The Art of Living Quotes

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The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness by Epictetus
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The Art of Living Quotes Showing 1-30 of 119
“Don't just say you have read books. Show that through them you have learned to think better, to be a more discriminating and reflective person. Books are the training weights of the mind. They are very helpful, but it would be a bad mistake to suppose that one has made progress simply by having internalized their contents.”
Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness
“People are not disturbed by things, but by the views they take of them.”
Epictetus, Enchiridion
“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
“Most of what passes for legitimate entertainment is inferior or foolish and only caters to or exploits people's weaknesses. Avoid being one of the mob who indulges in such pastimes. Your life is too short and you have important things to do. Be discriminating about what images and ideas you permit into your mind. If you yourself don't choose what thoughts and images you expose yourself to, someone else will, and their motives may not be the highest. It is the easiest thing in the world to slide imperceptibly into vulgarity. But there's no need for that to happen if you determine not to waste your time and attention on mindless pap.”
Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness
“Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer. Put your principles into practice – now. Stop the excuses and the procrastination. This is your life! You aren’t a child anymore. The sooner you set yourself to your spiritual program, the happier you will be. The longer you wait, the more you’ll be vulnerable to mediocrity and feel filled with shame and regret, because you know you are capable of better. From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do – now.”
Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness
“Never depend on the admiration of others. There is no strength in it. Personal merit cannot be derived from an external source. It is not to be found in your personal associations, nor can it be found in the regard of other people. It is a fact of life that other people, even people who love you, will not necessarily agree with your ideas, understand you, or share your enthusiasms. Grow up! Who cares what other people think about you!”
Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness
“Men are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of things. Thus death is nothing terrible, else it would have appeared so to Socrates. But the terror consists in our notion of death, that it is terrible. When, therefore, we are hindered, or disturbed, or grieved let us never impute it to others, but to ourselves; that is, to our own views. It is the action of an uninstructed person to reproach others for his own misfortunes; of one entering upon instruction, to reproach himself; and of one perfectly instructed, to reproach neither others or himself.”
Epictetus Epictetus, The Enchiridion of 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
“An ignorant person is inclined to blame others for his own misfortune. To blame oneself is proof of progress. But the wise man never has to blame another or himself.”
Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness
“You become what you give your attention to.”
Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness
“Your happiness depends on three things, all of which are within your power: your will, your ideas concerning the events in which you are involved, and the use you make of your ideas.”
Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness
“It is better to do wrong seldom and to own it, and to act right for the most part, than seldom to admit that you have done wrong and to do wrong often.”
Epictetus, Enchiridion
“It is unrealistc to expect people to see you as you see yourself.”
Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness
“The first and most important field of philosophy is the application of principles such as “Do not lie.” Next come the proofs, such as why we should not lie. The third field supports and articulates the proofs, by asking, for example, “How does this prove it? What exactly is a proof, what is logical inference, what is contradiction, what is truth, what is falsehood?” Thus, the third field is necessary because of the second, and the second because of the first. The most important, though, the one that should occupy most of our time, is the first. But we do just the opposite. We are preoccupied with the third field and give that all our attention, passing the first by altogether. The result is that we lie – but have no difficulty proving why we shouldn’t.”
Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness
“These reasonings do not cohere: I am richer than you, therefore I am better than you; I am more eloquent than you, therefore I am better than you. On the contrary these rather cohere, I am richer than you, therefore my possessions are greater than yours: I am more eloquent than you, therefore my speech is superior to yours. But you are neither possession nor speech.”
Epictetus, Enchiridion
“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
“Those who are well constituted in the body endure both heat and cold: and so those who are well constituted in the soul endure both anger and grief and excessive joy and the other affects.”
Epictetus, Enchiridion
“If you wish to be good, first believe that you are bad.”
Epictetus, Enchiridion...
“In banquets remember that you entertain two guests, body and soul: and whatever you shall have given to the body you soon eject: but what you shall have given to the soul, you keep always.”
Epictetus, Enchiridion
“Remember that you must behave as at a banquet. Is anything brought round to you? Put out your hand, and take a moderate share. Does it pass you? Do not stop it. Is it not come yet? Do not yearn in desire towards it, but wait till it reaches you. So with regard to children , wife, office, riches; and you will some time or other be worthy to feast with the gods. And if you do not so much as take the things which are set before you, but are able even to forego them, then you will not only be worthy to feast with the gods, but to rule with them also. For, by thus doing, Diogenes and Heraclitus, and others like them, deservedly became divine, and were so recognized.”
Epictetus Epictetus, The Enchiridion of Epictetus
“Epictetus being asked how a man should give pain to his enemy answered, By preparing himself to live the best life that he can.”
Epictetus, Enchiridion
“Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things.”
Epictetus, The Art of Living
“Whoever then would be free, let him wish for nothing, let him decline nothing, which depends on others; else he must necessarily be a slave.”
Epictetus Epictetus, The Enchiridion of Epictetus
“Caretake this moment. Immerse yourself in its particulars. Respond to this person, this challenge, this deed. Quit the evasions. Stop giving yourself needless trouble. It is time to really live; to fully inhabit the situation you happen to be in now. You are not some disinterested bystander. Participate. Exert yourself.”
Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness
“You will do the greatest services to the state, if you shall raise not the roofs of the houses, but the souls of the citizens: for it is better that great souls should dwell in small houses than for mean slaves to lurk in great houses.”
Epictetus, Enchiridion
“this is your business—to act well the given part, but to choose it belongs to another.”
Epictetus, The Enchiridion
“Neither should a ship rely on one small anchor, nor should life rest on a single hope.”
Epictetus, Enchiridion
“For sheep don't throw up the grass to show the shepherds how much they have eaten; but, inwardly digesting their food, they outwardly produce wool and milk.”
Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classic Manual on Virtue, Happiness & Effectiveness
“If you wish your house to be well managed, imitate the Spartan Lycurgus. For as he did not fence his city with walls, but fortified the inhabitants by virtue and preserved the city always free;35 so do you not cast around (your house) a large court and raise high towers, but strengthen the dwellers by good-will and fidelity and friendship, and then nothing harmful will enter it, not even if the whole band of wickedness shall array itself against it.”
Epictetus, Enchiridion
“Do not try to seem wise to others. If you want to live a wise life, live it on your own terms and in your own eyes.”
Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness

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