consider how much more you often suffer from your anger and grief, than from those very things for which you are angry and grieved.
Pain is neither intolerable nor everlasting if you bear in mind that it has its limits, and if you add nothing to it in imagination.
Now think of the things which goad man into destroying man: they are hope, envy, hatred, fear and contempt.
Our anger and annoyance are more detrimental to us than the things themselves which anger or annoy us.
If you shall be afraid not because you must some time cease to live, but if you shall fear never to have begun to live according to nature - then you will be a man worthy of the universe that has produced you, and you will cease to be a stranger in your native land.
The love of power or money or luxurious living are not the only things which are guided by popular thinking. We take our cue from people's thinking even in the way we feel pain.
'My brother is unfair to me.' Well then, keep up your side of the relationship; don't concern yourself with his behaviour, only with what you must do to keep your will in tune with nature.
If you don't want to be cantankerous, don't feed your temper, or multiply incidents of anger. Suppress the first impulse to be angry, then begin to count the days on which you don't get mad.
Provoked by the sight of a handsome man or a beautiful woman, you will discover within you the contrary power of self-restraint. Faced with pain, you will discover the power of endurance. If you are insulted, you will discover patience. In time, you will grow to be confident that there is not a single impression that you will not have the moral means to tolerate.
So there is the comforting thing about extremities of pain: if you feel it too much you are bound to stop feeling it.
Why should we feel anger at the world? As if the world would notice?
A man must learn a great deal to enable him to pass a correct judgment on another man's acts.
It's silly to try to escape other people's faults. They are inescapable. Just try to escape your own.
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?
Pain too is just a scary mask: look under it and you will see. The body sometimes suffers, but relief is never far behind. And if that isn't good enough for you, the door stands open; otherwise put up with it. The door needs to stay open whatever the circumstances, with the result that our problems disappear.
The mind maintains its own tranquillity by retiring into itself, and the ruling faculty is not made worse. But the parts that are harmed by pain, let them, if they can, give their opinion about it.
It is our own opinions that disturb us. Take away these opinions then, and resolve to dismiss your judgment about an act as if it were something grievous, and your anger is gone.
When another blames you or hates you, or people voice similar criticisms, go to their souls, penetrate inside and see what sort of people they are. You will realize that there is no need to be racked with anxiety that they should hold any particular opinion about you.
With what are you discontented? With the badness of men? Recall to your mind this conclusion, that rational animals exist for one another, and that to endure is a part of justice, and that men do wrong involuntarily.
When you are offended at any man's fault, immediately turn to yourself and reflect in what manner you yourself have erred: for example, in thinking that money is a good thing or pleasure, or a bit of reputation, and the like.
You don't have to turn this into something. It doesn't have to upset you. Things can't shape our decisions by themselves.
If they've injured you, then they're the ones who suffer for it. But have they?
I do what is mine to do; the rest doesn't disturb me. The rest is inanimate, or has no logos, or it wanders at random and has lost the road.
Let it happen, if it wants, to whatever it can happen to. And what's affected can complain about it if it wants. It doesn't hurt me unless I interpret its happening as harmful to me. I can choose not to.
To live in peace, immune to all compulsion. Let them scream whatever they want.
Consider that you also do many things wrong, and that you are a man like others; and even if you do abstain from certain faults, still you have the disposition to commit them, though either through cowardice, or concern about reputation, or some such mean motive, you abstain from such faults.
No time for reading. For controlling your arrogance, yes. For overcoming pain and pleasure, yes. For outgrowing ambition, yes. For not feeling anger at stupid and unpleasant people - even for caring about them - for that, yes.
To be angry at something means you've forgotten: That everything that happens is natural. That the responsibility is theirs, not yours.
Practice really hearing what people say. Do your best to get inside their minds.
How trivial the things we want so passionately are.
Discard your misperceptions. Stop being jerked like a puppet. Limit yourself to the present.
Just that you do the right thing. The rest doesn't matter.
Live out your life in truth and justice, tolerant of those who are neither true nor just.
Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.
How small a part of the boundless and unfathomable time is assigned to every man! For it is very soon swallowed up in the eternal. And how small a part of the whole substance! And how small a part of the universal soul! And on what a small clod of the whole earth you creep!
Say to yourself each time, He did what he believed was right.
Whenever anyone criticizes or wrongs you, remember that they are only doing or saying what they think is right. They cannot be guided by your views, only their own; so if their views are wrong, they are the ones who suffer insofar as they are misguided.
Constantly and, if it be possible, on the occasion of every impression on the soul, apply to it the principles of physics, ethics, and dialectics .
When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surely... None of them can hurt me. Don't waste the rest of your time here worrying about other people... It will keep you from doing anything useful. Why do you not rather act than complain?
Perfect tranquility within consists in the good ordering of the mind, the realm of your own.
Why are we still lazy, indifferent and dull? Why do we look for excuses to avoid training and exercising our powers of reason?
Because what is a human being? Part of a community - the community of gods and men, primarily, and secondarily that of the city we happen to inhabit, which is only a microcosm of the universe in toto.
Resolve to accept whatever happens as necessary and familiar, flowing like water from that same source and spring.
For what does reason purport to do? Establish what is true, eliminate what is false and suspend judgement in doubtful cases.
Either all things proceed from one intelligent source and come together as in one body, and the part ought not to find fault with what is done for the benefit of the whole; or there are only atoms, and nothing else than mixture and dispersion. Why, then, are you disturbed?
Whether the universe is a concourse of atoms, or nature is a system, let this first be established: that I am a part of the whole that is governed by nature; next, that I stand in some intimate connection with other kindred parts.
Whatever the nature of the whole does, and whatever serves to maintain it, is good for every part of nature.
To investigate and analyze, with understanding and logic, the principles we ought to live by.
Whatever the universal nature assigns to any man at any time is for the good of that man at that time.
Enough of this miserable, whining life. Stop monkeying around! Why are you troubled? What's new here? What's so confounding? The one responsible? Take a good look. Or just the matter itself? Then look at that. There's nothing else to look at. And as far as the gods go, by now you could try being more straightforward and kind. It's the same, whether you've examined these things for a hundred years, or only three.
If, at some point in your life, you should come across anything better than justice, honesty, self-control, courage - than a mind satisfied that is has succeeded in enabling you to act rationally, and satisfied to accept what's beyond its control - if you find anything better than that, embrace it without reservations - it must be an extraordinary thing indeed - and enjoy it to the full.
Where a man can live, he can also live well.
Treat what you don't have as nonexistent. Look at what you have, the things you value most, and think of how much you'd crave them if you didn't have them. But be careful. Don't feel such satisfaction that you start to overvalue them - that it would upset you to lose them.
Just ask whether they put their self-interest in externals or in moral choice. If it's in externals, you cannot call them friends, any more than you can call them trustworthy, consistent, courageous or free.
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.
When they're really possessed by what they do, they'd rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts.
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills... There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind... So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.
The things that are essential are acquired with little bother; it is the luxuries that call for toil and effort.
When you wish to delight yourself, think of the virtues of those who live with you; for instance, the activity of one, the modesty of another, the liberality of a third, and some other good quality of a fourth.
To the gods I am indebted for having good grandfathers, good parents, a good sister, good teachers, good associates, good kinsmen and friends, nearly everything good. For all these [blessings in my life] require the help of the gods and fortune.
All you need are these: certainty of judgment in the present moment; action for the common good in the present moment; and an attitude of gratitude in the present moment for anything that comes your way.
Nothing is burdensome if taken lightly, and how nothing need arouse one's irritation so long as one doesn't make it bigger than it is by getting irritated.
You can discard most of the junk that clutters your mind - things that exist only there - and clear out space for yourself: by comprehending the scale of the world, by contemplating infinite time, by thinking of the speed with which things change - each part of every thing; the narrow space between our birth and death; the infinite time before; the equality unbounded time that follows.
Her reverence for the divine, her generosity, her inability not only to do wrong but even to conceive of doing it. And the simple way she lived - not in the least like the rich.
If you seek tranquility, do less. Or do whats essential - what the logos of a social being requires, and in the requisite way. Which brings a double satisfaction: to do less, better. Because most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, youll have more time, and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, Is this necessary?
Think not so much of what you lack as of what you have: but of the things that you have, select the best, and then reflect how eagerly you would have sought them if you did not have them.
Remind yourself that it is not the future or what has passed that afflicts you, but always the present.
Today I have got out of all trouble, or rather I have cast out all trouble, for it was not outside, but within and in my opinions.
You can pass your life in an equable flow of happiness if you can follow the right way and think and act in the right way.
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.
How soon will time cover all things, and how many it has covered already.
A key point to bear in mind: The value of attentiveness varies in proportion to its object. You're better off not giving the small things more time than they deserve.
Don't waste the rest of your time here worrying about other people - unless it affects the common good. It will keep you from doing anything useful. You'll be too preoccupied with what so-and-so is doing, and why, and what the're saying, and what they're thinking, and what they're up to, and all the other things that throw you off and keep you from focusing on your own mind.
Failure to observe what is in the mind of another has seldom made a man unhappy; but those who do not observe the movements of their own minds must of necessity be unhappy.
Set yourself in motion, if it is in your power, and do not look about you to see if anyone will observe it; nor yet expect Plato's Republic: but be content if the smallest thing goes on well, and consider such an event to be no small matter.
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.
Forget everything else. Keep hold of this alone and remember it: Each of us lives only now, this brief instant. The rest has been lived already, or is impossible to see.
Brief is man's life and small the nook of the earth where he lives; brief, too, is the longest posthumous fame, buoyed only by a succession of poor human beings who will very soon die and who know little of themselves, much less of someone who died long ago.
Altogether the interval is small between birth and death; and consider with how much trouble, and in company with what sort of people and in what a feeble body, this interval is laboriously passed.
Keep in mind how fast things pass by and are gone - those that are now and those to come. Existence flows past us like a river: the 'what' is in constant flux, the 'why' has a thousand variations. Nothing is stable, not even what's right here. The infinity of past and future gapes before us - a chasm whose depths we cannot see.
How short is the time from birth to dissolution, and the illimitable time before birth as well as the equally boundless time after dissolution.
The perfection of moral character consists in this, in passing every day as if it were the last, and in being neither violently excited nor torpid nor playing the hypocrite.
Think of all the years passed by in which you said to yourself I'll do it tomorrow, and how the gods have again and again granted you periods of grace of which you have not availed yourself. It is time to realize that you are a member of the Universe, that you are born of Nature itself, and to know that a limit has been set to your time. Use every moment wisely, to perceive your inner refulgence, or 'twill be gone and nevermore within your reach.
Your life is short. You must turn to profit the present by the aid of reason and justice.
Not to waste time on nonsense.
Life is warfare... Then what can guide us? Only philosophy.
No role is so well suited to philosophy as the one you happen to be in right now.
First, do nothing inconsiderately or without a purpose. Second, make your acts refer to nothing else but a social end.
That no one could ever have felt patronized by him - or in a position to patronize him. A sense of humour.
No matter what anyone says or does, my task is to be good.
The first thing a pretender to philosophy must do is get rid of their presuppositions; a person is not going to undertake to learn anything that they think they already know.
It's unfortunate that this has happened. No. It's fortunate that this has happened and I've remained unharmed by it ” not shattered by the present or frightened of the future. It could have happened to anyone. But not everyone could have remained unharmed by it.
Take a good hard look at people's ruling principle, especially of the wise, what they run away from and what they seek out.
People who are physically ill are unhappy with a doctor who doesn't give them advice, because they think he has given up on them. Shouldn't we feel the same towards a philosopher - and assume that he has given up hope of our ever becoming rational - if he will no longer tell us what we need to hear?
Your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought, for the human spirit is colored by such impressions.
You will give yourself relief, if you do every act of your life as if it were the last.
My advice is really this: what we hear the philosophers saying and what we find in their writings should be applied in our pursuit of the happy life. We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching, and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application - not far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech - and learn them so well that words become works.
The work of philosophy is simple and modest. Do not draw me aside into pomposity.
It stares you in the face. No role is so well suited to philosophy as the one you happen to be in right now.
This, then, is the beginning of philosophy - an awareness of one's own mental fitness.
This presumption that you possess knowledge of any use has to be dropped before you approach philosophy - just as if we were enrolling in a school of music or mathematics.
Reflect on the other social roles you play. If you are a council member, consider what a council member should do. If you are young, what does being young mean, if you are old, what does age imply, if you are a father, what does fatherhood entail? Each of our titles, when reflected upon, suggests the acts appropriate to it.
What then can guide a man? One thing and only one, philosophy. But this consists in keeping the daimon within a man free from violence and unharmed, superior to pains and pleasures, doing nothing without a purpose, nor yet falsely and with hypocrisy.
If you commit to philosophy, be prepared at once to be laughed at and made the butt of many snide remarks.
My city and country, so far as I am Antoninus, is Rome; but so far as I am a man, it is the world.
Do you want to know if you are educated? Show us your values, philosopher.
You don't love yourself enough. Or you'd love your nature too, and what it demands of you.
What is divine deserves our affection because it is good; what is human deserves our affection because it is like us.
People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat.
The spiritual meaning of love is measured by what it can do. Love is meant to heal. Love is meant to renew. Love is meant to bring us closer to God.
[Treat] unenlightened souls with sympathy and indulgence, remembering that they are ignorant or mistaken about whats most important. Never be harsh, remember Platos dictum: Every soul is deprived of the truth against its will.
Shall any man hate me? That will be his affair. But I will be mild and benevolent toward every man, and ready to show even him his mistake, not reproachfully, nor yet as making a display of my endurance, but nobly and honestly.
Accustom yourself to attend carefully to what is said by another, and as much as it is possible, try to inhabit the speaker's mind.
In your conversation, don't dwell at excessive length on your own deeds or adventures. Just because you enjoy recounting your exploits doesn't mean that others derive the same pleasure from hearing about them.
One thing here is worth a great deal: to pass your life in truth and justice, with a benevolent disposition even to liars and unjust men.
Refer your action to no other end than the common good.
Do not be whirled about, but in every movement have respect to justice, and on the occasion of every impression maintain the faculty of comprehension or understanding.
If a man is mistaken, instruct him kindly and show him his error. But if you are not able, blame yourself, or not even yourself.
When you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, remember that your defining characteristic - what defines a human being ” is to work with others. Even animals know how to sleep. And it's the characteristic activity that's the more natural one - more innate and more satisfying.
Is helping others less valuable to you? Not worth your effort?
From my brother Severus to love my kin, and to love truth, and to love justice.
To show intuitive sympathy for friends, tolerance to amateurs and sloppy thinkers.
From Sextus to tolerate ignorant persons, and those who form opinions without consideration.
To have learned how to accept favors from friends without losing your self-respect or appearing ungrateful.
His respect for people who practiced philosophy - at least, those who were sincere about it. But without denigrating the others - or listening to them.
Never value anything as profitable that compels you to break your promise, to lose your self-respect, to hate any man, to suspect, to curse, to act the hypocrite, to desire anything that needs walls and curtains.
Only attend to yourself, and resolve to be a good man in every act that you do.
We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.
Adapt yourself to the things among which your lot has been cast and love sincerely the fellow creatures with whom destiny has ordained that you shall live.
People exist for one another. You can instruct or endure them.
As an antidote to battle unkindness we were given kindness.
What is your vocation? To be a good person.
Whatever any one does or says, I must be good, just as if the emerald were always saying Whatever any one does or says, I must be emerald and keep my color.
To be feared is to fear: no one has been able to strike terror into others and at the same time enjoy peace of mind himself.
Have I done something for the common good? Then I share in the benefits. To stay centered on that. Not to give up.
The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.
A man's worth is no greater than his ambitions.
Another person will not hurt you without your cooperation; you are hurt the moment you believe yourself to be.
Ambition means tying your well-being to what other people say or do. Self-indulgence means tying it to the things that happen to you. Sanity means tying it to your own actions.
To understand the true quality of people, you must look into their minds, and examine their pursuits and aversions.
When you've done well and another has benefited by it, why like a fool do you look for a third thing on top” credit for the good deed or a favor in return?
A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires.
The following are non-sequiturs: 'I am richer, therefore superior to you'; or 'I am a better speaker, therefore a better person, than you'.
Something good should be a source of pride, correct? 'Yes.' And can one really take pride in a momentary pleasure? Please don't say yes.
All our efforts must be directed towards an end, or we will act in vain. If it is not the right end, we will fail utterly.
A brief existence is common to all things, and yet you avoid and pursue all things as if they would be eternal.
Death. The end of sense-perception, of being controlled by our emotions, of mental activity, of enslavement to our bodies.
You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.
To expect punishment is to suffer it; and to earn it is to expect it.
All disturbances arise solely from the opinions within us.
Keep reminding yourself of the way things are connected, of their relatedness. All things are implicated in one another and in sympathy with each other. This event is the consequence of some other one. Things push and pull on each other, and breathe together, and are one.
The true man is revealed in difficult times. So when trouble comes, think of yourself as a wrestler whom God, like a trainer, has paired with a tough young buck. For what purpose? To turn you into Olympic-class material. But this is going to take some sweat to accomplish.
There were two vices much blacker and more serious than the rest: lack of persistence and lack of self-control... persist and resist.
The universal order and the personal order are nothing but different expressions and manifestations of a common underlying principle.
Look within. Within is the foundation of good, and it will ever bubble up, if you will ever dig.
The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away.
Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.
Forward, as occasion offers. Never look round to see whether any shall note it... Be satisfied with success in even the smallest matter, and think that even such a result is no trifle.
Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.
It is in your power to live here. But if men do not permit you, then get away out of life, as if you were suffering no harm. The house is smoky, and I quit it. Why do you think that this is any trouble? But so long as nothing of the kind drives me out, I remain, am free, and no man shall hinder me from doing what I choose; and I choose to do what is according to the nature of the rational and social animal.
If you didn't learn these things in order to demonstrate them in practice, what did you learn them for?
People with a strong physical constitution can tolerate extremes of hot and cold; people of strong mental health can handle anger, grief, joy and the other emotions.
Who exactly are these people that you want to be admired by? Aren't they the same people you are in the habit of calling crazy? And is this your life ambition, then - to win the approval of lunatics?
Consider what men are when they are eating, sleeping, coupling, evacuating, and so forth. Then what kind of men they are when they are imperious and arrogant, or angry and scolding from their elevated place.
How much time he saves who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks.
For all their compliments do verses pay? They mayn't, yet these same poems make me gay.
Conceal a flaw, and the world will imagine the worst.
If you learn that someone is speaking ill of you, don't try to defend yourself against the rumours; respond instead with, 'Yes, and he doesn't know the half of it, because he could have said more'.
If someone responds to insult like a rock, what has the abuser gained with his invective?
He who has a vehement desire for posthumous fame does not consider that every one of those who remember him will himself also die very soon.
Let us overlook many things in those who are like antagonists in the gymnasium. For it is in our power, as I said, to get out of the way and to have no suspicion or hatred.
Begin - to begin is half the work, let half still remain; again begin this, and thou wilt have finished.
It is just charming how people boast about qualities beyond their control. For instance, I am better than you because I have many estates, while you are practically starving; or, Im a consul, Im a governor, or I have fine curly hair.'
How strangely men act. They will not praise those who are living at the same time and living with themselves; but to be themselves praised by posterity, by those whom they have never seen or ever will see, this they set much value on.
A cucumber is bitter. Throw it away. There are briars in the road. Turn aside from them. This is enough. Do not add, And why were such things made in the world?
Always observe how ephemeral and worthless human things are, and what was yesterday a speck of semen tomorrow will be a mummy or ashes.
Under no circumstances ever say I have lost something, only I returned it.
Tomorrow is nothing, today is too late; the good lived yesterday.
Do little, if you want contentment of mind.
Misfortune nobly born is good fortune.
To do harm is to do yourself harm. To do an injustice is to do yourself an injustice.
If something does not make a person worse in himself, neither does it make his life worse, nor does it harm him without or within.
A rock is thrown in the air. It loses nothing by coming down, gained nothing by going up.
You must become an old man in good time if you wish to be an old man long.
What springs from earth dissolves to earth again, and heaven-born things fly to their native seat.
The sexual embrace can only be compared with music and with prayer.
The flaw which is hidden is deemed greater than it is.
Glory paid to our ashes comes too late.
Death and life, success and failure, pain and pleasure, wealth and poverty, all these happen to good and bad alike, and they are neither noble nor shameful - and hence neither good nor bad.
The present is the only thing of which a man can be deprived, if it is true that this is the only thing which he has, and that a man cannot lose something he does not already possess.
Don't believe your situation is genuinely bad - no one can make you do that. Is there smoke in the house? If it's not suffocating, I will stay indoors; if it proves too much, I'll leave. Always remember - the door is open.
Someone bathes in haste; don't say he bathes badly, but in haste. Someone drinks a lot of wine; don't say he drinks badly, but a lot. Until you know their reasons, how do you know that their actions are vicious?
Consider that everything is opinion, and opinion is in your power. Take away then, when you choose, your opinion, and like a mariner who has rounded the headland, you will find calm, everything stable, and a waveless bay.
The universe is transformation: life is opinion.
A vine cannot behave olively, nor an olive tree vinely - it is impossible, inconceivable. No more can a human being wholly efface his native disposition.
Since the greatest part of what we say and do is unnecessary, dispensing with such activities affords a man more leisure and less uneasiness.
To have contemplated human life for forty years is the same as to have contemplated it for ten thousand years. For what more will you see?
Passions stem from frustrated desire.
Everything that happens happens as it should, and if you observe carefully, you will find this to be so.
Each thing is of like form from everlasting and comes round again in its cycle.
Whatever man you meet with, immediately say to yourself: What opinions has this man about good and bad?
To the rational animal the same act is at once according to nature and according to reason.
Poverty's no evil to anyone unless he kicks against it.
Take care that you don't treat inhumanity as it treats human beings.
A person's worth is measured by the worth of what he values.
An ignorant person is inclined to blame others for his own misfortune. To blame oneself is proof of progress. But the wise man never has to blame another or himself.
The mind in itself has no needs, except for those it creates itself. Is undisturbed, except for its own disturbances. Knows no obstructions, except those from within.
Death and life, honor and dishonor, pain and pleasure ” all these things equally happen to good men and bad, being things which make us neither better nor worse. Therefore they are neither good nor evil.
A thing is neither better nor worse for having been praised.
When someone is properly grounded in life, they shouldn't have to look outside themselves for approval.
Mastery of reading and writing requires a master. Still, more so life.
Consider that as the heaps of sand piled on one another hide the former sands, so in life the events that go before are soon covered by those that come after.
Whatever anyone does or says, I must be good, just as if the gold, or the emerald, or the purple were always saying this, whatever anyone does or says, I must be emerald and keep my color.
Your three components: body, breath, mind. Two are yours in trust; to the third alone you have clear title.
No one objects to what is useful to him. To be of use to others is natural. Then don't object to what is useful to you - being of use.
When I see that one thing [virtue] is supreme and most important, I cannot say that something else is, just to make you happy.
A boxer derives the greatest advantage from his sparring partner - and my accuser is my sparring partner. He trains me in patience, civility and even temper.
Either you're going to be depressed when your wish is not realized or foolishly pleased with yourself if it is, overjoyed for the wrong reasons.
I say that virtue is more valuable than wealth to the same degree that eyes are more valuable than fingernails.
How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.
Most of us dread the deadening of the body and will do anything to avoid it. About the deadening of the soul, however, we don't care one iota.
Don't let outward appearances mislead you into thinking that someone with more prestige, power or some other distinction must on that account be happy.
As you are careful when you walk not to step on a nail or turn your ankle, so you should take care not to do any injury to your character at the same time.
If you lost the capacity to read, or play music, you would think it was a disaster, but you think nothing of losing the capacity to be honest, decent and civilized.
Things do not touch the soul, for they are external and remain immovable; so our perturbations come only from our inner opinions.
We are too much accustomed to attribute to a single cause that which is the product of several, and the majority of our controversies come from that.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
Pleasures, when they go beyond a certain limit, are but punishments.
As it is with a play, so it is with life - what matters is not how long the acting lasts, but how good it is. It is not important at what point you stop. Stop wherever you will - only make sure that you round it off with a good ending.
He often acts unjustly who does not do a certain thing; not only he who does a certain thing.
If someone is incapable of distinguishing good things from bad and neutral things from either - well, how could such a person be capable of love? The power to love, then, belongs only to the wise man.
Often injustice lies in what you aren't doing, not only in what you are doing.
To live the good life: We have the potential for it. If we can learn to be indifferent to what makes no difference.
Stop wishing for something else to happen, for a different fate. That is to live a false life.
Life is short. That's all there is to say. Get what you can from the present - thoughtfully, justly.
While you live, while it is in your power, be good.
Do not act as if you were going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good.
Be cheerful also, and do not seek external help or the tranquillity that others give. A man then must stand erect, not be kept erect by others.
The art of life is more like the wrestler's art than the dancer's, in respect of this, that it should stand ready and firm to meet onsets that are sudden and unexpected.
The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
The history of your life is now complete and your service is ended: and how many beautiful things you have seen; and how many pleasures and pains you have despised; and how many things called honorable you have spurned; and to how many ill-minded folks you have shown a kind disposition.
Anything in any way beautiful derives its beauty from itself and asks nothing beyond itself. Praise is no part of it, for nothing is made worse or better by praise.
Every day as it comes should be welcomed and reduced forthwith into our own possession as if it were the finest day imaginable. What flies past has to be seized at.
The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.
Don't hope that events will turn out the way you want, welcome events in whichever way they happen: this is the path to peace.
Nothing is as encouraging as when virtues are visibly embodied in the people around us, when we're practically showered with them.
The tranquillity that comes when you stop caring what they say. Or think, or do. Only what you do.
The best answer to anger is silence.
The more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.
It is not events that disturb people, it is their judgements concerning them.
To love only what happens, what was destined. No greater harmony.
The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.
Receive without conceit, release without struggle.
Be content to seem what you really are.
Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.
Each of us needs what nature gives us, when nature gives it.
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.
The first step: Don't be anxious. Nature controls it all.
Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.
He who follows reason in all things is both tranquil and active at the same time, and also cheerful and collected.
Nothing natural is evil.
Let not your mind run on what you lack as much as on what you have already.
How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life.
You're subject to sorrow, fear, jealousy, anger and inconsistency. That's the real reason you should admit that you are not wise.
The second step: Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it. Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being; remind yourself what nature demands of people. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy.
Objective judgement, now, 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.
Almost nothing material is needed for a happy life, for he who has understood existence.
Receive wealth or prosperity without arrogance; and be ready to let it go.
For God's sake, stop honouring externals, quit turning yourself into the tool of mere matter, or of people who can supply you or deny you those material things.
As the same fire assumes different shapes when it consumes objects differing in shape, so does the one self take the shape of every creature in whom he is present.
A man when he has done a good act, does not call out for others to come and see, but he goes on to another act, as a vine goes on to produce again the grapes in season.
What illusion about myself do I entertain?
The rational animal is consequently also a social animal.
Glory's an empty, changeable thing, as fickle as the weather.
Is any man afraid of change? What can take place without change? What then is more pleasing or more suitable to the universal nature? And can you take a hot bath unless the wood for the fire undergoes a change? And can you be nourished unless the food undergoes a change? And can anything else that is useful be accomplished without change? Do you not see then that for yourself also to change is just the same, and equally necessary for the universal nature?
Receive without pride, let go without attachment.
When you have assumed these names - good, modest, truthful, rational, a man of equanimity, and magnanimous - take care that you do not change these names; and if you should lose them, quickly return to them.
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 opinions of himself than on the opinions of others.
Be content with what you are, and wish not change; nor dread your last day, nor long for it.
Consider that before long you will be nobody and nowhere, nor will any of the things exist that you now see, nor any of those who are now living. For all things are formed by nature to change and be turned and to perish in order that other things in continuous succession may exist.
In a word, if there is a god, all is well; and if chance rules, do not also be governed by it.
So I look for the best and am prepared for the opposite.
Treat whatever happens as wholly natural; not novel or hard to deal with; but familiar and easily handled.
Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions - not outside.
If it's not right, don't do it. If it's not true, don't say it.
The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.
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.
Confine yourself to the present.
Straight, not straightened.
Whatever happens to you has been waiting to happen since the beginning of time.
That which is not good for the bee-hive cannot be good for the bees.
To live happily is an inward power of the soul.
You can commit injustice by doing nothing.
Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.
Do every act of your life as if it were your last.
It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.
Character and self-control.
Integrity and manliness.
To accept without arrogance, to let it go with indifference.
Each day provides its own gifts.
Anger cannot be dishonest.
Nothing should be done without a purpose.
Even the smallest thing should be done with reference to an end.
Stick to what's in front of you - idea, action, utterance.
What is your art? To be good.
Give yourself a gift: the present moment.
Poverty is the mother of crime.
A man should be upright, not be kept upright.
Our life is what our thoughts make it.
Nothing happens to anyone that he can't endure.
Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.
Keep at it... As a blazing fire takes whatever you throw on it, and makes it light and flame.