Epictetus was born 50AD and died in 135AD. He was born into slavery and lived in Rome until he was banished, He spent the rest of his life in Greece. His teachings are recorded in his Discourses and Enchiridion.
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.
No man is free who is not master of himself.
We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.
Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it
We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.
Keep silence for the most part, and speak only when you must, and then briefly.
First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.
Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not.
No great thing is created suddenly.
If you wish to be a writer, write.
If anyone is unhappy, remember that his unhappiness is his own fault. Nothing else is the cause of anxiety or loss of tranquility except our own opinion.
The world turns aside to let any man pass who knows where he is going.
Books are the training weights of the mind.
If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.
Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.
Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems.
When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.
Progress is not achieved by luck or accident, but by working on yourself daily.
Circumstances don’t make the man, they only reveal him to himself.
Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.
Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.
It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.
It is not events that disturb the minds of men, but the view they take of them.
The greater the difficulty the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.
No matter what happens, it is within my power to turn it to my advantage.
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.
It’s so simple really: If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you start something, finish it.
Man is not fully free unless he is master of himself.
Tentative efforts lead to tentative outcome.
It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them.
Every difficulty in life presents us with an opportunity to turn inward and to invoke our own submerged inner resources. The trials we endure can and should introduce us to our strengths.
Men are disturbed not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen.
He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.
From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do – now.
Don’t seek to have events happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do happen, and all will be well with you.
Try not to react merely in the moment. Pull back from the situation. Take a wider view. Compose yourself.
Nothing truly stops you. Nothing truly holds you back. For your own will is always within your control.
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 key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.
Other people’s views and troubles can be contagious. Don’t sabotage yourself by unwittingly adopting negative, unproductive attitudes through your associations with others.
God has entrusted me with myself. No man is free who is not master of himself. A man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things. The world turns aside to let any man pass who knows where he is going.
I laugh at those who think they can damage me. They do not know who I am, they do not know what I think, they cannot even touch the things which are really mine and with which I live.
To live a life of virtue, match up your thoughts, words, and deeds.
If you hear that someone is speaking ill of you, instead of trying to defend yourself you should say: ‘He obviously does not know me very well, since there are so many other faults he could have mentioned.
The best place to get help is from yourself.
Freedom and happiness are won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control.
Learn to distinguish what you can and can’t control. Within our control are our own opinions, aspirations, desires and the things that repel us. They are directly subject to our influence.
It is our attitude toward events, not events themselves, which we can control. Nothing is by its own nature calamitous – even death is terrible only if we fear it.
You are a little soul carrying around a corpse.
Man is troubled not by events, but by the meaning he gives them.
Only the educated are free.
Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control. Stop aspiring to be anyone other than your own best self: for that does fall within your control.
In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to them I do control. Where will I find good and bad? In me, in my choices.
No great thing is created suddenly. There must be time. Give your best and always be kind.
It is not things in themselves which trouble us, but our opinions of things.
Don’t demand or expect that events happen as you would wish them do. Accept events as they actually happen. That way, peace is possible.
You have been given your own work to do. Get to it right now, do your best at it, and don’t be concerned with who is watching you. Create your own merit.
Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power.
We can’t control the impressions others form about us, and the effort to do so only debases our character.
Practice yourself, for heaven’s sake in little things, and then proceed to greater.
Seek not that the things which happen should happen as you wish; but wish the things which happen to be as they are, and you will have a tranquil flow of life.
The Beginning of Philosophy is a Consciousness of your own Weakness and inability in necessary things.
Fortify yourself with contentment, for this is an impregnable fortress.
The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.
It is the part of an uneducated person to blame others where he himself fares ill; to blame himself is the part of one whose education has begun; to blame neither another nor his own self is the part of one whose education is already complete.
Seek to be the purple thread in the long white gown.
What disturbs people’s minds are not events but their judgments on events.
On the occasion of every accident that befalls you, remember to turn to yourself and inquire what power you have for turning it to use.
Desire and happiness cannot live together.
Happiness and personal fulfillment are the natural consequences of doing the right thing.
Never say of anything I have lost it, only say that I have given it back.
We all carry the seeds of greatness within us, but we need an image as a point of focus in order that they may sprout.
The flourishing life cannot be achieved until we moderate our desires and see how superficial and fleeting they are.
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.
What ought one to say then as each hardship comes? I was practicing for this, I was training for this.
It is unreasonable to think we can earn rewards without being willing to pay their true price. It is always our choice whether or not we wish to pay the price for life’s rewards.
Know you not that a good man does nothing for appearance sake, but for the sake of having done right?
If one oversteps the bounds of moderation, the greatest pleasures cease to please.
Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired, but by controlling the desire.
Caretake this moment. Immerse yourself in its particulars. Respond to this person, this challenge, this deed. Quit evasions. Stop giving yourself needless trouble. It is time to really live; to fully inhabit the situation you happen to be in now.
To pay homage to beauty is to admire Nature; to admire Nature is to worship God.
Contentment comes not so much from great wealth as from few wants.
What is it to be a philosopher? Is it not to be prepared against events?
Any person capable of angering you becomes your master.
You lose only the things you have.
Men are not afraid of things, but of how they view them.
Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent.
I must die. Must I then die lamenting? I must be put in chains. Must I then also lament? I must go into exile. Does any man then hinder me from going with smiles and cheerfulness and contentment?
One that desires to excel should endeavor in those things that are in themselves most excellent.
You are but an appearance, and not absolutely the thing you appear to be.
Be not swept off your feet by the vividness of the impression, but say, Impression, wait for me a little. Let me see what you are and what you represent. Let me try you.
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.
Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant.
You can be invincible, if you enter into no contest in which it is not in your power to conquer.
Renew every day your conversation with God: Do this even in preference to eating. Think more often of God than you breathe.
When any person treats you ill or speaks ill of you, remember that he does this or says this because he thinks it is his duty. It is not possible, then, for him to follow that which seems right to you, but that which seems right to himself.
Confident because of our caution.
We should not moor a ship with one anchor, or our life with one hope.
The foolish and the uneducated have little use for freedom. Only the educated are free.
To be getting an education means this: to be learning what is your own, and what is not your own.
Nothing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig.
God has entrusted me with myself.
Cowardice, the dread of what will happen.
Keep your attention focused entirely on what is truly your own concern, and be clear that what belongs to others is their business and none of yours.
Fight against yourself, recover yourself to decency, to modesty, to freedom. And, in the first place, condemn your actions; but when you have condemned them, do not despair of yourself. For both ruin and recovery are from within.
Let silence be your general rule; or say only what is necessary and in few words.
You may fetter my leg, but Zeus himself cannot get the better of my free will.
Be careful whom you associate with. It is human to imitate the habits of those with whom we interact. We inadvertently adopt their interests, their opinions, their values, and their habit of interpreting events.
Attach yourself to what is spiritually superior, regardless of what other people think or do. Hold to your true aspirations no matter what is going on around you.
Do not give sentence in another tribunal till you have been yourself judged in the tribunal of Justice.
To make anything a habit, do it; to not make it a habit, do not do it; to unmake a habit, do something else in place of it.
Learn to wish that everything should come to pass exactly as it does.
We suffer not from the events in our lives but from our judgement about them.
When we blather about trivial things, we ourselves become trivial, for our attention gets taken up with trivialities. You become what you give your attention to.
When something happens, the only thing in your power is your attitude toward it; you can either accept it or resent it.
What thou avoidest suffering thyself seek not to impose on others.
He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at.
First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.
Imagine for yourself a character, a model personality, whose example you determine to follow, in private as well as in public.
Don’t be concerned with other people’s impressions of you. They are dazzled and deluded by appearances. Stick with your purpose. This alone will strengthen your will and give your life coherence.
All philosophy lies in two words, sustain and abstain.
Difficulties are things that show a person what they are.
If you think you control things that are in the control of others, you will lament. You will be disturbed and you will blame both gods and men.
Do not try to seem wise to others.
Never say about anything, “I have lost it,” but only “I have given it back.” Is your child dead? It has been given back. Is your wife dead? She has been returned.
A half-hearted spirit has no power. Tentative efforts lead to tentative outcomes. Average people enter into their endeavors headlong and without care.
Let death be daily before your eyes, and you will never entertain any abject thought, nor too eagerly covet anything.
What really frightens and dismays us is not external events themselves, but the way in which we think about them. It is not things that disturb us, but our interpretation of their significance.
What really frightens and dismays us is not external events themselves, but the way in which we think about them. It is not things that disturb us, but our interpretation of their significance.
What concerns me is not the way things are, but rather the way people think things are.
Do not seek to bring things to pass in accordance with your wishes, but wish for them as they are, and you will find them.
When your thoughts, words, and deeds form a seamless fabric, you streamline your efforts and thus eliminate worry and dread.
Act your part with honor.
Whatever you would make habitual, practice it; and if you would not make a thing habitual, do not practice it, but accustom yourself to something else.
It’s time to stop being vague. If you wish to be an extraordinary person, if you wish to be wise, then you should explicitly identify the kind of person you aspire to become.
To live a life of virtue, you have to become consistent, even when it isn’t convenient, comfortable, or easy.
If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.
He who is not happy with little will never be happy with much.
Make it your business to draw out the best in others by being an exemplar yourself.
It is impossible that happiness, and yearning for what is not present, should ever be united.
No matter where you find yourself, comport yourself as if you were a distinguished person.
A ship should not be held by a single anchor; neither should life depend upon a single hope.
Authentic happiness is always independent of external conditions.
It takes more than just a good looking body. You’ve got to have the heart and soul to go with it.
To accuse others for one’s own misfortunes is a sign of want of education. To accuse oneself shows that one’s education has begun. To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one’s education is complete.
The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own…
We should do everything both cautiously and confidently at the same time.
If you have anything better to be doing when death overtakes you, get to work on that.
To a longer and worse life, a shorter and better is by all means to be preferred.
Never depend on the admiration of others. There is no strength in it. Personal merit cannot be derived from an external source. It is not to be found in your personal associations, nor can it be found in the regard of other people. It is a fact of life that other people, even people who love you, will not necessarily agree with your ideas, understand you, or share your enthusiasms. Grow up! Who cares what other people think about you!
The pleasure which we most rarely experience gives us greatest delight
If a person had delivered up your body to some passer-by, you would certainly be angry. And do you feel no shame in delivering up your own mind to any reviler, to be disconcerted and confounded?
Events do not just happen, but arrive by appointment.
All religions must be tolerated for every man must get to heaven in his own way.
I am always content with what happens; for I know that what God chooses is better than what I choose.
When you close your doors, and make darkness within, remember never to say that you are alone, for you are not alone; nay, God is within, and your genius is within. And what need have they of light to see what you are doing?
It is no easy thing for a principle to become a man’s own unless each day he maintains it and works it out in his life.
Why, do you not know, then, that the origin of all human evils, and of baseness, and cowardice, is not death, but rather the fear of death?
You bear God within you, poor wretch, and know it not.
Who then is invincible? The one who cannot be upset by anything outside their reasoned choice.
If someone irritates you, it is only your own response that is irritating you. Therefore, when anyone seems to be provoking you, remember that it is only your judgment of the incident that provokes you.
Is freedom anything else than the right to live as we wish? Nothing else.
Unremarkable lives are marked by the fear of not looking capable when trying something new.
The people have a right to the truth as they have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Forgiveness is better than revenge, for forgiveness is the sign of a gentle nature, but revenge is the sign of a savage nature. the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
If thy brother wrongs thee, remember not so much his wrong-doing, but more than ever that he is thy brother.
It is better to die of hunger having lived without grief and fear, than to live with a troubled spirit, amid abundance.
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.
Men are not worried by things, but by their ideas about things. When we meet with difficulties, become anxious or troubled, let us not blame others, but rather ourselves. That is: our ideas about things.
There is but one way to tranquility of mind and happiness, and that is to account no external things thine own, but to commit all to God.
Whoever then wishes to be free, let him neither wish for anything nor avoid anything which depends on others: if he does not observe this rule, he must be a slave.
Whenever you are angry, be assured that it is not only a present evil, but that you have increased a habit.
If you see anybody wail and complain, call him a slave, though he be clad in purple.
We must be afraid of neither poverty nor exile nor imprisonment; of fear itself only should we be afraid.
Nature hath given men one tongue but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.
If you would cure anger, do not feed it. Say to yourself: ‘I used to be angry every day; then every other day; now only every third or fourth day.’ When you reach thirty days offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the gods.
It is not he who reviles or strikes you who insults you, but your opinion that these things are insulting.
By accepting life’s limits and inevitabilities and working with them rather than fighting them, we become free.
In trying to please other people, we find ourselves misdirected toward what lies outside our sphere of influence. In doing so, we lose our hold on our lifes purpose.
You may be always victorious if you will never enter into any contest where the issue does not wholly depend upon yourself.
Bear in mind that you should conduct yourself in life as at a feast.
As it is pleasant to see the sea from the land, so it is pleasant for him who has escaped from troubles to think of them.
The origin of sorrow is this: to wish for something that does not come to pass.
Act well your given part; the choice rests not with you.
Consider first the nature of the business in hand; then examine thy own nature, whether thou hast strength to undertake it.
If someone tried to take control of your body and make you a slave, you would fight for freedom. Yet how easily you hand over your mind to anyone who insults you. When you dwell on their words and let them dominate your thoughts, you make them your master.
One of the best ways to elevate your character is to emulate worthy role models.
If you seek truth you will not seek victory by dishonorable means, and if you find truth you will become invincible.
Everything has two handles,-one by which it may be borne; another by which it cannot.
Nothing is in reality either pleasant or unpleasant by nature but all things become so through habit.
What is the first business of one who practices philosophy? To get rid of self-conceit. For it is impossible for anyone to begin to learn that which he thinks he already knows.
He is a drunkard who takes more than three glasses though he be not drunk.
You become what you give your attention to.
It is the sign of a dull mind to dwell upon the cares of the body, to prolong exercise, eating and drinking and other bodily functions. These things are best done by the way; all your attention must be given to the mind.
Confidence in nonsense is a requirement for the creative process.
In a word, neither death, nor exile, nor pain, nor anything of this kind is the real cause of our doing or not doing any action, but our inward opinions and principles.
Silence is safer than speech.
What is learned without pleasure is forgotten without remorse.
Wherever any one is against his will, that is to him a prison.
Lampis the ship owner, on being asked how he acquired his great wealth, replied, My great wealth was acquired with no difficulty, but my small wealth, my first gains, with much labor.
From now on practice saying to everything that appears unpleasant: You are merely an appearance and NOT what you appear to be.
Survey and test a prospective action before undertaking it. Before you proceed, step back and look at the big picture, lest you act rashly on raw impulse.
Ruin and recovering are both from within.
Not every difficult and dangerous thing is suitable for training, but only that which is conducive to success in achieving the object of our effort.
In every affair consider what precedes and what follows, and then undertake it.
He is free who lives as he wishes to live; who is neither subject to compulsion nor to hindrance, nor to force; whose movements to action are not impeded, whose desires attain their purpose, and who does not fall into that which he would avoid.
And have you not received faculties which will enable you to bear all that happens to you? Have you not received greatness of spirit? Have you not received courage? Have you not received endurance?
Each man’s life is a kind of campaign, and a long and complicated one at that. You have to maintain the character of a soldier, and do each separate act at the bidding of the General.
Another person will not hurt you without your cooperation; you are hurt the moment you believe yourself to be.
Circumstances do not rise to meet our expectations. Events happen as they do. People behave as they are. Embrace what you actually get.
When someone is properly grounded in life, they shouldn’t have to look outside themselves for approval.
It is not a demonstration of kindness or friendship to the people we care about to join them in indulging in wrongheaded, negative feelings. We do a better service to ourselves and others by remaining detached and avoiding melodramatic reactions.
Don’t consent to be hurt and you won’t be hurt – this is a choice over which you have control.
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. Which is why it is essential that we not respond impulsively to impressions; take a moment before reacting, and you will find it easier to maintain control.
It is not death or pain that is to be dreaded, but the fear of pain or death.
Who, then, is the invincible human being? One who can be disconcerted by nothing that lies outside the sphere of choice.
It is better by assenting to truth to conquer opinion, than by assenting to opinion to be conquered by truth.
Whoever does not regard what he has as most ample wealth, is unhappy, though he be master of the world.
Have the wisdom to know what cannot be changed, and the strength to change what can.
God save me from fools with a little philosophy – no one is more difficult to reach.
There is no shame in making an honest effort.
No one who is in a state of fear or sorrow or tension is free, but whosoever is delivered from sorrows or fears or anxieties is at the same time delivered from servitude.
Restrict yourself to choice and refusal; and exercise them carefully, with discipline and detachment.
It is not the events but our viewpoint toward events that is the determining factor. We ought to be more concerned about removing wrong thoughts from the mind than removing tumors and abscesses from the body.
Remember that in life you ought to behave as at a banquet. Suppose that something is carried round and is opposite to you. Stretch out your hand and take a portion with decency. Suppose that it passes by you. Do not detain it. Suppose that it is not yet come to you. Do not send your desire forward to it, but wait till it is opposite to you.
Your master is he who controls that on which you have set your heart or wish to avoid.When you let go of your attention for a little while, do not think you may recover it whenever you please.
Bid a singer in a chorus, Know Thyself; and will he not turn for the knowledge to the others, his fellows in the chorus, and to his harmony with them?
We do not choose our own parts in life, and have nothing to do with those parts. Our duty is confined to playing them well.
Watch yourself as you go about your daily business and later reflect on what you saw, trying to identify the sources of distress in your life and thinking about how to avoid that distress.
What disturbs and alarms man are not the things, but his opinions and fancies about the things.
It is not he who gives abuse that affronts, but the view that we take of it as insulting; so that when one provokes you it is your own opinion which is provoking.
It is your own convictions which compels you; that is, choice compels choice.
Do not wish that all things will go well with you, but that you will go well with all things.
A thing either is what it appears to be; or it is not, but yet appears to be; or it is, but does not appear to be; or it is not, and does not appear to be.
Don’t be prideful with any excellence that is not your own.
Seek not good from without; seek it within yourselves, or you will never find it.
Never in any case say I have lost such a thing, but I have returned it. Is your child dead? It is a return. Is your wife dead? It is a return. Are you deprived of your estate? Is not this also a return?
Anything worth putting off is worth abandoning altogether.
If you have assumed a character above your strength, you have both acted in this matter in an unbecoming way, and you have neglected that which you might have fulfilled.
Sick and yet happy, in peril and yet happy, dying and yet happy, in exile and happy, in disgrace and happy.
These are the signs of a wise man: to reprove nobody, to praise nobody, to blame nobody, nor even to speak of himself or his own merits.
“Man, what are you talking about? Me in chains? You may fetter my leg but my will, not even Zeus himself can overpower.
Liars are the cause of all the sins and crimes in the world.
Some young women confuse their self-worth with their ability to attract the attention of men, and so pour all their energies into makeup, clothing, and jewelry. If only they realized that virtue, honor, and self-respect are the marks of a true beauty.
Living a good life leads to enduring happiness. Goodness in and of itself is the practice AND the reward.
The good or ill of a man lies within his own will.
Epictetus being asked how a man should give pain to his enemy answered, By preparing himself to live the best life that he can.
What is a child? Ignorance. What is a child? Want of instruction
Envy is the antagonist of the fortunate.
Whoever then would be free, let him wish for nothing, let him decline nothing, which depends on others; else he must necessarily be a slave.
If you wish to live a life free from sorrow, think of what is going to happen as if it had already happened.
If you desire to be good, begin by believing that you are wicked.
Does anyone bathe hastily? Do not say that they do it ill, but hastily. Does anyone drink much wine? Do not say that they do ill, but that they drink a great deal. For unless you perfectly understand their motives, how should you know if they act ill? Thus you will not risk yielding to any appearances except those you fully comprehend.
You will do the greatest service to the state if you shall raise, not the roofs of the houses, but the souls of the citizens: for it is better that great souls should dwell in small houses rather than for mean slaves to lurk in great houses.
Only consider at what price you sell your own will: if for no other reason, at least for this, that you sell it not for a small sum.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
We must ever bear in mind – that apart from the will there is nothing good or bad, and that we must not try to anticipate or to direct events, but merely to accept them with intelligence.
If you do not wish to be prone to anger, do not feed the habit; give it nothing which may tend to its increase.
The essence of good and evil is a certain disposition of the will.
Man is disturbed not by things, but by the views he takes of them.
Two principles we should always have ready – that there is nothing good or evil save in the will; and that we are not to lead events, but to follow them.
Be not diverted from your duty by any idle reflections the silly world may make upon you, for their censures are not in your power and should not be at all your concerns.
A city is not adorned by external things, but by the virtue of those who dwell in it.
If your heart is quite set upon a crown, make and put on one of roses, for it will make the prettier appearance.
Think of God more often than thou breathest.
Crows pick out the eyes of the dead, when the dead have no longer need of them; but flatterers mar the soul of the living, and her eyes they blind.
Not things, but opinions about things, trouble men.
For even sheep do not vomit up their grass and show to the shepherds how much they have eaten; but when they have internally digested the pasture, they produce externally wool and milk. Do you also show not your theorems to the uninstructed, but show the acts which come from their digestion.
There is only one thing for which God has sent me into the world, and that is to develop every kind of virtue or strength, and there is nothing in all the world that I cannot use for this purpose.
In short, we do not abandon any discipline for despair of ever being the best in it.
When our friends are present we ought to treat them well; and when they are absent, to speak of them well.
Nothing great comes into being all at once.
Who are those people by whom you wish to be admired? Are they not these whom you are in the habit of saying that they are mad? What then? Do you wish to be admired by the mad?
Contentment, as it is a short road and pleasant, has great delight and little trouble.
The two powers which in my opinion constitute a wise man are those of bearing and forbearing.
The soul is unwillingly deprived of truth.
When a man is proud because he can understand and explain the writings of Chrysippus, say to yourself, ‘if Chrysippus had not written obscurely, this man would have had nothing to be proud of.
He who exercises wisdom exercises the knowledge which is about God.
Whoever is going to listen to the philosophers needs a considerable practice in listening.
Let thy speech of God be renewed day by day, aye, rather than thy meat and drink.
To adorn our characters by the charm of an amiable nature shows at once a lover of beauty and a lover of man.
I am not eternity, but a man; a part of the whole, as an hour is of the day.
If you would improve, submit to be considered wihout sense and foolish with respect to externals. Wish to be considered to know nothing; and if you shall seem to someone to be a person of importance, distrust yourself.
No living being is held by anything so strongly as by its own needs. Whatever therefore appears a hindrance to these, be it brother, or father, or child, or mistress, or friend, is hated, abhorred, execrated.
Common and vulgar people ascribe all ills that they feel to others; people of little wisdom ascribe to themselves; people of much wisdom, to no one.
No man is able to make progress when he is wavering between opposite things.
To know that you do not know and to be willing to admit that you do not know without sheepishly apologizing is real strength and sets the stage for learning and progress in any endeavor.
Fortune is an evil chain to the body, and vice to the soul.
The soul that companies with virtue is like an ever-flowing source. It is a pure, clear, and wholesome draught, sweet, rich and generous of its store, that injures not, neither destroys.
It is a universal law – have no illusion – that every creature alive is attached to nothing so much as to its own self-interest.
Freedom and slavery, the one is the name of virtue, and the other of vice, and both are acts of the will.
Do nothing in a depressed mood, nor as one afflicted, nor as thinking that you are in misery, for no one compels you to that.
In order to please others, we loose our hold on our life’s purpose.
Demand not that events should happen as you wish; but wish them to happen as they do happen, and you will go on well.
In theory it is easy to convince an ignorant person; in actual life, men not only object to offer themselves to be convinced, but hate the man who has convinced them.
The appearance of things to the mind is the standard of every action to man.
To get or not to get what we desire can be equally disappointing.
Pleasure, like a kind of bait, is thrown before everything which is really bad, and easily allures greedy souls to the hook of perdition.
If virtue promises happiness, prosperity and peace, then progress in virtue is progress in each of these for to whatever point the perfection of anything brings us, progress is always an approach toward it.
The appearance of things to the mind is the standard of every action to man.
When one maintains his proper attitude in life, he does not long after externals.
God has made all men to be happy.
Focus not on what he or she does, but on keeping to your higher purpose. Your own purpose should seek harmony with nature itself. For this is the true road to freedom.
Tell yourself what you want to be, then act your part accordingly.
Covetousness like jealousy, when it has taken root, never leaves a person, but with their life. Cowardice is the dread of what will happen.
It was the first and most striking characteristic of Socrates never to become heated in discourse, never to utter an injurious or insulting word – on the contrary, he persistently bore insult from others and thus put an end to the fray.
Shall I show you the sinews of a philosopher? What sinews are those? – A will undisappointed; evils avoided; powers daily exercised; careful resolutions; unerring decisions.
And the way to be free is to let go of anything that is not within your control.
Against specious appearances we must set clear convictions, bright and ready for use. When death appears as an evil, we ought immediately to remember that evils are things to be avoided, but death is inevitable.
Do not so much be ashamed of that disgrace which proceeds from men’s opinion as fly from that which comes from the truth.
What is yours is to play the assigned part well. But to choose it belongs to someone else.
Control thy passions lest they take vengence on thee.
Never look for your work in one place and your progress in another.
If you would be well spoken of, learn to be well-spoken; and having learnt to be well- spoken, strive also to be well-doing; so shall you succeed in being well spoken of.
Once you know who you are and to whom you are linked, you will know what to do.
What will the world be quite overturned when you die?
If we are not stupid or insincere when we say that the good or ill of man lies within his own will, and that all beside is nothing to us, why are we still troubled?
What is a good person? One who achieves tranquillity by having formed the habit of asking on every occasion, “what is the right thing to do now?
So don’t make a show of your philosophical learning to the uninitiated, show them by your actions what you have absorbed.
Law intends indeed to do service to human life, but it is not able when men do not choose to accept her services; for it is only in those who are obedient to her that she displays her special virtue.
We are not to lead events, but to follow them.
Whatever moral rules you have deliberately proposed to yourself. abide by them as they were laws, and as if you would be guilty of impiety by violating any of them. Don’t regard what anyone says of you, for this, after all, is no concern of yours.
If I can acquire money and also keep myself modest and faithful and magnanimous, point out the way, and I will acquire it.
Prefer enduring satisfaction to immediate gratification.
Dare to look up to God and say, Deal with me in the future as Thou wilt; I am of the same mind as Thou art; I am Thine; I refuse nothing that pleases Thee; lead me where Thou wilt; clothe me in any dress Thou choosest.
Reading should serve the goal of attaining peace; if it doesn’t make you peaceful, what good is it?
Things true and evident must of necessity be recognized by those who would contradict them.
We all dread a bodily paralysis, and would make use of every contrivance to avoid it; but none of us is troubled about a paralysis of the soul.
Difficulty shows what men are.
Appear to know only this – never to fail nor fall.
When you find your direction, check to make sure that it is the right one.
What is it that every man seeks? To be secure, to be happy, to do what he pleases without restraint and without compulsion.
Since it is Reason which shapes and regulates all other things, it ought not itself to be left in disorder.
The knowledge of what is mine and what is not mine, what I can and cannot do. I must die. But must I die bawling? I must be exiled; but is there anything to keep me from going with a smile, calm and self-composed?
Give me by all means the shorter and nobler life, instead of one that is longer but of less account!
Try to enjoy the great festival of life with other men!
The beginning of philosophy is the recognition of the conflict between opinions.
As a man, casting off worn out garments taketh new ones, so the dweller in the body, entereth into ones that are new.
For sheep don’t throw up the grass to show the shepherds how much they have eaten; but, inwardly digesting their food, they outwardly produce wool and milk.
In the long run, every man will pay the penalty for this own misdeeds.
Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to.
Do not try to seem wise to others. If you want to live a wise life, live it on your own terms and in your own eyes.
Freedom is not archived by satisfying desire, but by eliminating it.
Is you naturally entitled, then, to a good father? No, only to a father. Is.
Pain or pleasure? I say pleasure.
A vulgar man, in any ill that happens to him, blames others; a novice in philosophy blames himself; and a philosopher blames neither, the one nor the other.
A man that seeks truth and loves it must be reckoned precious to any human society.
What is death? A scary mask. Take it off-see, it doesn’t bite.
The universe is but one great city, full of beloved ones, divine and human, by nature endeared to each other.
Whenever externals are more important to you than your own integrity, then be prepared to serve them the remainder of your life.
Every place is safe to him who lives with justice.
It is not events that disturb people, it is their judgements concerning them.
If I was a nightingale I would sing like a nightingale; if a swan, like a swan. But since I am a rational creature my role is to praise God.
When then any man assents to that which is false, be assured that he did not intend to assent to it as false, for every soul is unwillingly deprived of the truth, as Plato says; but the falsity seemed to him to be true.
Protect what belongs to you at all costs; don’t desire what belongs to another.
Very little is needed for everything to be upset and ruined, only a slight lapse in reason.
Those who are well constituted in the body endure both heat and cold: and so those who are well constituted in the soul endure both anger and grief and excessive joy and the other affects.
Do not laugh much or often or unrestrainedly.
Sickness is a problem for the body, not the mind – unless the mind decides that it is a problem. Lameness, too, is the body’s problem, not the mind’s. Say this to yourself whatever the circumstance and you will find without fail that the problem pertains to something else, not to you.
Those proficient praise no one, blame no one, and accuse no one. They say nothing concerning their self as being anybody or knowing anything.
It is always our choice whether or not we wish to pay the price for life’s rewards. And often it is best for us not to pay the price, for the price might be our integrity.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
Do not seek for things to happen the way you want them to; rather, wish that what happens happen the way it happens: then you will be happy.
Here are thieves and robbers and tribunals: and they that are called tyrants, who deem that they have after a fashion power over us, because of the miserable body and what appertains to it. Let us show them that they have power over none.
You should be especially careful when associating with one of your former friends or acquaintances not to sink to their level; otherwise you will lose yourself. If you are troubled by the idea that ‘He’ll think I’m boring and won’t treat me the way he used to,’ remember that everything comes at a price. It isn’t possible to change your behavior and still be the same person you were before.
If you choose, you are free; if you choose, you need blame no man – accuse no man. All things will be at once according to your mind and according to the Mind of God.
What saith Antisthenes? Hast thou never heard? – It is a kingly thing, O Cyrus, to do well and to be evil spoken of.
Any one thing in the creation is sufficient to demonstrate a Providence to a humble and grateful mind.
Yes, but my nose is running.’ Then what do you have hands for, you slave?
Every habit and faculty is preserved and increased by correspondent actions, as the habit of walking, by walking; of running, by running.
Don’t put your purpose in one place and expect to see progress made somewhere else.
Seek not for events to happen as you wish but rather wish for events to happen as they do and your life will go smoothly.
An uninstructed person will lay the fault of his own bad condition upon others. Someone just starting instruction will lay the fault on himself. Some who is perfectly instructed will place blame neither on others nor on himself.
If a man has reported to you, that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make any defense to what has been told you: but reply, The man did not know the rest of my faults, for he would not have mentioned these only.
If any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone. For God hath made all men to enjoy felicity and constancy of good.
We must consider what is the time for singing, what the time for play, and in whose presence: what will be unsuited to the occasion; whether our companions are to despise us, or we to despise ourselves: when to jest, and whom to mock at: and on what occasion to be conciliatory and to whom: in a word, how one ought to maintain one’s character in society. Wherever you swerve from any of these principles, you suffer loss at once; not loss from without, but issuing from the very act itself.
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 to 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.
You are the one who knows yourself – which is to say, you know how much you are worth in your own estimation, and therefore at what price you will sell yourself; because people sell themselves at different rates.
There are some faults which men readily admit, but others not so readily.
If you wish it, you are free; if you wish it, you’ll find fault with no one, you’ll cast blame on no one, and everything that comes about will do so in accordance with your own will and that of God.
If you have assumed any character beyond your strength, you have both demeaned yourself ill in that and quitted one which you might have supported.
Whoever chafes at the conditions dealt by fate is unskilled in the art of life; whoever bears with them nobly and makes wise use of the results is a man who deserves to be considered good.
If you have assumed a character beyond your strength, you have both played a poor figure in that, and neglected one that is within your powers.
These reasonings do not cohere: I am richer than you, therefore I am better than you; I am more eloquent than you, therefore I am better than you. On the contrary these rather cohere, I am richer than you, therefore my possessions are greater than yours: I am more eloquent than you, therefore my speech is superior to yours. But you are neither possession nor speech.
In literature, too, it is not great achievement to memorize what you have read while not formulating an opinion of your own.
There is nothing good or evil save in the will.
You only have to doze a moment, and all is lost. For ruin and salvation both have their source inside you.
What are we to do, then? To make the best of what lies within our power, and deal with everything else as it comes. ‘How does it come, then?’ As God wills.
Finally, when he crowns it off by becoming a senator, then he becomes a slave in fine company, then he experiences the poshest and most prestigious form of enslavement.
Be free from grief not through insensibility like the irrational animals, nor through want of thought like the foolish, but like a man of virtue by having reason as the consolation of grief.
You will never have to experience defeat if you avoid contests whose outcome is outside your control.
Remember from now on whenever something tends to make you unhappy, draw on this principle: ‘This is no misfortune; but bearing with it bravely is a blessing.
We should not have either a blunt knife or a freedom of speech which is ill-managed.
Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things.
So what oppresses and scares us? It is our own thoughts, obviously, What overwhelms people when they are about to leaves friends, family, old haunts and their accustomed way of life? Thoughts.
Conduct yourself in all matters, grand and public or small and domestic, in accordance with the laws of nature. Harmonizing your will with nature should be your utmost ideal.
For sheep don’t throw up the grass to show the shepherds how much they have eaten; but, inwardly digesting their food, they outwardly produce wool and milk. Thus, therefore, do you likewise not show theorems to the unlearned, but the actions produced by them after they have been digested.
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.
Ask yourself, “How are my thoughts, words and deeds affecting my friends, my spouse, my neighbour, my child, my employer, my subordinates, my fellow citizens?
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.
We ought to flee the friendship of the wicked, and the enmity of the good.
It is wicked to withdraw from being useful to the needy, and cowardly to give way to the worthless.
Behold the birth of tragedy: when idiots come face to face with the vicissitudes of life.
As you travel the path of philosophy, be content to be considered plain or even foolish. Do not strive to be celebrated for anything. If you are praised by others, be skeptical of yourself. For it it is no easy feat to hold onto your inner harmony while collecting accolades. When grasping for one, you are likely to drop the other.
For if we had any sense, what else should we do, both in public and in private, than sing hymns and praise the deity, and recount all the favours that he has conferred!
Don’t regard what anyone says of you, for this, after all, is no concern of yours.
Reason is not measured by size or height, but by principle.
I have a bad neighbour – bad, that is, for himself. For me, though, he is good: he exercises my powers of fairness and sociability.
With ills unending strives the putter off.
To a reasonable creature, that alone is insupportable which is unreasonable; but everything reasonable may be supported.
I must die; so must I die groaning too?
It is my business, to manage carefully and dexterously whatever happens.
Take care not to hurt the ruling faculty of your mind. If you were to guard against this in every action, you should enter upon those actions more safely.
Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control.
The soul’s impurity consists in bad judgments, and purification consists in producing in it right judgments, and the pure soul is one which has right judgments.
I cannot call somebody ‘hard-working’ knowing only that they read and write. Even if ‘all night long’ is added, I cannot say it – not until I know the focus of all this energy.
Were I a nightingale, I would act the part of a nightingale; were I a swan, the part of a swan.
You ought to choose both physician and friend, not the most agreeable, but the most useful.
Let no man think that he is loved by any who loveth none
So if you like doing something, do it regularly; if you don’t like doing something, make a habit of doing something different.
Ask not that events should happen as you will, but let your will be that events should happen that you will have peace.
In prosperity it is very easy to find a friend; but in adversity it is the most difficult of all things.
Adopt new habits yourself: consolidate your principles by putting them into practice.
For what else are tragedies but the ordeals of people who have come to value externals, tricked out in tragic verse?
The materials are indifferent, but the use we make of them is not a matter of indifference.
We should realize that an opinion is not easily formed unless a person says and hears the same things every day and practises them in real life.
Who is not attracted by bright and pleasant children, to prattle, to creep, and to play with them?
Never praise or blame people on common grounds; look to their judgements exclusively. Because that is the determining factor, which makes everyone’s actions either good or bad.
If then all things that grow, nay, our own bodies, are thus bound up with the whole, is not this still truer of our souls? And if our souls are bound up and in contact with God, as being very parts and fragments plucked from Himself, shall He not feel every movement of theirs as though it were His own, and belonging to His own nature?
We tell lies, yet it is easy to show that lying is immoral.
It is better to advise than upbraid, for the one corrects the erring; the other only convicts them.
Your happiness depends on three things, all of which are within your power: your will, your ideas concerning the events in which you are involved, and the use you make of your ideas.
None of these things are foretold to me; but either to my paltry body, or property, or reputation, or children, or wife. But to me all omens are lucky, if I will. For whichever of these things happens, it is in my control to derive advantage from it.
The philosopher’s lecture room is a ‘hospital’: you ought not to walk out of it in a state of pleasure, but in pain; for you are not in good condition when you arrive.
Resistance is vain in any case; it only leads to useless struggle while inviting grief and sorrow.
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.
When the idea of any pleasure strikes your imagination, make a just computation between the duration of the pleasure and that of the repentance that is likely to follow it.
Unless we place our religion and our treasure in the same thing, religion will always be sacrificed.
Philosophers say that people are all guided by a single standard. When they assent to a thing, it is because they feel it must be true, when they dissent, it is because they feel something isn’t true, and when they suspend judgement, it is because they feel that the thing is unclear.
There is a time and place for diversion and amusements, but you should never allow them to override your true purposes.
It is the act of an ill-instructed man to blame others for his own bad condition; it is the act of one who has begun to be instructed, to lay the blame on himself; and of one whose instruction is completed, neither to blame another, nor himself.
We are not to give credit to the many, who say that none ought to be educated but the free; but rather to the philosophers, who say that the well-educated alone are free.
Let whatever appears to be the best be to you an inviolable law. And if any instance of pain or pleasure, glory or disgrace, be set before you, remember that now is the combat, now the Olympiad comes on, nor can it be put off; and that by one failure and defeat honor may be lost or – won.
Happiness is an equivalent for all troublesome things.
Nothing important comes into being overnight; even grapes and 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?
In banquets remember that you entertain two guests, body and soul: and whatever you shall have given to the body you soon eject: but what you shall have given to the soul, you keep always.
For where you find unrest, grief, fear, frustrated desire, failed aversion, jealousy and envy, happiness has no room for admittance. And where values are false, these passions inevitably follow.
No one is ever unhappy because of someone else.
Don’t concern yourself with other people’s business. It’s his problem if he receives you badly. And you cannot suffer for another person’s fault. So don’t worry about the behavior of other.
For you will learn by experience that it’s true: the things that men admire and work so hard to get prove useless to them once they’re theirs.
Is it not the same distance to God everywhere?
To the rational being only the irrational is unendurable, but the rational is endurable.
The soul is like the bowl of water, with the soul’s impressions like the rays of light that strike the water. Now, if the water is disturbed, the light appears to be disturbed together with it – though of course it is not. So when someone loses consciousness, it is not the person’s knowledge and virtues that are impaired, it is the breath that contains them. Once the breath returns to normal, knowledge and the virtues are restored to normal also.
It is more necessary for the soul to be cured than the body; for it is better to die than to live badly.
Death is not dreadful or else it would have appeared dreadful to Socrates.
A soul that makes virtue its companion is like an over-flowing well, for it is clean and pellucid, sweet and wholesome, open to all, rich, blameless and indestructible.
It doesn’t take much to lose everything, just a little departure from reason.
Lucky is the man who dies at work.
Man, the rational animal, can put up with anything except what seems to him irrational; whatever is rational is tolerable.
For I am not Eternity, but a human being – a part of the whole, as an hour is part of the day. I must come like the hour, and like the hour must pass!
If you want to make progress, put up with being perceived as ignorant or naive in worldly matters, don’t aspire to a reputation for sagacity. If you do impress others as somebody, don’t altogether believe it. You have to realize, it isn’t easy to keep your will in agreement with nature, as well as externals. Caring about the one inevitably means you are going to shortchange the other.
Exceed due measure, and the most delightful things become the least delightful.
At feasts, remember that you are entertaining two guests, body and soul. What you give to the body, you presently lose; what you give to the soul, you keep for ever.
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?
In the long run, every man will pay the penalty for his own misdeeds. The man who remembers this will be angry with no one, indignant with no one, revile no one, blame no one, offend no one, hate no one.
Freedom, you see, is having events go in accordance with our will, never contrary to it.
What would Heracles have been if he had said, “How am I to prevent a big lion from appearing, or a big boar, or brutal men?” What care you, I say? If a big boar appears, you will have a greater struggle to engage in; if evil men appear, you will free the world from evil men.
The gods do not exists, and even if they exist they do not trouble themselves about people, and we have nothing in common with them. The piety and devotion to the gods that the majority of people invoke is a lie devised by swindlers and con men and, if you can believe it, by legislators, to keep criminals in line by putting the fear of God into them.
Freedom is not attained through the satisfaction of desires, but through the suppression of desires.
The cause of all human evils is the not being able to apply general principles to special cases.
People are ready to acknowledge some of their faults, but will admit to others only with reluctance.
There are two things that must be rooted out in human beings – arrogant opinion and mistrust. Arrogant opinion expects that there is nothing further needed, and mistrust assumes that under the torrent of circumstance there can be no happiness.
If you pin your hopes on things outside your control, taking upon yourself things which rightfully belong to others, you are liable to stumble, fall, suffer, and blame both gods and men. But if you focus your attention only on what is truly your own concern, and leave to others what concerns them, then you will be in charge of your interior life. No one will be able to harm or hinder you. You will blame no one, and have no enemies.
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.
Choose the life that is noblest, for custom can make it sweet to thee.
It is unrealistc to expect people to see you as you see yourself.
Nothing great comes into being all at once, for that is not the case even with a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me now, ‘I want a fig,’ I’ll reply, ‘That takes time.
So what oppresses and scares us? It is our own thoughts, obviously.
When you do anything from a clear judgment that it ought to be done, never shun the being seen to do it, even though the world should make a wrong supposition about it; for, if you don’t act right, shun the action itself; but, if you do, why are you afraid of those who censure you wrongly?
If thou rememberest that God standeth by to behold and visit all that thou doest; whether in the body or in the soul, thou surely wilt not err in any prayer or deed; and thou shalt have God to dwell with thee.
It were no slight attainment could we merely fulfil what the nature of man implies.
If you are told that such an one speaks ill of you, make no defense against what was said, but answer, “He surely knows not my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these only!
As long as you honour material things, direct your anger at yourself rather than the thief or adulterer.
If what charms you is nothing but abstract principles, sit down and turn them over quietly in your mind: but never dub yourself a Philosopher.
Whatever your mission, stick by it as if it were a law and you would be committing sacrilege to betray it. Pay no attention to whatever people might say; this no longer should influence you.
Why are you pestering me, pal? My own evils are enough for me.
I have learned to see that whatever comes about is nothing to me if it lies beyond the sphere of choice.
Every art and every faculty contemplates certain things as its principal objects.
No living being is held by anything so strongly as its own needs.
Remember that the divine order is intelligent and fundamentally good. Life is not a series of random, meaningless episodes, but an ordered, elegant whole that follows ultimately comprehensible laws.
If you meet temptation, use self-control; if you meet pain, use fortitude; if you meet revulsion, use patience.
If what philosophers say of the kinship of God and Man be true, what remains for men to do but as Socrates did: – never, when asked one’s country, to answer, “I am an Athenian or a Corinthian,” but “I am a citizen of the world.
It isn’t death, pain, exile or anything else you care to mention that accounts for the way we act, only our opinion about death, pain and the rest.
If you must be affected by other people’s misfortunes, show them pity instead of contempt. Drop this readiness to hate and take offence.
Tis true I know what evil I shall do but passion overpowers the better council
Wherefore it is a shame for man to begin and to leave off where the brutes do. Rather he should begin there, and leave off where Nature leaves off in us: and that is at contemplation, and understanding, and a manner of life that is in harmony with herself. See then that ye die not without being spectators of these things.
And where there is ignorance, there is also want of learning and instruction in essentials.
That is the way things are weighed and disagreements settled – when standards are established. Philosophy aims to test and set such standards. And the wise man is advised to make use of their findings right way
That alone is in our power, which is our own work; and in this class are our opinions, impulses, desires, and aversions. On the contrary, what is not in our power, are our bodies, possessions, glory, and power. Any delusion on this point leads to the greatest errors, misfortunes, and troubles, and to the slavery of the soul.
We have no power over external things, and the good that ought to be the object of our earnest pursuit, is to be found only within ourselves.
Practice then from the start to say to every harsh impression, “You are an impression, and not at all the thing you appear to be.” Then examine it and test it by these rules you have, and firstly, and chiefly, by this: whether the impression has to do with the things that are up to us, or those that are not; and if it has to do with the things that are not up to us, be ready to reply, “It is nothing to me.
Who is your master? Anyone who has control over things upon which you’ve set your heart, or over things which you seek to avoid.
You are not your body and hair-style, but your capacity for choosing well. If your choices are beautiful, so too will you be.
We are not privy to the stories behind people’s actions, so we should be patient with others and suspend judgement of them, recognizing the limits of our understanding.
Deliberate much before saying or doing anything, for you will not have the power of recalling what is said or done.
To make the best of what is in our power, and take the rest as it occurs.
It isn’t the events themselves that disturb people, but only their judgements about them.