“So make a practice at once of saying to every strong impression: ‘An impression is all you are, not the source of the impression.’ Then test and assess it with your criteria, but one primarily: ask, ‘Is this something that is, or is not, in my control?’” – Epictetus
“If you learn that someone is speaking ill of you, don’t try to defend yourself against the rumours; respond instead with, ‘Yes, and he doesn’t know the half of it, because he could have said more.’” – Epictetus
“If any man is able to convince me and show me that I do not think or act right, I will gladly change; for I seek the truth by which no man was ever injured. But he is injured who abides in his error and ignorance. “ – Marcus Aurelius
“People to whom such things are still denied come to imagine that everything good will be theirs if only they could acquire them. Then they get them: and their longing is unchanged, their anxiety is unchanged, their disgust is no less, and they still long for whatever is lacking. Freedom is not achieved by satisfying desire, but by eliminating it.” – Epictetus
“Do not be disgusted, discouraged, or dissatisfied if you do not succeed in doing everything according to right principles; but when you have failed, return again, and be content if the greater part of what you do is consistent with man’s nature. “ – Marcus Aurelius
“In your conversation, don’t dwell at excessive length on your own deeds or adventures. Just because you enjoy recounting your exploits doesn’t mean that others derive the same pleasure from hearing about them.” – Epictetus
“To care for all men is according to man’s nature; and man should value the opinion only of those who openly live according to nature. “ – Marcus Aurelius
“When someone criticizes you, they do so because they believe they are right. They can only go by their views, not yours. If their views are wrong, it is they who will suffer the consequences. Keeping this in mind, treat your critics with compassion. When you are tempted to get back at them, remind yourself, ‘They did what seemed to them to be the right thing to do.’” – Epictetus
“Acquire the contemplative way of seeing how all things change into one another, and constantly attend to it, and exercise yourself in this part of philosophy. For nothing is so well suited to produce magnanimity.” – Marcus Aurelius
“If someone bathes quickly, don’t say he doesn’t bathe properly, say he bathes quickly. If someone drinks a lot, don’t say he is a drunk, say he drinks a lot. Unless you know their reasons for their actions how can you be sure of your negative judgment of them? Not judging others too quickly will save you from misperceiving their actions.” – Epictetus
“When you confine yourself to only those things that are under your control, you cannot be defeated. Don’t be fooled by outward appearances. People with more prestige, power, or some other distinction are not necessarily happier because of what they have. There is no reason to be envious or jealous of anyone. If you lead a rational life, the good lies within you. Our concern should be our freedom, not titles and prestigious positions. The way to freedom is not to be too concerned about things we don’t control.” -Epictetus
“Remember that for every challenge you face, you have the resources within you to cope with that challenge. If you are inappropriately attracted to someone, you will find you have the resource of self-restraint. When you have pain, you have the resource of endurance. When you are insulted, you have the resource of patience. If you start thinking along these lines, soon you will find that you don’t have a single challenge for which you don’t have the resource to cope.” – Epictetus
“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
“He who fears death fears either the loss of sensation or a different kind of sensation. But if you shall have no sensation, neither will you feel any harm; and if you will acquire another kind of sensation, you will be a different kind of living being and you will not cease to live.” – Marcus Aurelius
“No longer talk at all about the kind of man that a good man ought to be, but be such.” – Marcus Aurelius
“If a man objects to truths that are all too evident, it is no easy task finding arguments that will change his mind. This is proof neither of his own strength nor of his teacher’s weakness. When someone caught in an argument hardens to stone, there is just no more reasoning with them.” – Epictetus
“A brief existence is common to all things, and yet you avoid and pursue all things as if they would be eternal.” – Marcus Aurelius
“Pleasures, when they go beyond a certain limit, are but punishments.” – Seneca
“The man who spends his time choosing one resort after another in a hunt for peace and quiet, will in every place he visits find something to prevent him from relaxing.” – Seneca
“We abandon our pursuits because we despair of ever perfecting them.” – Epictetus
“It is essential to make oneself used to putting up with a little. Even the wealthy and the well provided are continually met and frustrated by difficult times and situations. It is in no man’s power to have whatever he wants; but he has it in his power not to wish for what he hasn’t got, and cheerfully make the most of the things that do come his way.” – Seneca
“A setback has often cleared the way for greater prosperity. Many things have fallen only to rise to more exalted heights.” – 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.” – Seneca
“What else are tragedies but the ordeals of people who have come to value externals, tricked out in tragic verse?” – Epictetus
Who do you seek the approval of? There’s only one person’s approval that matters.
Is a life with little drama boring or fulfilling?
When something bad happens in your life who’s to blame?
Let go of what you know so you can grow.
Learning a principle is easy. Applying it is hard. Growth takes time.
Are life’s difficulties troubles to be avoided or opportunities for you to grow? It’s your choice.
How do you balance living your true self with seek the approval of others?
How do you handle haters?
Keeping track our progress is key to creating a better life.
How do you let go of your assumptions?
Are you being the best version of yourself?
Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Trust your path.
Never assume a malice when ignorance is more likely.
The greatest emperor in Rome had role models. Who are yours?
Can you be grateful for the challenges in your life?
How you think about things determines how you feel about them.
You cannot lose what you do not own
What does it mean to be a stoic?
Own every second that this world can give.
Are you creating a life that is better than death?
Why we should learn to love our fate.
What if you could be 100% in charge of your own emotions?
How should a stoic receive criticism?
Since we cannot control other people and have to accept them for who they are, does that mean we have to accept their bad behavior?
“Let philosophy scrape off your own faults, rather than be a way to rail against the faults of others,” wrote Seneca. Rather wasting time trying to change others, we should learn how be more accepting of who they are.
You can’t control what happens to you in your life, but you can control your reaction.
A key factor in living a principled life is consistency. What areas of your life could be improved with a little consistency?
What are the uncomfortable truths about yourself that you are afraid to face in your life?
8 – Unquestioned Beliefs
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Latest episode of Stoic Meditations
Learning is the new Procrastination
4 – What Are You Thinking?
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What are you meant to do in the world?
What is under your control?