Stoicism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "stoicism" Showing 1-30 of 489
Markus Zusak
“Imagine smiling after a slap in the face. Then think of doing it twenty-four hours a day.”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Marcus Aurelius
“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, Meditations

Marcus Aurelius
“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, Meditations

Erin Hunter
“Warriors should suffer their pain silently.”
Erin Hunter, Into the Wild

Seneca
“It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.”
Seneca, The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters

Randy Pausch
“Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won't make us happier.”
Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Seneca
“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.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Letters from a Stoic

T.H. White
“Life is such unutterable hell, solely because it is sometimes beautiful. If we could only be miserable all the time, if there could be no such things as love or beauty or faith or hope, if I could be absolutely certain that my love would never be returned: how much more simple life would be. One could plod through the Siberian salt mines of existence without being bothered about happiness. Unfortunately the happiness is there. There is always the chance (about eight hundred and fifty to one) that another heart will come to mine. I can't help hoping, and keeping faith, and loving beauty. Quite frequently I am not so miserable as it would be wise to be.”
T.H. White, Ghostly, Grim and Gruesome

Alice Hoffman
“People hide their truest nature. I understood that; I even applauded it. What sort of world would it be if people bled all over the sidewalks, if they wept under trees, smacked whomever they despised, kissed strangers, revealed themselves?”
Alice Hoffman, The Ice Queen

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
“A Stoic is someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.”
Taleb Nassim Nicholas

Nora Roberts
“Feeling too much is a hell of a lot better than feeling nothing.”
Nora Roberts, Midnight Bayou

Salman Rushdie
“How do you defeat terrorism? Don’t be terrorized.”
Salman Rushdie, Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002

Epictetus
“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.”
Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness

Seneca
“For what prevents us from saying that the happy life is to have a mind that is free, lofty, fearless and steadfast - a mind that is placed beyond the reach of fear, beyond the reach of desire, that counts virtue the only good, baseness the only evil, and all else but a worthless mass of things, which come and go without increasing or diminishing the highest good, and neither subtract any part from the happy life nor add any part to it?
A man thus grounded must, whether he wills or not, necessarily be attended by constant cheerfulness and a joy that is deep and issues from deep within, since he finds delight in his own resources, and desires no joys greater than his inner joys.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters

Robert G. Ingersoll
“Why should we place Christ at the top and summit of the human race? Was he kinder, more forgiving, more self-sacrificing than Buddha? Was he wiser, did he meet death with more perfect calmness, than Socrates? Was he more patient, more charitable, than Epictetus? Was he a greater philosopher, a deeper thinker, than Epicurus? In what respect was he the superior of Zoroaster? Was he gentler than Lao-tsze, more universal than Confucius? Were his ideas of human rights and duties superior to those of Zeno? Did he express grander truths than Cicero? Was his mind subtler than Spinoza’s? Was his brain equal to Kepler’s or Newton’s? Was he grander in death – a sublimer martyr than Bruno? Was he in intelligence, in the force and beauty of expression, in breadth and scope of thought, in wealth of illustration, in aptness of comparison, in knowledge of the human brain and heart, of all passions, hopes and fears, the equal of Shakespeare, the greatest of the human race?”
Robert G. Ingersoll, About The Holy Bible

Jane Austen
“Always resignation and acceptance. Always prudence and honour and duty. Elinor, where is your heart?”
Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Jane Austen
“What do you know of my heart? What do you know of anything but your own suffering. For weeks, Marianne, I've had this pressing on me without being at liberty to speak of it to a single creature. It was forced on me by the very person whose prior claims ruined all my hope. I have endured her exultations again and again whilst knowing myself to be divided from Edward forever. Believe me, Marianne, had I not been bound to silence I could have provided proof enough of a broken heart, even for you.”
Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Marcus Aurelius
“The things you think about determine the quality of your mind.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Marcus Aurelius
“Misfortune nobly born is good fortune.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Seneca
“You should … live in such a way that there is nothing which you could not as easily tell your enemy as keep to yourself.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Letters from a Stoic

Seneca
“Nothing is burdensome if taken lightly, and nothing need arouse one's irritation so long as one doesn't make it bigger than it is by getting irritated.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Letters from a Stoic

Epictetus
“You know yourself what you are worth in your own eyes; and at what price you will sell yourself. For men sell themselves at various prices. This is why, when Florus was deliberating whether he should appear at Nero's shows, taking part in the performance himself, Agrippinus replied, 'Appear by all means.' And when Florus inquired, 'But why do not you appear?' he answered, 'Because I do not even consider the question.' For the man who has once stooped to consider such questions, and to reckon up the value of external things, is not far from forgetting what manner of man he is.”
Epictetus, The Golden Sayings of Epictetus

Louise Erdrich
“There will never come a time when I will be able to resist my emotions.”
Louise Erdrich, Tales of Burning Love

Epictetus
“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.”
Epictetus

“I hear my silence talked of in every lane;
The suppression of a cry is itself a cry of pain.”
Darshan Singh

Epictetus
“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.”
Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness

Epictetus
“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 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. Adopt a similar attitude with regard to children, wife, wealth and status, and in time, you will be entitled to dine with the gods. Go further and decline these goods even when they are on offer and you will have a share in the gods' power as well as their company. That is how Diogenes, Heraclitus and philosophers like them came to be called, and considered, divine.”
Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness

William Shakespeare
“For death remembered should be like a mirror,
Who tells us life’s but breath, to trust it error.

― William Shakespeare, Pericles. Act I, Scene i”
William Shakespeare, Pericles

Seneca
“Remember that all we have is “on loan” from Fortune, which can reclaim it without our permission—indeed, without even advance notice. Thus, we should love all our dear ones, but always with the thought that we have no promise that we may keep them forever—nay, no promise even that we may keep them for long.”
Seneca

Seneca
“My advice is really this: what we hear the philosophers saying and what we find in their writings should be applied in our pursuit of the happy life. We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching, and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application—not far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech—and learn them so well that words become works. No one to my mind lets humanity down quite so much as those who study philosophy as if it were a sort of commercial skill and then proceed to live in a quite different manner from the way they tell other people to live.”
Seneca, Letters from a Stoic

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