130 Best Marcus Aurelius Quotes about Stoicism & Life

Marcus Aurelius quote

In this post, we have collected some of the best Marcus Aurelius quotes who was a Roman emperor famous for his philosophical writings on Stoicism and ruling during the peak of the Roman Empire (161 to 180 AD).

Marcus Aurelius was a practitioner of Stoicism, a philosophical school that places high focus on virtue, self-discipline, and acceptance of fate.

He wrote a great deal about Stoic principles in his private journal, known as the “Meditations,” which is one of the most influential works of ancient philosophy.

Let’s read the best Marcus Aurelius quotes on Stoicism, life and more.

Best Marcus Aurelius Quotes

Best Marcus Aurelius Quote

1. “You shouldn’t give circumstances the power to rouse anger, for they don’t care at all.”

2. “Everything that happens happens as it should, and if you observe carefully, you will find this to be so.”

3. “Often injustice lies in what you aren’t doing, not only in what you are doing.”

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

5. “Do every act of your life as if it were your last.”

6. “Be content with what you are, and wish not change; nor dread your last day, nor long for it.”

7. “The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away.”

8. “He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.”

9. “It’s a disgrace in this life when the soul surrenders first while the body refuses to.”

10. “Life is neither good or evil, but only a place for good and evil.”

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Stoicism

Marcus Aurelius Quote on Stoicism

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

2. “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”

3. “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

4. “If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.”

5. “Nothing happens to any man that he is not formed by nature to bear.”

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

7. “Let men see, let them know, a real man, who lives as he was meant to live.”

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

9. “The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.”

10. “Here is the rule to remember in the future, When anything tempts you to be bitter: not, ‘This is a misfortune’ but ‘To bear this worthily is good fortune.’”

11. “Choose not to be harmed, and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed, and you haven’t been.”

12. “Receive without conceit, release without struggle.”

12. “Do what you will. Even if you tear yourself apart, most people will continue doing the same things.”

13. “Just that you do the right thing. The rest doesn’t matter.”

14. “It’s unfortunate that this has happened. No. It’s fortunate that this has happened and I’ve remained unharmed.”

15. “You’re better off not giving the small things more time than they deserve.”

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Happiness

Marcus Aurelius Quote on Happiness

1. “Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life.”

2. “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.”

3. “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.”

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

5. “No man is happy who does not think himself so.”

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Success

Marcus Aurelius Quote on Success

1. “Be satisfied with success in even the smallest matter, and think that even such a result is no trifle.”

2. “Keep a list before your mind of those who burned with anger and resentment about something, of even the most renowned for success, misfortune, evil deeds, or any special distinction. Then ask yourself, how did that work out? Smoke and dust, the stuff of simple myth trying to be legend…”

3. “Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also.”

4. “Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.”

5. “True good fortune is what you make for yourself. Good fortune: good character, good intentions, and good actions.”

6. “Misfortune nobly born is good fortune.”

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Love

Marcus Aurelius Quote on Love

1. “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.”

2. “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”

3. “To love only what happens, what was destined. No greater harmony.”

4. “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.”

5. “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.”

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Death

Marcus Aurelius Quote on Death

1. “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”

2. “Death smiles at us all; all we can do is smile back.”

3. “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.”

4. “Despise not death, but welcome it, for nature wills it like all else.”

5. “Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now take what’s left and live it properly.”

6. “The act of dying is one of the acts of life.”

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Life

Marcus Aurelius Quote on Life

1. “Stay calm and serene regardless of what life throws at you.”

2. “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

3. “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

4. 9Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.”

5. “The universe is transformation: life is opinion.”

6. “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.”

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

8. If you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your 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.”

9. “To the wise, life is a problem; to the fool, a solution.”

10. “Life is short — the fruit of this life is a good character and acts for the common good.”

11. “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.”

12. “Do not disturb yourself by picturing your life as a whole; do not assemble in your mind the many and varied troubles which have come to you in the past and will come again in the future, but ask yourself with regard to every present difficulty: ‘What is there in this that is unbearable and beyond endurance?’”

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Leadership

Marcus Aurelius Quote on Leadership

1. “All men are made one for another: either then teach them better or bear with them.”

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

3. “Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.”

4. “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?”

5. “It isn’t manly to be enraged. Rather, gentleness and civility are more human, and therefore manlier. The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.”

6. “Don’t be ashamed of needing help. You have a duty to fulfill just like a soldier on the wall of battle. So what if you are injured and can’t climb up without another soldier’s help?”

7. “Whenever someone has done wrong by you, immediately consider what notion of good or evil they had in doing it. For when you see that, you’ll feel compassion, instead of astonishment or rage.”

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Discipline

Marcus Aurelius Quote on Discipline

1. “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.”

2. “[I have learned] To read with diligence; not to rest satisfied with a light and superficial knowledge, nor quickly to assent to things commonly spoken of.”

3. “It is essential for you to remember that the attention you give to any action should be in due proportion to its worth, for then you won’t tire and give up, if you aren’t busying yourself with lesser things beyond what should be allowed.”

4. “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.”

5. “Think of your many years of procrastination; how the gods have repeatedly granted you further periods of grace, of which you have taken no advantage.”

6. “Because most of what we say and do is not essential. Ask yourself at every moment, “Is this necessary?””

7. “That cucumber is bitter, so toss it out! There are thorns on the path, then keep away! Enough said. Why ponder the existence of nuisance?”

8. “Natural ability without education has more often raised a man to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.”

9. “There is no nature which is inferior to art, for the arts imitate the nature of things.”

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

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Resilience

Marcus Aurelius Quote on Resilience

1. “Whatever the universal nature assigns to any man at any time is for the good of that man at that time.”

2. “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.”

3. “The mind freed from passions is an impenetrable fortress—a person has no more secure place of refuge for all time.”

4. “Frightened of change? But what can exist without it? What’s closer to nature’s heart? Can you take a hot bath and leave the firewood as it was? Eat food without transforming it? Can any vital process take place without something being changed? Can’t you see? It’s just the same with you—and just as vital to nature.”

5. “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.”

6. “Regain your senses, call yourself back, and once again wake up. Now that you realize that only dreams were troubling you, view this ‘reality’ as you view your dreams.”

7. “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.”

8. “It’s silly to try to escape other people’s faults. They are inescapable. Just try to escape your own.”

Short Inspiring Marcus Aurelius Quotes

Short Inspiring Marcus Aurelius Quote

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

2. “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.”

3. “Where a man can live, he can also live well.”

4. “The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.”

5. “Poverty is the mother of crime.”

6. “What we do now echoes in eternity.”

7. “Men exist for the sake of one another.”

8. “The best answer to anger is silence.”

9. “Be content to seem what you really are.”

10. “To live happily is an inward power of the soul.”

11. “Confine yourself to the present.”

12. “Anger cannot be dishonest.”

13. “The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.”

14. “That which is not good for the bee-hive cannot be good for the bees.”

15. “Tomorrow is nothing, today is too late; the good lived yesterday.”

16. “No random actions, none not based on underlying principles.”

17. “The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.”

18. “A person’s worth is measured by the worth of what he values.”

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Mindset

Marcus Aurelius Quote on Mindset

1. “Such as are your habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts.”

2. “Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.”

3. “How much time he saves who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks.”

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

5. “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.”

6. “You have been formed of three parts—body, breath, and mind. Of these, the first two are yours insofar as they are only in your care. The third alone is truly yours.”

7. “Understand at last that you have something in you more powerful and divine than what causes the bodily passions and pulls you like a mere puppet. What thoughts now occupy my mind? Is it not fear, suspicion, desire, or something like that?”

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Kindness

Marcus Aurelius Quote on Kindness

1. “Dig deep within yourself, for there is a fountain of goodness ever ready to flow if you will keep digging.”

2. “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.

3. “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.”

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Character

Marcus Aurelius Quote on Character

1. “This is the mark of perfection of character—to spend each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, laziness, or any pretending.”

2. “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.”

3. “Let men see, let them know, a real man, who lives as he was meant to live.”

4. “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.”

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

6. “If any man despises me, that is his problem. My only concern is not doing or saying anything deserving of contempt.”

7. “Whoever does wrong, wrongs himself; whoever does injustice, does it to himself, making himself evil.”

8. “No one can lose either the past or the future – how could anyone be deprived of what he does not possess? … It is only the present moment of which either stands to be deprived: and if this is all he has, he cannot lose what he does not have.”

9. “Take a good hard look at people’s ruling principle, especially of the wise, what they run away from & what they seek out.”

10. “To understand the true quality of people, you must look into their minds, and examine their pursuits and aversions.”

These Marcus Aurelius quotes highlight his wisdom, leadership, and commitment to Stoic principles.

He is remembered as one of the “Five Good Emperors” of Rome and his reign is considered a golden age of Roman history.

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