Stoic Quotes that will Strengthen your Perspective on Life
March 21, 2023 7:12 AM EST
These Stoic quotes share the ancient teaching of stoicism, a practice of perspective.
A common misconception about Stoicism is that a stoic is a man who is fearless and has no emotions.
This misconception was brought about through literature and old Hollywood, where heroes such as the “stoic cowboy” influenced young men into thinking that emotion wasn’t manly.
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According to a study conducted by the American Psychological Association, individuals who practiced Stoicism reported lower levels of stress and higher levels of well-being compared to those who did not practice Stoicism.
This suggests that the Stoic philosophy can lead to a more positive outlook on life and increased resilience
What are the benefits of reading these stoic quotes?
Stoicism is not about living without emotion; it is a practice that anyone of any gender can live.
Stoicism is a mindfulness practice that originated in Athens in the 3rd century BCE.
The practice reminds us that:
- life is fleeting
- the world is unpredictable
- every problem should be treated as an opportunity
It teaches you to be strong in your mind and control your emotions, not eliminate them altogether.
The following motivational stoic quotes will share techniques and insights on restraint, mindfulness, and humility.
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Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.
Explore our complete collection of motivational quotes here.
Stoic quotes on restraint
A study published in the journal Ethics and Behavior found that individuals who practiced Stoicism demonstrated greater self-control in their decision-making.
The researchers concluded that the Stoic philosophy can be a valuable tool for individuals seeking to improve their ability to resist temptation and exercise restraint.
1. “I begin to speak only when I’m certain what I’ll say isn’t better left unsaid.” – Cato
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2. “Make the mind tougher by exposing it to adversity.” – Robert Greene
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3. “To be calm is the highest achievement of the self.” ― Zen proverb
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4. “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.” – Marcus Aurelius
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5. “We should always be asking ourselves: “Is this something that is, or is not, in my control?” — Epictetus (see more quotes from Epictetus)
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6. “Self-control is strength. Right thought is mastery. Calmness is power.” – James Allen
Stoic quotes on mindfulness
A study published in the Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy found that practicing Stoicism was associated with increased levels of mindfulness.
This suggests that the Stoic quotes can help individuals become more aware of their thoughts and emotions, and better able to regulate them.
7. “It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.” ― Seneca
8. “Choose not to be harmed — and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed — and you haven’t been.” – Marcus Aurelius
9. “External thinks are not the problem. It’s your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now.” – Marcus Aurelius
10. “Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.” – Marcus Aurelius
11. “We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more in imagination than in reality.” – Seneca
12. “To be even-minded is the greatest virtue.” — Heraclitus
13. “Learn to be indifferent to what makes no difference.” – Marcus Aurelius
14. “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.” — Marcus Aurelius
15. “Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in.” – Shannon L. Alder
16. “We should not, like sheep, follow the herd of creatures in front of us, making our way where others go, not where we ought to go.” — Seneca
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Stoic quotes that are evanescent
According to a study conducted by Harvard University, practicing gratitude can lead to increased happiness, better health, and stronger relationships.
This study found that individuals who wrote down things they were thankful for experienced greater well-being compared to those who did not.
17. “Time is like a river made up of the events which happen, and a violent stream; for as soon as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and another comes in its place, and this will be carried away too.” ― Marcus Aurelius
18. “Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too.” — Marcus Aurelius
19. “The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief.” – Othello
20. “No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.” — Epictetus
21. “I have to die. If it is now, well then I die now; if later, then now I will take my lunch, since the hour for lunch has arrived – and dying I will tend to later.” — Epictetus
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Stoic quotes on humility
The American Psychological Association reports that chronic stress is linked to numerous health problems, including anxiety, depression, and heart disease.
However, individuals who adopt a stoic mindset may be better equipped to manage stress and maintain their mental health.
22. “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
23. “It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.” – Marcus Aurelius
24. “Too many people believe that everything must be pleasurable in life.” – Robert Greene
25. “Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.” — Marcus Aurelius
26. “Love sometimes injures. Friendship always benefits, after friendship is formed you must trust, but before that you must judge.”― Seneca
27. “Having the fewest wants, I am nearest to the gods.” — Socrates
28. “Man is mostly a collection of emotions, most of which he would do better not to be feeling.”― Neel Burton
29. “Imagine smiling after a slap in the face. Then think of doing it twenty-four hours a day.”― Markus Zusak
30. “Warriors should suffer their pain silently.”― Erin Hunter
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Stoic quotes to motivate you
A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania found that individuals who wrote about their traumatic experiences in a journal for just 15 minutes a day experienced improved physical health and increased emotional well-being.
Stoicism teaches individuals to view challenges and adversity as opportunities for growth, and journaling can be an effective tool for cultivating this mindset.
31. “Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be One.” – Marcus Aurelius
32. “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” – Marcus Aurelius
33. “He who fears death will never do anything worth of a man who is alive.” – Seneca
34. “Life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear the future.” – Seneca
35. “How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?” – Epictetus
36. “Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.”- Epictetus
37. “What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.” – Viktor Frankl
38. “Man conquers the world by conquering himself.” — Zeno of Citium
39. “It is not the man who has too little that is poor, but the one who hankers after more.”― Lucius Annaeus Seneca
40. “If it is not right, do not do it, if it is not true, do not say it.” – Marcus Aurelius
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Stoic quotes to broaden your thoughts
41. “A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.” — Seneca
42. “Sometimes in life we must fight not only without fear, but also without hope.” — Alessandro Pertini
43. “Problems only exist in the human mind.” — Anthony de Mello
44. “Discomfort is the currency of success.” — Brooke Castillo
45. “Keep your intention pure. Emotions will try to distract you. So keep going. That’s the cure.” — Maxime Lagacé
46. “A Stoic is someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.” ― Taleb Nassim Nicholas
47. “Be so busy building your own life that other people’s bullshit is of no concern.” — Ed Latimore
48. “In life, it doesn’t matter what happens to you or where you came from. It matters what you do with what happens and what you’ve been given.” — Ryan Holiday
49. “Difficulty is what wakes up the genius.” — Nassim Nicholas Taleb
50. “Common man’s patience will bring him more happiness than common man’s power.”― Amit Kalantri
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Stoic quotes on strength
51. “Feeling too much is a hell of a lot better than feeling nothing.”― Nora Roberts
52. “In order to protect ourselves, we must live like doctors and be continually treating ourselves with reason.”― Musonius Rufus
53. “For those who follow nature, everything is easy and straightforward, whereas for those who fight against her life is just like rowing against the stream.” – Seneca
54. “We’re never unhappy until we remember why we’re supposed to be unhappy.”― Daniel V Chappell
55. “All vices are at odds with nature.” – Seneca
56. “Many are the things that have caused terror during the night and been turned into matters of laughter with the coming of daylight.”― Seneca
57. “The most common act of violence is the relentless mental violence we perpetrate upon ourselves with nothing other than our thoughts.” – Bill Madden
58. “Change: nothing inherently bad in the process, nothing inherently good in the result.”― Marcus Aurelius
59. “Our efforts do not owe us our desired outcomes.”― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
60. “When pain comes, it must not derail you from your set virtues. If it does, you have failed to practice your virtues by going with the hype of pain.”― Tiisetso Maloma
61. “Never say that I have taken it, only that I have given it back.” – Epicurus
62. “No man is good by chance. Virtue is something which must be learned.”― Seneca
63. “You have two essential tasks in life: to be a good person and to pursue the occupation that you love. Everything else is a waste of energy and a squandering of your potential.”― Ryan Holiday
64. “For I am not everlasting, but a human being, a part of the whole as an hour is a part of the day. Like an hour I must come, and like an hour pass away.”― Epictetus
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Inspiration stoic quotes
65. “Stoicism, in our day, is not strength to overcome wishes, but to hide them.” – Rollo May, ‘Love and Will.’
66. “The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time. ” – Marcus Aurelius
67. “They lose the day in expectation of the night, and the night in fear of the dawn. ” – Seneca
68. “There is no better way to grow as a person than to do something you hate every day.” – David Goggins
69. “And if you want to know why all this running away cannot help you, the answer is simply this: you are running away in your own company.”― Seneca
70. “A single day among the learned lasts longer than the longest life of the ignorant.” — Posidonius
71. “The man who fights for his ideals is the man who is alive.” – Miguel De Cervantes
72. “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.” – Viktor Frankl
73. “Nothing can affect a person’s mind if he chooses not to be affected by it.”― Cave Man
74. “When you master your mind, you master your thoughts, your habits and your reactions.” – Remez Sasson
Stoic quotes on control
75. “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl
76. “The more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.” – Epictetus
77. “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
78. “How does it help…to make troubles heavier by bemoaning them?” – Seneca
79. “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” – Epictetus
80. “The ultimate power in life is to be completely self-reliant, completely yourself.” – Robert Greene
81. “What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.” – Tim Ferriss
82. “Be a master of the mind, not mastered by the mind.” – Zen proverb
83. “There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.” – Plato
84. “The mind that is anxious about future events is miserable.” – Seneca
85. “Intelligence consists in ignoring things that are irrelevant.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Stoic quotes to empower you
86. “What fortune has made yours is not your own.” ― Lucius Annaeus Seneca
87. “Suffering adds spice to life.”― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
88. “Just as the earth that bears the man who tills and digs it, to bear those who speak ill of them, is a quality of the highest respect.”― Thiruvalluvar
89. “It would be foolish to be stoical all the time, you’d wear yourself out for nothing”― John-Paul Sartre
90. “Sick and yet happy, in peril and yet happy, dying and yet happy, in exile and happy, in disgrace and happy.”― Epictetus
91. “Whatever happens to you has been waiting to happen since the beginning of time. The twining strands of fate wove both of them together.” – Marcus Aurelius
92. “True affluence is not needing anything.”― Gary Snyder
93. “In each action that you undertake, consider what comes before and what follows after, and only then proceed to the action itself.” – Epictetus
94. “When you give your items away, don’t keep the excess of your pride.”― Bremer Acosta
95. “That which Fortune has not given, she cannot take away.”― Seneca the Younger
Stoic quotes on emotion
96. “The greatest remedy for anger is delay.” — Seneca
97. “Understand at last that you have something in you more powerful and divine than what causes the bodily passions and pulls you like a mere puppet.” — Marcus Aurelius
98. “Another person will not hurt you without your cooperation. You are hurt the moment you believe yourself to be.” — Epictetus
99. “You shouldn’t give circumstances the power to rouse anger, for they don’t care at all.” — Marcus Aurelius
100. “If you want to determine the nature of anything, entrust it to time: when the sea is stormy, you can see nothing clearly.” — Seneca
101. “The best way to avenge yourself is to not be like that.” — Marcus Aurelius
102. “We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.” — Seneca
103. “It doesn’t hurt me unless I interpret it’s happening as harmful to me. I can choose not to.” — Marcus Aurelius
104. “An angry man opens his mouth and shuts his eyes.” — Cato The Elder
105. “How much more harmful are the consequences of anger and grief than the circumstances that aroused them in us!” — Marcus Aurelius
Stoic Quotes On The Ability To Transform Situations
106. “Belief in God and a future life makes it possible to go through life with less of stoic courage than is needed by skeptics.” — Bertrand Russell
107. “It made Costis wonder for the first time just how much the stoic man really wants to hide when he unsuccessfully pretends not to be in pain.” — Megan Whalen Turner
108. “The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” — Marcus Aurelius
109. “Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.” — Epictetus
110. “You’ve got to figure out what works best for you. That’s the hard part. I know I can’t play as stoic as Hogan, and I can’t talk as much as Trevino. You have to be your own person.” — Tiger Woods
111. “I’m a really stoic artist. I’m serious a lot of times. I can joke and play sometimes, but most of the time, I’m stoic.” — LeCrae
112. “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” — Marcus Aurelius
113. “People compare me to Angelina Jolie, and she’s so serious and stoic. I’m the opposite.” — Megan Fox
114. “After a lifetime of nods, frowns and stoic smiles, they were both fluent in emotional shorthand.” — Jamie Ford
115. “An aristocratic culture does not advertise its emotions. In its forms of expression it is sober and reserved. Its general attitude is stoic.” — Johan Huizinga
Philosophical Stoic Quotes
116. “As a political spouse, I’ve found that my stoicism often serves me well.” ― Jill Biden
117. “Stoicism is about the domestication of emotions, not their elimination.” ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb
118. “Stoicism is of no use to me whatsoever. What I’m a big believer in is talking about everything until you’re blue in the face.” ― David Shields
119. “Stoicism is the wisdom of madness and cynicism the madness of wisdom.” ― Bergen Evans
120. “It is Stoicism that demands a closed universe, not the bible.” ― Richard J. Foster
121. “With patience and calm, persistence and stoicism, good handwriting and careful labeling, they would meet persecution, indignity, and hardship head-on.” ― Michael Chabon
122. “The basic philosophy of stoicism is that you have nothing real external to your own consciousness, that the only thing real is in fact your consciousness.” ― Roger Avary
123. “A nation is born stoic and dies epicurean.” ― Will Durant
124. “Stoicism and silence does not serve us nor our communities, only the forces of things as they are.” ― Audre Lorde
125. “Being a Stoic does not mean being a robot. Being a Stoic means remaining calm both at the height of pleasure and the depths of misery.” ― Abhijit Naskar
Do these stoic quotes offer you a new perspective on life?
Stoicism is an honest review of the self and our culture about becoming better people.
These stoic quotes reflect on how to deal with the challenges life offers us so that we can grow to be happier and more mindful.
Practicing mindfulness strengthens us in the face of adversity.
Practicing humility not only stifles our egos but keeps the world in perspective.
Knowing that the gift of life is fleeting puts the world in perspective so that we may appreciate more of what we have.
Knowing your emotions and practicing restraint builds patience and strength in ourselves.
Use these stoic quotes and sayings to reflect on the world around you and use the perspective you gain as an aid to living a better life.
Did these stoic quotes motivate you?
Which one was your favorite?
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September 16, 2020 at 3:06 PM
Excellent collection of stoic quotes. I am forwarding this to some friends.