175 Stoic Quotes that will Strengthen your Perspective on Life

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.

Tell us your favorite stoic quote in the comment section below.

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.

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

1. “I begin to speak only when I’m certain what I’ll say isn’t better left unsaid.” – Cato

wise Stoic Quotes

2. “Make the mind tougher by exposing it to adversity.” – Robert Greene

Stoic Quotes to make the mind tougher

3. “To be calm is the highest achievement of the self.” ―  Zen proverb

Stoic Quotes to be calm

4. “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.” – Marcus Aurelius

Stoic Quotes and sayings

5. “We should always be asking ourselves: “Is this something that is, or is not, in my control?” — Epictetus

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6. “Self-control is strength. Right thought is mastery. Calmness is power.” – James Allen

Stoic quotes on mindfulness

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

Stoic quotes that are evanescent

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

Stoic quotes on humility 

If you’re looking for inspiration on cultivating humility, you can’t go wrong with these Stoic quotes and captions. Share them on social media and inspire others to live a more fulfilling life.

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. “Extravagance is its own destroyer.” — Zeno of Citium

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

Stoic quotes to motivate you

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

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

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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

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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. “Man seems to be deficient in nothing so much as he is in time.” — Zeno of Citium.

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

Essential Stoic quotes for recovery

126. “Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life.” — Marcus Aurelius

127. “Don’t go on discussing what a good person should be. Just be one.” — Marcus Aurelius

128. “Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.” —  Marcus Aurelius

129. “People are not disturbed by things, but by the views they take of them.” — Marcus Aurelius

130. “Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?” — Marcus Aurelius

131. “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

132. “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality” — Seneca

133. “Ignorance is the cause of fear.” — Seneca

134. “While we wait for life, life passes.” — Seneca

135. “No one entrusts a secret to a drunken man; but one will entrust a secret to a drunken man; therefore, the good man will not get drunk.” ― Zeno of Citium

Stoic Quotes by Zeno of Citium

136. “We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.” ― Zeno of Citium

137. “The goal of life is living in agreement with Nature.” ― Zeno of Citium

138. “Well-being is attained little by little, and nevertheless is no little thing itself.” ― Zeno of Citium

139. “If being is many, it must be both like and unlike, and this is impossible, for neither can the like be unlike, nor the unlike like”― Zeno of Citium

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140. “When a dog is tied to a cart, if it wants to follow, it is pulled and follows, making its spontaneous act coincide with necessity.” ― Zeno of Citium

141. “All the good are friends of one another.” ― Zeno of Citium

142. “A friend is our alter ego” —  Zeno of Citium

143. “No loss should be more regrettable to us than losing our time, for it’s irretrievable.” ― Zeno of Citium

144. “Better to trip with the feet than with the tongue.” ― Zeno of Citium

145. “If being is many, it must be both like and unlike, and this is impossible, for neither can the like be unlike, nor the unlike like” ― Zeno of Citium

Stoic Quotes To Boost Your Brainstorming 

146. “During the Great Depression, the philosophy of grin-and-bear-it became a national coping mechanism.” ― Maureen Corrigan

147. “Some of the best things that have ever happened to us wouldn’t have happened to us, if it weren’t for some of the worst things that have ever happened to us.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

148. “Stoical’ is the best word to describe her reaction to these compliments, Emma putting up with them as if they were one of my unfortunate foibles.” ― Carol Lee

149. “Fourteen years without a mother had me believe I could be stoic when I finally met her.”

― Maria V. Snyder

150. “I am a bit sassy, with some sarcasm thrown into the mix, but stoic at the same time – and brash.” ― Mike Daniels

151. “I’m always playing someone grumpy or sad or grieving or downtrodden or stoic. As people get to know me within the industry, they know it’s completely the opposite of what I’m like because I am a hyperactive, energetic ball.” ― Wunmi Mosaku

152. “To become a stoic is to endorse the truthfulness of its world view and accept its prescription for how you ought to live, not just to like how it makes you feel.” ― Julian Baggini

153. “I think I’m incredibly stoic. If I have a bad headache, it takes a while before I reach for a tablet.” ― Robert Rinder

154. “I’m not taciturn and stoic.” ― Ty Burrell

155. “I’ve always been in love with samurais, that kind of classic idea about a hero who has a sword with an intense skill and is very stoic and doesn’t talk much.” ― Genndy Tartakovsky

Stoic Quotes To Give You Extra Power

156. “I can be very stoic looking, that’s just my facial expression. I don’t smile a lot.” ― Robert Parish

157. “I think I’m very stoic. Death and dying are things that I’m used to.” ― Edmund White

158. “I practice stoic philosophy. As a human being, you may have emotions, but these don’t need to affect your soul. The two are not one.” ― Daphne Guinness

159. “You want to know how I’m feeling? Just look at me, and I’ll tell you how I’m feeling. Nothing is hidden. I’m all out there. I cry like a baby, I get upset, I stamp my feet. I’m not stoic.” ― Marcia Gay Harden

160. “No doubt, much of the joy of a great romance is the moment when these stoic heroes crack open and reveal themselves to their heroines – the only women strong enough to match them.” ― Sarah MacLean

161. “It’s not in the nature of stoic Cincinnatians to boast, which is fortunate, really, for they have meager pickings to boast about.” ― A. A. Gill

162. “I feel like I’m pretty stoic until I’m not and then it all comes out.” ― Jason Kelce

163. “I’m basically a stoic person anyway, so I just decided to maybe emphasise that, and I was surprised as anybody that it was gaining as much attention as all the jumping about.” ― Ron Mael

164. “You had the stoic Glavine, non-emotional and not knowing what’s going on. You had kind of the nerdy professor in Maddux and then I was Goofy. I just kind of let it all hang out.” ― John Smoltz

165. “The ‘Fargo’ characters, they’re the characters of my people. They’re stoic, hardworking, uncomplaining, and I loved them.” ― Carrie Coon

166. “Philosophy calls for simple living, not for doing penance, and the simple way of life need not be a crude one.” ― Lucius Annaeus Seneca

167. “Even the least of our activities ought to have some end in view.” ― Marcus Aurelius

168. “Meditation betters not only the mind but also the brain.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

169. “Disturbance comes only from within- from our own perceptions. Everything you see will soon alter and cease to exist.” ― Marcus Aurelius

170. “The things that are essential are acquired with little bother; it is the luxuries that call for toil and effort.” ― Seneca

171. “In order to protect ourselves we must live like doctors and be continually treating ourselves with reason.” ― Musonius Rufus

172. “An accident is often caused by an attempt to prevent one.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

173. “A man is as much a fool for shedding tears because he isn’t going to be alive a thousand years from now.” ― Seneca

174. “We cannot have, but can lose, everything.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

175. “Stoicism is a logical philosophy.” ― Ron Hall

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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  1. John Hay

    September 16, 2020 at 3:06 PM

    Excellent collection of stoic quotes. I am forwarding this to some friends.

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