43 Classic Stoic Philosophy Quotes and Sayings

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Are you curious about the ancient origins of Stoicism and how it can help you lead a better life?

Stoicism is one of the founding philosophies of Western civilization and has been popular with emperors, athletes, and top performers from Ancient Greece to modern times. Its philosophy focuses on practical applications and can help anyone in any situation.

In today’s post, we’ll share some timeless stoic quotes and help you understand more about this incredibly powerful way of approaching life.

Why Stoic Quotes Can Help You Thrive

Stoicism is a philosophy that originates from Ancient Greece but it was popularized by the Romans, and most famously the Roman Emporer Marcus Aurelius.

Many people think of stoicism as some humorless, joyless, grim-faced approach to life but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Stoicism is all about training yourself to handle a stressful situation, and its spiritual side comes from its ideas about developing and reaching your full potential as a human being.

One marked difference between Stoicism and other philosophies is that it deals with humans as they are and not as an ideal. You’re going to have bad days, and you’re going to think bad things, but that’s just part of being a human.

Stoicism recognizes that an enormous power that every human has is their ability to choose how they respond and change their thinking. Did you get cut up in traffic or spoken to rudely? You can let this ruin your day or you can let it go – the choice is yours.

Stoicism is about strengthening yourself to deal with whatever life can throw at you. It’s about understanding that you can’t have a full life without some struggle – it’s how we grow and develop as human beings; from learning to walk to learning advanced skills within a profession.

Stoicism is about realizing that there will always be difficult moments in life but you are never helpless or powerless unless you choose to be.

43 Classic Stoic Philosophy Quotes and Sayings

  1. “You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
  2. “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      
  3. “Poverty is a virtue which one can teach oneself.” – Diogenes

Poverty is a virtue which one can teach oneself.” – Diogenes

  1. “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.” – Seneca
  2. “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will.” – Epictetus
  3. “The mob is the mother of tyrants.” – Diogenes
  4. “Man conquers the world by conquering himself.” – Zeno
  5. “Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” – Seneca
Stoic Quotes - “Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” - Seneca | stoic teachings | stoic wisdom | stoic principles #stoicism #stoicphilosophy #stoicwisdom
  1. “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” – Epictetus   
  2. “Dogs and philosophers do the greatest good and get the fewest rewards.” – Diogenes
  3. “You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
  4. “You could not step twice into the same river.” – Heraclitus 
  5. “A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.” – Seneca
  6. “The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.” – Diogenes
  7. “We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we speak.” – Zeno
  8. “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
  9. “Fate guides the willing, but drags the unwilling.” – Cleanthes

Fate guides the willing, but drags the unwilling.” – Cleanthes

  1. “The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius
  2. “He with the most who is content with the least.” – Diogenes
  3. “There could be no justice, unless there were also injustice; no courage, unless there were cowardice; no truth, unless there were falsehood.” – Chrysippus
  4. “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
  5. “Thus whoever destroys human marriage destroys the home, the city-the whole human race.” – Musonius Rufus
  6. “Let your desires be ruled by reason.” – Cicero
Stoic Quotes - “Let your desires be ruled by reason.” - Cicero | stoic ethics | stoic virtues | stoic mindset #stoicmindset #stoiclife #stoicthoughts
  1. “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.” – MarcusAurelius
  2. “Only by exhibiting actions in harmony with the sound words which he has received will anyone be helped by philosophy.” – Musonius Rufus
  3. “I begin to speak only when I’m certain what I’ll say isn’t better left unsaid.” – Cato
  4. “Know you not that a good man does nothing for appearance sake, but for the sake of having done right?” – Epictetus
  5. “Since every man dies, it is better to die with distinction than to live long.” – Musonius Rufus
  6. “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” – Seneca
  7. “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.” – Epictetus
  8. “To wish to be well is a part of becoming well.” – Seneca

To wish to be well is a part of becoming well.” – Seneca

  1. “Humanity must seek what is NOT simple and obvious using the simple and obvious.” – Musonius Rufus
  2. “Men are disturbed not by things but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things.” – Epictetus
  3. “Any person capable of angering you becomes your master; he can anger you only when you permit yourself to be disturbed by him.” – Epictetus
  4. “We begin to lose our hesitation to do immoral things when we lose our hesitation to speak of them.” – Musonius Rufus
  5. “Better to trip with the feet than with the tongue.” – Zeno
  6. “If you want something good, get it yourself.” – Epictetus
  7. “Extravagance is its own destroyer.” – Zeno
  8. “That man lives badly who does not know how to die well.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  9. “Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life.” – Marcus Aurelius
Stoic Quotes - “Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life.” - Marcus Aurelius | stoic philosophy quotes | stoic sayings | stoic philosophy for life #stoicprinciples #stoicquotes #stoicinspiration
  1. “He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at.” – Epictetus
  2. “Knowledge is no guarantee of good behavior, but ignorance is a virtual guarantee of bad behavior.” – Martha Nussbaum
  3. “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.” – Marcus Aurelius

Final Thoughts on Stoic Quotes

That brings us to the end of our timeless tidbits of wisdom handed down to us from the stoic masters of old.

Stoicism is without a doubt one of the most impactful and beneficial ways of living that one can learn from. It takes a real effort and commitment to master its principles, and it’s not necessarily a philosophy with flashy ideas – but it works, and it has worked for thousands of years.

If you want to learn more, check out these articles:

Finally, if you want to use these quotes to make a lasting change to your life, then watch this free video that details the 7-minute habit for planning your day to focus on what's truly important to you..

Tom Smith is a creative writer with over 6 years of professional experience. He discovered the joy of writing after covering some furniture in his childhood home with graffiti. In later years, he got himself a BA in creative writing and hasn’t looked back. After discovering the power of positive thinking and discovering the spiritual side of life, he believes it's a huge privilege to be able to write about all things personal development.

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