110 Marcus Aurelius Quotes About Life

"If you are pained by any external thing, it is not this thing that disturbs you, but your own judgment about it. And it is in your power to wipe out this judgment now."
110 Marcus Aurelius Quotes About Life


110 Marcus Aurelius Quotes About Life

Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor who is best known as being the last of the Five Good Emperors. One of the most cherished Roman emperors in history, Aurelius is remembered for being at the forefront of Stoicism and for his rule driven by reason.


He wrote one of the biggest works of philosophy, Meditations, a collection of his thoughts and notes on life based on his Stoic beliefs.


Our collection of Marcus Aurelius quotes is inspired by the emperor’s life and work and we hope they will bring clarity and motivation into your day to day activities.

"The best answer to anger is silence."
"To love only what happens, what was destined. No greater harmony. "
"It is not events that disturb people, it is their judgements concerning them."
"The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts. "
"The more we value things outside our control, the less control we have. "
"Receive without conceit, release without struggle. "
"Be content to seem what you really are. "
"Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears. "
"Each of us needs what nature gives us, when nature gives it. "
"Remember: Matter. How tiny your share of it. Time. How brief and fleeting your allotment of it. Fate. How small a role you play in it. "
"The first step: Don’t be anxious. Nature controls it all.The second step: Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it. Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being; remind yourself what nature demands of people. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy."
"Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions – not outside."
"He who follows reason in all things is both tranquil and active at the same time, and also cheerful and collected."
"Nothing natural is evil."
"Let not your mind run on what you lack as much as on what you have already."
"Objective judgement, now, at this very moment. Unselfish action, now, at this very moment. Willing acceptance, now, at this very moment – of all external events. That’s all you need."
"How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life."
"You’re subject to sorrow, fear, jealousy, anger and inconsistency. That’s the real reason you should admit that you are not wise."
"Almost nothing material is needed for a happy life, for he who has understood existence."
"Receive wealth or prosperity without arrogance; and be ready to let it go. "
"For God’s sake, stop honouring externals, quit turning yourself into the tool of mere matter, or of people who can supply you or deny you those material things."
"As the same fire assumes different shapes when it consumes objects differing in shape, so does the oneself take the shape of every creature in whom he is present."
"A man when he has done a good act, does not call out for others to come and see, but he goes on to another act, as a vine goes on to produce again the grapes in season."
"Is any man afraid of change? What can take place without change? What then is more pleasing or more suitable to the universal nature? And can you take a hot bath unless the wood for the fire undergoes a change? And can you be nourished unless the food undergoes a change? And can anything else that is useful be accomplished without change? Do you not see then that for yourself also to change is just the same, and equally necessary for the universal nature?"
"Receive without pride, let go without attachment. "
"When you have assumed these names – good, modest, truthful, rational, a man of equanimity, and magnanimous – take care that you do not change these names; and if you should lose them, quickly return to them."
"I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinions of himself than on the opinions of others."
"Be content with what you are, and wish not change; nor dread your last day, nor long for it."
"Consider that before long you will be nobody and nowhere, nor will any of the things exist that you now see, nor any of those who are now living. For all things are formed by nature to change and be turned and to perish in order that other things in continuous succession may exist."
"In a word, if there is a god, all is well; and if chance rules, do not also be governed by it."
"I look for the best and am prepared for the opposite."
"Treat whatever happens as wholly natural; not novel or hard to deal with; but familiar and easily handled. "
"You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength."
"Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking."
"If it’s not right, don’t do it. If it’s not true, don’t say it."
"The best revenge is not to be like your enemy."
"Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart."
"Confine yourself to the present."
"Straight, not straightened."
"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."
"Whatever happens to you has been waiting to happen since the beginning of time."
"That which is not good for the bee-hive cannot be good for the bees."
"To live happily is an inward power of the soul."
"You can commit injustice by doing nothing."
"Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one."
"Do every act of your life as if it were your last."
"It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live."
"To accept without arrogance, to let it go with indifference."
"Each day provides its own gifts."
"Anger cannot be dishonest."
"Nothing should be done without purpose."
"Even the smallest thing should be done with reference to an end."
"Stick to what’s in front of you – idea, action, utterance."
"What is your art? To be good."
"Give yourself a gift: the present moment."
"What illusion about myself do I entertain?"
"The rational animal is consequently also a social animal."
"Glory’s an empty, changeable thing, as fickle as the weather."
"Poverty is the mother of crime."
"A man should be upright, not be kept upright."
"Our life is what our thoughts make it."
"Nothing happens to anyone that he can’t endure."
"Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them."
"Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look."
"When jarred, unavoidably, by circumstance, revert at once to yourself and don’t lose the rhythm more than you can help. You’ll have a better grasp of harmony if you keep going back to it."
"So you were born to feel “nice”? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?"
"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment."
"Take the shortest route, the one that nature planned – to speak and act in the healthiest way. Do that, and be free of pain and stress, free of all calculation and pretention."
"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."
"Keep reminding yourself of the way things are connected, of their relatedness. All things are implicated in one another and in sympathy with each other. This event is the consequence of some other one. Things push and pull on each other, and breathe together, and are one."
"As if you had died and your life had extended only to this present moment, use the surplus that is left to you to live from this time onward according to nature."
"There is nothing that happens to any person but what was in his power to go through with."
"The true man is revealed in difficult times. So when trouble comes, think of yourself as a wrestler whom God, like a trainer, has paired with a tough young buck. For what purpose? To turn you into Olympic-class material. But this is going to take some sweat to accomplish."
"There were two vices much blacker and more serious than the rest: lack of persistence and lack of self-control… persist and resist."
"The universal order and the personal order are nothing but different expressions and manifestations of a common underlying principle."
"Look within. Within is the foundation of good, and it will ever bubble up, if you will ever dig."
"The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away."
"Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life."
"Forward, as occasion offers. Never look round to see whether any shall note it… Be satisfied with success in even the smallest matter, and think that even such a result is no trifle."
"Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish."
"f you didn’t learn these things in order to demonstrate them in practice, what did you learn them for?"
"People with a strong physical constitution can tolerate extremes of hot and cold; people of strong mental health can handle anger, grief, joy and the other emotions."
"And thou wilt give thyself relief, if thou doest every act of thy life as if it were the last."
"How long will you wait before you demand the best of yourself, and trust reason to determine what is best?"
" ‘I will throw you into prison.’ ‘Correction – it is my body you will throw there’. "
"When faced with anything painful or pleasurable, anything bringing glory or disrepute, realize that the crisis is now, that the Olympics have started, and waiting is no longer an option; that the chance for progress, to keep or lose, turns on the events of a single day."
"In the morning, when you rise unwillingly, let this thought be present: I am rising to the work of a human being."
"No man can escape his destiny, the next inquiry being how he may best live the time that he has to live."
"Do you have reason? I have. Why then do you not use it?"
"Have I been made for this, to lie under the blankets and keep myself warm?"
" ‘But I get to wear a crown of gold.’ If you have your heart set on wearing crowns, why not make one out of roses – you will look even more elegant in that."
"Who exactly are these people that you want to be admired by? Aren’t they the same people you are in the habit of calling crazy? And is this your life ambition, then – to win the approval of lunatics?"
"Consider what men are when they are eating, sleeping, coupling, evacuating, and so forth. Then what kind of men they are when they are imperious and arrogant, or angry and scolding from their elevated place."
"How much time he saves who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks. "
"Conceal a flaw, and the world will imagine the worst."
"If you learn that someone is speaking ill of you, don’t try to defend yourself against the rumours; respond instead with, ‘Yes, and he doesn’t know the half of it, because he could have said more’."
"If someone responds to insult like a rock, what has the abuser gained with his invective?"
"He who has a vehement desire for posthumous fame does not consider that every one of those who remember him will themselves also die very soon."
"Let us overlook many things in those who are like antagonists in the gymnasium. For it is in our power, as I said, to get out of the way and to have no suspicion or hatred."
"Begin – to begin is half the work, let half still remain; again begin this, and thou wilt have finished."
"It is just charming how people boast about qualities beyond their control. For instance, ‘I am better than you because I have many estates, while you are practically starving’; or, ‘I’m a consul,’ ‘I’m a governor,’ or ‘I have fine curly hair.’"
"How strangely men act. They will not praise those who are living at the same time and living with themselves; but to be themselves praised by posterity, by those whom they have never seen or ever will see, this they set much value on."
“A cucumber is bitter.” Throw it away. “There are briars in the road.” Turn aside from them. This is enough. Do not add, “And why were such things made in the world?”
"Always observe how ephemeral and worthless human things are, and what was yesterday a speck of semen tomorrow will be a mummy or ashes."
"Under no circumstances ever say ‘I have lost something,’ only ‘I returned it.’ "
"Tomorrow is nothing, today is too late; the good lived yesterday."
"Do little, if you want contentment of mind."
"Misfortune nobly born is good fortune."
"To do harm is to do yourself harm. To do an injustice is to do yourself an injustice."
"If something does not make a person worse in himself, neither does it make his life worse, nor does it harm him without or within."

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