86 Quotes by Marcus Aurelius the Roman Emperor and Stoic Philosopher

86 Quotes by Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius, a Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, is often remembered not just for his leadership but for his deep philosophical insights. He was a practitioner and one of the most respected proponents of Stoic philosophy. Stoicism, a school of philosophy founded in Athens, teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means to overcome destructive emotions. It is not merely an academic discipline but a way of life, focusing on practical ethics, how one should live, and the path to a good and meaningful life.

The quotes gathered here offer a glimpse into the mind of Marcus Aurelius and the Stoic principles he lived by. They reflect his thoughts on various aspects of life, including personal ethics, understanding the nature of the universe, and the importance of rationality. Whether you’re familiar with Stoic philosophy or new to it, these quotes from Marcus Aurelius provide valuable insights into leading a thoughtful and fulfilling life.

86 Marcus Aurelius Quotes

  1. “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
  2. “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” – Marcus Aurelius
  3. “He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.” – Marcus Aurelius
  4. “Our life is what our thoughts make it.” – Marcus Aurelius
  5. “The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius
  6. “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” – Marcus Aurelius
  7. “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.” – Marcus Aurelius
  8. “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” – Marcus Aurelius
  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.” – Marcus Aurelius
  10. “The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.” – Marcus Aurelius
  11. “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.” – Marcus Aurelius
  12. “Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.” – Marcus Aurelius
  13. “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius
  14. “If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.” – Marcus Aurelius
  15. “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.” – Marcus Aurelius
  16. “You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can’t control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.” – Marcus Aurelius
  17. “To live happily is an inward power of the soul.” – Marcus Aurelius
  18. “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius
  19. “Everything that happens happens as it should, and if you observe carefully, you will find this to be so.” – Marcus Aurelius
  20. “It is not events that disturb people, it is their judgments concerning them.” – Marcus Aurelius
  21. “Death smiles at us all, but all a man can do is smile back.” – Marcus Aurelius
  22. “When you are distressed by an external thing, it’s not the thing itself that troubles you, but only your judgment of it. And you can wipe this out at a moment’s notice.” – Marcus Aurelius
  23. “How much time he saves who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks.” – Marcus Aurelius
  24. “The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.” – Marcus Aurelius
  25. “Do every act of your life as if it were your last.” – Marcus Aurelius
  26. “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
  27. “Confine yourself to the present.” – Marcus Aurelius
  28. “Turn your desire to stone. Quench your appetites. Keep your mind centered on itself.” – Marcus Aurelius
  29. “Do not act as if you are going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good.” – Marcus Aurelius
  30. “Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.” – Marcus Aurelius
  31. “The best way of avenging thyself is not to become like the wrongdoer.” – Marcus Aurelius
  32. “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.” – Marcus Aurelius
  33. “The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away.” – Marcus Aurelius
  34. “Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.” – Marcus Aurelius
  35. “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Marcus Aurelius
  36. “Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.” – Marcus Aurelius
  37. “Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness.” – Marcus Aurelius
  38. “Life is neither good or evil, but only a place for good and evil.” – Marcus Aurelius
  39. “It is in your power to withdraw yourself whenever you desire. Perfect tranquility within consists in the good ordering of the mind, the realm of your own.” – Marcus Aurelius
  40. “Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too.” – Marcus Aurelius
  41. “Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature’s delight.” – Marcus Aurelius
  42. “Such as are your habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius
  43. “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?” – Marcus Aurelius
  44. “A man’s worth is no greater than his ambitions.” – Marcus Aurelius
  45. “Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.” – Marcus Aurelius
  46. “Death is a release from the impressions of the senses, and from desires that make us their puppets, and from the vagaries of the mind, and from the hard service of the flesh.” – Marcus Aurelius
  47. “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.” – Marcus Aurelius
  48. “How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life.” – Marcus Aurelius
  49. “Poverty is the mother of crime.” – Marcus Aurelius
  50. “Remember that man lives only by the help of his fellow man; that his life is not to harm but to help.” – Marcus Aurelius
  51. “Soon you will have forgotten the world, and soon the world will have forgotten you.” – Marcus Aurelius
  52. “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.” – Marcus Aurelius
  53. “The universal order and the personal order are nothing but different expressions and manifestations of a common underlying principle.” – Marcus Aurelius
  54. “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.” – Marcus Aurelius
  55. “Your life is what your thoughts make it.” – Marcus Aurelius
  56. “Everything is only for a day, both that which remembers and that which is remembered.” – Marcus Aurelius
  57. “Adapt yourself to the life you have been given; and truly love the people with whom destiny has surrounded you.” – Marcus Aurelius
  58. “Let not your mind run on what you lack as much as on what you have already.” – Marcus Aurelius
  59. “What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius
  60. “Objective judgment, 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.” – Marcus Aurelius
  61. “We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.” – Marcus Aurelius
  62. “Your task is to stand straight; not to be held straight.” – Marcus Aurelius
  63. “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius
  64. “Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also.” – Marcus Aurelius
  65. “To understand the true quality of people, you must look into their minds, and examine their pursuits and aversions.” – Marcus Aurelius
  66. “Remember how long you’ve been putting this off, how many extensions the gods gave you, and you didn’t use them.” – Marcus Aurelius
  67. “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” – Marcus Aurelius
  68. “Don’t go on discussing what a good person should be. Just be one.” – Marcus Aurelius
  69. “The memory of everything is very soon overwhelmed in time.” – Marcus Aurelius
  70. “To the wise, life is a problem; to the fool, a solution.” – Marcus Aurelius
  71. “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 the harmony if you keep going back to it.” – Marcus Aurelius
  72. “Confine yourself to the present moment.” – Marcus Aurelius
  73. “How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.” – Marcus Aurelius
  74. “No man is happy who does not think himself so.” – Marcus Aurelius
  75. “It is not death that a man should fear, but rather he should fear never beginning to live.” – Marcus Aurelius
  76. “Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life.” – Marcus Aurelius
  77. “The art of living is more wrestling than dancing.” – Marcus Aurelius
  78. “Receive wealth or prosperity without arrogance; and be ready to let it go.” – Marcus Aurelius
  79. “Execute every act of thy life as though it were thy last.” – Marcus Aurelius
  80. “When you have seen the present then you have seen everything—as it has been since all time, as it will be forever. The same substance, the same form. All of it.” – Marcus Aurelius
  81. “Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.” – Marcus Aurelius
  82. “Each day provides its own gifts.” – Marcus Aurelius
  83. “The happiness of those who want to be popular depends on others; the happiness of those who seek pleasure fluctuates with moods outside their control; but the happiness of the wise grows out of their own free acts.” – Marcus Aurelius
  84. “You have the power over your mind—not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
  85. “When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius
  86. “The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injustice.” – Marcus Aurelius

A Note from the Author

I hope you enjoyed reading this list of Marcus Aurelius quotes, one of my favorite philosophers. His wisdom has always resonated with me, and I’m glad I could share it with you. If you liked what you read, please share this article, and don’t forget to visit SEFFSAID again!

Best wishes,

Seff Bray

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Seff Bray

Seff Bray is an accomplished author and the passionate founder of seffsaid.com, a website renowned for its uplifting and inspiring content. With a lifelong interest in personal development and growth, Seff has dedicated himself to empowering others through his writing.