115 Best Stoic Quotes & Stoicism Quotes for 2024 🏛️💪🪦

By Derek Wydra

Welcome to our huge collection of the best Stoic quotes! With wisdom spanning thousands of year, these sayings from influential Stoic philosophers like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus continue to inspire us daily. Whether they are stoic quotes on love, death, self-discipline, or leading a happy life, there's something for everyone.

best stoic quotes

👉 Get Started Free

🔓Unlock unlimited 📚 book summaries today!
You'll gain instant access to read all the book summaries mentioned in this post like:

1. Marcus Aurelius quotes 👑

Marcus Aurelius is probably the most important Stoic philosopher of all time. He was the emperor of Rome in 161 AD, which basically made him the most powerful man in the world. Even though he must have been super busy, Marcus Aurelius found the time to write a private journal, which was later published as the book “Meditations” (read our summary) — Imagine being so awesome that, 2,000 years after you’re dead, people are still inspired by your personal diary!

  1. Choose not to be harmed, and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed, and you haven’t been.”
  2. “You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
  3. “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”
  4. “The things you think about determine the quality of your mind. Your soul takes on the color of your thoughts.”
  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 opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.”
  6. Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.” – Marcus Aurelius
  7. “Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I will meet people who are meddling, ungrateful, insolent, disloyal, malicious and selfish—all because of their ignorance of what is good and evil.”
  8. “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.”
  9. “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.”
  10. “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?”
  11. Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
  12. “Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”
  13. “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.”
  14. “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.”
  15. “Think of the life you have lived until now as over and, as a dead man, see what’s left as a bonus and live it according to Nature. Love the hand that fate deals you and play it as your own, for what could be more fitting?”

2. Seneca quotes 🎭

Seneca is the second major Stoic philosopher, his wisdom can be found in the books Letters From a Stoic (read our summary) and On the Shortness of Life. He was an important thinker, writer and politician in the ancient Roman Empire.

  1. “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.”
  2. “We suffer more in imagination than in reality.”
  3. “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.”
  4. “It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.”
  5. “He suffers more than necessary, who suffers before it is necessary.”
  6. “There is no easy way from the earth to the stars.”
  7. “It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.”
  8. Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.”
  9. “As long as you live, keep learning how to live.”
  10. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
  11. “As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.”
  12. “The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.
  13. “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”
  14. “It is not that we are given a short life, but we make it short. And we are not ill-supplied, but wasteful of it.”
  15. “Two elements must therefore be rooted out once for all, – the fear of future suffering, and the recollection of past suffering; since the latter no longer concerns me, and the former concerns me not yet.”

3. Epictetus quotes ⛓️

Epictetus, the third major ancient Stoic philosopher, was born a slave in 50 AD. He gained freedom as a young man and went on to teach philosophy in Rome. His teachings were recorded in books like the Enchiridion and Discourses of Epictetus, and continue to be widely read today.

  1. “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.”
  2. “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”
  3. Circumstances don’t make the man, they only reveal him to himself.”
  4. “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”
  5. “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
  6. No man is free who is not master of himself.”
  7. “Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems.”
  8. “Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.”
  9. Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”
  10. “The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.”
  11. “He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at.”
  12. “When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.”
  13. “People are not disturbed by things, but by the views they take of them.”
  14. “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.”
  15. “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”

4. Stoic quotes on Self-Control and Discipline 💪

Stoic philosophy regards mastery over oneself as a key part of living a virtuous and meaningful life. In practical terms, being a Stoic means you have power over your desires and impulses, they don’t have power over you.

  1. Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.” – Marcus Aurelius
  2. No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” —Socrates
  3. “If it is endurable, then endure it. Stop complaining.” —Marcus Aurelius
  4. No man is free who is not master of himself.” —Epictetus
  5. “The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it.” —Epictetus
  6. The paradox seems to be, as Socrates demonstrated long ago, that the truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self-mastery. While those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.” —Steven Pressfield (in his great book “The War of Art”—read our summary!)
  7. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” —Jim Rohn
  8. “Everything in life is a mind game! Whenever we get swept under by life’s dramas, large and small, we are forgetting that no matter how bad the pain gets, no matter how harrowing the torture, all bad things end.” —David Goggins (in his book “Can’t Hurt Me”—read our summary!)
  9. “Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor” – Alexis Carrel
  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. Yes, you can — 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.” —Marcus Aurelius

5. Stoic quotes on Love and Friendship 🕊️

The Stoic philosophers viewed love and friendship not only emotionally fulfilling experiences, but also prime opportunities for personal growth. In relationships, we can learn to calmly accept other people as they are, while recognizing we have control over who we surround ourselves with.

  1. “It’s silly to try to escape other people’s faults. They are inescapable. Just try to escape your own.” – Marcus Aurelius
  2. “Adapt yourself to the life you have been given, and truly love the people with whom destiny has surrounded you.” —Marcus Aurelius
  3. “There is no enjoying the possession of anything valuable unless one has someone to share it with.” —Seneca
  4. “Associate with people who are likely to improve you. Welcome those whom you are capable of improving. The process is a mutual one: men learn as they teach.” —Seneca
  5. “To be everywhere is to be nowhere. People who spend their whole life travelling abroad end up having plenty of places where they can find hospitality but no real friendships.” —Seneca
  6. “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.” – Epictetus
  7. “Deliberate much before saying or doing anything, for you will not have the power of recalling what is said or done.” – Epictetus
  8. All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” —Sophocles
  9. “That which is not good for the bee-hive cannot be good for the bees.” —Marcus Aurelius
  10. “The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” —Epictetus

6. Stoic quotes on Not Caring What Others Think 🙉

Stoicism teaches us that our peace of mind shouldn’t be dictated by other’s opinions. Instead, we should focus on living a life that is good and virtuous, according to our own conscience.

  1. The opinion of 10,000 men is of no value if none of them know anything about the subject.” —Anonymous (but often attributed to Marcus Aurelius)
  2. “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 opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.” —Marcus Aurelius
  3. Don’t spend 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 they’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.” —Marcus Aurelius
  4. Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.” —Marcus Aurelius
  5. “When someone is properly grounded in life, they shouldn’t have to look outside themselves for approval.” —Epictetus
  6. 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.” —Marcus Aurelius
  7. “How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.” —Marcus Aurelius
  8. “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.” —Seneca
  9. “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.” —Anonymous (often attributed to Marcus Aurelius)
  10. 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.'” —Epictetus

7. Stoic quotes on Life, Death and Not Wasting Time 💀

Stoicism, perhaps more than any other philosophy, encourages us to confront the reality of death. By regularly remembering our inevitable end, we can truly value the time we’ve been given and make the most of it.

  1. You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” —Marcus Aurelius
  2. “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.” —Marcus Aurelius
  3. “It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much… The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully… Life is long if you know how to use it.” —Seneca
  4. Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what’s left and live it properly. What doesn’t transmit light creates its own darkness.” —Marcus Aurelius
  5. “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” —Marcus Aurelius
  6. “We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia.” —Richard Dawkins
  7. It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?” —Henry David Thoreau
  8. “As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.” —Leonardo da Vinci
  9. Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” —John Lennon
  10. Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” —Steve Jobs (read our summary of his amazing biography!)

8. Stoic quotes on Strength and Resilience Through Adversity 🕊️

Stoic thinkers didn’t see obstacles and adversity as bad luck, but accepted that hard times were a simple fact of life. Therefore, the only rational response was to welcome each new problem as a chance to grow stronger.

  1. Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.” —G. Michael Hopf
  2. Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” —Seneca
  3. “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” —Marcus Aurelius
  4. The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.” —Ryan Holiday
  5. You will be wrong sometimes. The key is not to stay wrong. An unacknowledged error is an error. An acknowledged error is an education.” —@TheStoicEmperor
  6. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
  7. A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.” —Chinese Proverb
  8. If you give up because you are afraid of failure you will become the failure you sought to avoid” —Anonymous
  9. Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
  10. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” —Viktor Frankl (in his life-changing book “Man’s Search for Meaning”—read our summary!)

9. Stoic quotes on Fear, Worry and Anger 😨

Stoicism teaches us to focus on what’s within in our control, like our emotions and reactions, instead of worrying about what outside of our control, like external events or other people’s actions. This ancient philosophy inspired modern Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is now the “gold standard” treatment for anxiety disorders.

  1. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” —The Serenity Prayer
  2. 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.” —Epictetus
  3. “More is lost by indecision than wrong decision.” —Cicero
  4. “The mind freed from passions is an impenetrable fortress—a person has no more secure place of refuge for all time.” —Marcus Aurelius
  5. “There is no person so severely punished, as those who subject themselves to the whip of their own remorse.” —Seneca
  6. “How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.” —Marcus Aurelius
  7. “You don’t have to turn this into something. It doesn’t have to upset you.” – Marcus Aurelius
  8. “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.” – Marcus Aurelius
  9. “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.” —Marcus Aurelius
  10. “Any person capable of angering you becomes your master.” —Epictetus

10. Stoic quotes on Happiness and the Present Moment 🌄

Stoicism teaches us that true happiness lies not in external possessions or achievements, but in appreciating the present moment and finding joy within ourselves.

  1. “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.” —Marcus Aurelius
  2. We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” —Seneca
  3. “Those who live the longest and those who die the soonest both lose the same thing. The present is all they can give up, since that is all you have, and what you do not have, you cannot lose.” —Marcus Aurelius
  4. “The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.” —Seneca
  5. 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.” —Marcus Aurelius
  6. True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” —Seneca
  7. “It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.” —Seneca
  8. “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.” —Marcus Aurelius
  9. “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.” —Anonymous (often attributed to Marcus Aurelius)
  10. “Until we have begun to go without them, we fail to realize how unnecessary many things are. We’ve been using them not because we needed them but because we had them.” —Seneca

👉 Get Started Free

🔓Unlock unlimited 📚 book summaries today!
You'll gain instant access to read all the book summaries mentioned in this post like:

×
Premium Feature

🔓Unlock these features with a Pro Account on 🚀Growth.me

📚 UNLIMITED ACCESS to our summaries of the world's most useful books. Detailed, visually appealing, and designed to save you time.
🎧 ON-THE-GO AUDIOS so you can learn while driving or working out, read by our captivating writers (not a robot!)
TLDR CHEATSHEETS help you quickly grasp key takeaways, transforming each book into an easy one-page read.
🎯 PERSONALIZED FOR YOU: Get personal recommendations, save a custom reading list, and add comments.
Get Started Free
7-day free trial
Cancel anytime
15,000+ monthly readers