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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.

Also, read these inspirational 48 Laws of Power quotes that will lead you to success.

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 (see more quotes from Epictetus)

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

You might also like these wise Seneca quotes that will help you in all facets of life.

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

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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 

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

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

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

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

Related  Loyalty Quotes on the Power of Being Faithful

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

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

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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

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?

Share with us in the comment section below.  

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Sckylar Gibby-Brown
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1 Comment
  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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