Intro to Stoicism

Oxford Dictionary defines Stoicism as “an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge; the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason (also identified with Fate and Providence) that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.

At its core, Stoicism is about trusting life as it is, not how we think it should be. 

It’s about focusing on what’s in our control — our lives, and acting virtuously, not being pushed and pulled by our emotions.

Practicing Stoicism helps us see life objectively, giving us an understanding that we are not the center of the Universe — That the Universe is indifferent to our thoughts and feelings, and that that’s perfectly okay. This knowledge helps us live less selfishly and more cooperatively.

Stoicism has been practiced for thousands of years by numerous people. Other than Zeno, a few famous early practitioners of Stoicism were Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus, about 2,000 years ago. The modern day leader in Stoicism is Ryan Holiday, who gave me the opportunity to intern with him; a modern day apprenticeship. There were many events that led to this, it didn’t just happen, which you can read how it all came to be here on Thought Catalog.

During this time Holiday deepened my knowledge of Stoicism, inspiring me to apply these practices into my life — which doesn’t make someone perfect, it just makes us more Stoic, which you can decide if that’s good or bad.

I contemplated Stoic ideas before knowing they were Stoic ideas, thinking they were just far-out thoughts. Then, when reading Holiday’s book recommendations, I came across Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, and devoured it. It was one of those books that I got pulled into and didn’t want to leave. I highly recommend reading the whole book, but here’s a link to some of Meditation’s main ideas for now.

Below are 4 fundamental Stoic principles you can begin practicing today:

1) Asking, “Is this within my control?”

—If yes, ask, “How can I act virtuously in this moment?”
—If not, ask, “How can I act virtuously in this moment?”

Most of life isn’t in our control, but our response is.

2) Sympatheia

—This is the idea that all things are connected and mutually interdependent. 

Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, in Meditations, wrote: 

“The universe made rational creatures for the sake of each other, with an eye toward mutual benefit based on true value and never for harm.”

Here is a YouTube video speech given by Carl Sagan to view life from a perspective outside of yourself, thus, growing in the practice of Sympatheia.

3) Amor Fati

—The idea and practice of loving your fate. 
—Things often don’t happen as we’d like them to happen, but we can learn to appreciate all that happens to us by practicing Amor Fati.

Here is a link to an ancient proverb, telling us a story that shows us how when we think something “bad” has happened, it can be good in disguise, and when we think something “good” has happened, it can be bad in disguise. It’s one of my favorite stories and has broadened my way of thinking.

Nietzsche is quoted saying, “my formula for greatness in a human being is Amor Fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it, but love it.”

Epictetus, born a slave, said: “Demand not that things happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do, and you will go on well.”

4) Memento Mori

—Remember you will die.
—This idea scares some people, but it inspires Stoics.  

“If everything is ephemeral, what does matter? Right now matters. Being a good person and doing the right thing right now, that’s what matters and that’s what was important to the Stoics. Be humble and honest and aware.”
Ryan Holiday

We all know we are going to die one day, but it is a subject rarely talked about. We’d rather ignore the fact of death instead of embrace it, so it ends up scaring the hell out of us. Let’s start discussing the topic of death. Let’s let it inspire us to live life wholly, focusing on what’s important, keeping in mind we won’t live forever, and that’s okay.

Here are some inspiring Memento Mori related quotes:

“Every third thought shall be my grave.”
William Shakespeare

“People who are excited by posthumous fame forget that the people who remember them will soon die too. And those after them in turn. Until their memory, passes from one to another like a candle flame, gutters and goes out.”
Marcus Aurelius

“So this is how a thoughtful person should await death: not with indifference, not with impatience, not with disdain, but simply viewing it as one of the things that happens to us. Now you anticipate the child’s emergence from its mother’s womb; that’s how you should await the hour when your soul will emerge from its compartment.”
Marcus Aurelius

“Stop whatever you’re doing for a moment and ask yourself: Am I afraid of death because I won’t be able to do this anymore?”
Marcus Aurelius

“To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.” 
Michel de Montaigne

“Of all the footprints, that of the elephant is supreme. Similarly, of all mindfulness meditation, that on death is supreme.”
Buddha

These are just a few Stoic principles you can begin practicing today. I recommend checking out dailystoic.com for more articles on Stoicism, reminders to:

Act virtuously.
Trust the unknown.
Love your fate.
Remember death.

“If” Inspirational Poem by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you   
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;  
 

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

25 Law of Mind Quotes from Geniuses

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
— Einstein

“Those who fall in love with practice without science are like a sailor who enters a ship without a helm or a compass, and who never can be certain whither he is going.”
— Da Vinci

“It has long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”
— Da Vinci

“The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.”
— Stephen Hawking

“I have noticed that even those who assert that everything is predestined and that we can change nothing about it still look both ways before they cross the street.”
— Stephen Hawking

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”
— Einstein

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
— Einstein

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”
—Einstein

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^^Let all these quotes sink in⌄⌄

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“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
— Buddha

“Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”
— Buddha

*“Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.”
Goethe

“As you think, so shall you become.”
— Bruce Lee

“The mind is the root from which all things grow if you can understand the mind, everything else is included. It’s like the root of a tree. All a tree’s fruit and flowers, branches and leaves depend on its root. If you nourish its root, a tree multiplies. If you cut its root, it dies. Those who understand the mind reach enlightenment with minimal effort.”
― Bodhidharma

“The human mind is our fundamental resource.”
— John F. Kennedy

“Thoughts are but dreams till their effects be tried.”
— William Shakespeare

“Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

“No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”
Voltaire

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
Steve Jobs

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.”
— Henry Ford

“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.”
— John Locke

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”
— Romans 12:2

“17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
— Ephesians 4:17—24

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
― James 5:16

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
―2 Corinthians 4:16-18

“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

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You’ll definitely enjoy our weekly emails diving deeper into this supernatural world.

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A 3-Step Process to Begin Creating YOUR Life

1—Define your ideal life.

Ask yourself: 
—“What does my ideal life look like?”
—“What does my ideal job look like?”
—“What do my ideal relationships look like?”

Continue this process of questions in each area you want to improve in.

2—Write down your answers.

It’s one thing to contemplate your ideal life, but when you write it on paper or a word doc, it enters the physical world and plants seeds into your subconscious.

3—Affirm your ideal life.

Your mind is like a garden, what you put into it is what will grow.

I have experienced this first-hand, “coincidentally” brushing shoulders with giants again and again. Affirm it daily. The more you affirm it, the more it will manifest.

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.”
—Buddha 

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”
―Thomas Jefferson

“If you have a strong mind and plant in it a firm resolve, you can change your destiny.”
―Paramahansa Yogananda

This process is extremely effective in manifesting a life of your choosing. It’s simple yet requires great responsibility.

Some say “With great power comes great responsibility,” but it’s more like “With great responsibility comes great power.”

Great spiritual teachers spoke of this.
Great psychologists spoke of this.
Great philosophers spoke of this.
&Great scientists speak of this.

A Panda’s Journey includes all the above, and it can be learned.

I offer one-to-one coaching but recommend starting with our weekly free emails.

Just enter your email below to join hundreds of others learning This Path of the Panda.

The path of Responsibility. 
The path of Empowerment.
The path of Truth.

The path to your Best Life.

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A Panda’s Journey

A Panda’s Journey incorporates Spirit & Mind with Quantum Physics to reveal the power within you.

The power within us all.

The power of realizing you are in control of your destiny.

Leading you to the power of training & disciplining your mind to create a destiny of your choosing.

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This isn’t new.
 
Geniuses of all kinds, past and current, understood this truth and applied it in their lives.

Science is now catching up with the minds of geniuses, discovering truth in this law of the human mind.

This discovery is both fascinating & frightening knowing we are literally creating our lives.

It’s liberating but requires deliberate, responsible action, which Freud says most people don’t actually want:

“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.”

And here’s Bob Dylan:

“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.”

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I’ve previously heard these “ideas”, thinking they were cool, but it wasn’t until recently that this truth hit me like walking into a brick wall before being absorbed by it.

That’s how this feels for me & my gratitude is through the roof.

I feel alive in a way I never fully experienced before & want to share it with you.

I invite you to join me and hundreds of others on this empowering and world-changing journey by signing up for our weekly email list. 

Learn about your mind in a way you never knew, to live the life you never thought you could.

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Where are you really? By Dan Millman

“…He asked, “Where are you today, right now?”

Eagerly, I started talking about myself. However, I noticed that I was still being sidetracked from getting answers to my questions. Still, I told him about my distant and recent past and about my inexplicable depressions. He listened patiently and intently, as if he had all the time in the world, until I finished several hours later.

“Very well,” he said. “But you still have not answered my question about where you are.”

“Yes I did, remember? I told you how I got to where I am today: by hard work.”

“Where are you?”

“What do you mean, where am I?”

“Where Are you?” he repeated softly.

“I’m here.”

“Where is here?”

“In this office, in this gas station!” I was getting impatient with this game.

“Where is this gas station?”

“In Berkeley?”

“Where is Berkeley?”

“In California?”

“Where is California?”

“In the United States?”

“On a landmass, one of the continents in the Western Hemisphere. Socrates, I…”

“Where are the continents?

I sighed. “On the earth. Are we done yet?”

“Where is the earth?”

“In the solar system, third planet from the sun. The sun is a small star in the Milky Way galaxy, all right?”

“Where is the Milky Way?”

“Oh, brother,” I sighed impatiently, rolling my eyes. “In the universe.” I sat back and crossed my arms with finality.

“And where,” Socrates smiled, “is the universe?”

“The universe is well, there are theories about how it’s shaped…”

“That’s not what I asked. Where is it?”

“I don’t know – how can I answer that?”

“That is the point. You cannot answer it, and you never will. There is no knowing about it. You are ignorant of where the universe is, and thus, where you are. In fact, you have no knowledge of where anything is or of what anything is or how is came to be. Life is a mystery. My ignorance is based on this understanding. Your understanding is based on ignorance. This is why I am a humorous fool, and you are a serious jackass.”

Intro to Timothy Leary

Born — October 22, 1920, Springfield, MA

Growing Up

—Only child in Irish Catholic home.

—Tim’s Father, also named Timothy, was a dentist, and left the family when Tim was 14. 

—Graduated from a high school in Massachusetts.

—1938-1940 Became a cadet in U.S. Military at West Point, but was a trouble maker. He was shunned and silenced from fellow cadets. This led to court appearances where Timothy then resigned and honorably discharged from the Army.

—He had gone to numerous jails throughout his whole life(first time in 1965), with the above case he said the military trial was “the only fair trial I’ve had in a court of law.”

—1950 received doctorate in psychology from University of California Berkeley, becoming an assistant professor until 1955. During this time he developed a psychotherapy model (egalitarian model) for psychotherapist and patients. 

—1959 Lecturer at Harvard University.

—1960 Leary tried psilocybin mushrooms for the first time, commenting afterwards:

“I learned more about psychology in the five hours after taking these mushrooms than the preceding 15 years of studying and doing research in psychology.”

—In the following years he linked up with Richert Alpert – commonly known as Ram Dass, who was also a Harvard lecturer, studying and analyzing psilocybin’s effect on the brain. He concluded that psychedelics, under the guidance of psychologists/guides, in the right dose and good setting, could benefit people in ways that normal therapy couldn’t.

—1970 received a 10-year prison sentence. He had designed a psychological test for prisoners in the previous years, and he was given the test. That same year he answered all the right questions to put him in the most low-security prison possible, where he ended up escaping.

—He joined the Black Panther Party in Algeria after his escape – before one of the leaders of the Party attempted to hold him and his wife hostage. Tim and his wife left to Switzerland.

—Richard Nixon labeled Leary as “The most dangerous man in America”

—1973 After more traveling to escape getting caught, he was arrested and faced 95 years in prison, but ended up with a 15 year sentence, in Folson Prison, California, where his cell was beside Charles Manson’s cell. They couldn’t see each other but they conversed.

—Leary became an FBI informant to shorten his prison sentence, where he was released in 1976.

—Leary continued lecturing, debating, and writing the rest of his life.

Leary had an adventurous life to say the least, this is just a short outline of some of it. 

—Multiple songs have been written about or for Leary, including John Lennon writing “Come Together” for Leary during Leary’s political pursuit.

—The Moody Blues wrote the song “Legend of a Mind” with the main lyrics being “Timothy Leary’s dead..No he’s on the outside looking in.” …Leary was still alive at this time.

Written Books

The Psychedelic Experience

Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out

High Priest

—Your Brain Is God

He wrote many others that can be found online. 

Here’s a documentary from BBC on YouTube about Timothy Leary’s life, titled “The Man Who Turned On America

Died — May 31, 1996, Beverly, CA

“Think for yourself and question authority.”

“Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out.”

“Grow with the flow.”

“Any reality is an opinion-we make up our own reality.”

“I am 100 percent in favor of the intelligent use of drugs, and 1,000 percent against the thoughtless use of them, whether caffeine or LSD. And drugs are not central to my life.”

“If you want to change the way people respond to you, change the way you respond to people.”

Here is a related post about questioning your assumptions.

What’s your favorite Leary moment?

20 Stoic Related Quotes in Response to the Coronavirus

We’re all impacted by the coronavirus, even if we don’t have it ourselves. It is impacting the stock market, jobs, lives, everything related to our species.

We often can’t control what happens to us, the Buddha said that life is suffering, but we can choose how we respond to what happens to us.

Below are 20 Stoic related quotes, reminders to Stoic practitioners to focus on what’s in our control.

Stay safe. Stay clean. Spread love.

1) “When a situation is within your control, take action. When a situation is outside your control, make preparations.”
James Clear

2) “We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.”
Epictetus

3) “Nothing external to you has any power over you.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

4) “Comfort makes you weaker. We need some variability, some stressors. Not too much, but just enough.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb

5) “The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.”
Epictetus

6) “Your main target should be to find and develop your own unique individuality and not let your focus be sidetracked and drift to external things”
Sunday Adelaja

7) “Peace is more of an internal settlement rather than what is visible on the external.” 
Criss Jami

8) “When most people set out to change their lives, they often focus on all the external stuff, like a new job or a new location or new friends or a new romantic prospects and on and on. The reality is that changing your life starts with changing the way you see everything in your life.”
Mark Manson

9) “A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.” 
Taoist proverb

10) “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”
Yoda

11) “The human being is a self-propelled automaton entirely under the control of external influences. Willful and predetermined though they appear, his actions are governed not from within, but from without. He is like a float tossed about by the waves of a turbulent sea.”
Nikola Tesla

12) “Stoicism is not a matter of gritting your teeth. It’s about seeing things differently so that you do not need to grit your teeth.”
Richard Sorabji

13) “The pressure of adversity does not affect the mind of the brave man…It is more powerful than external circumstances.”
Seneca

14) “The sign of an intelligent people is their ability to control emotions by the application of reason.” 
Marya Mannes

15) “The fools are preoccupied by things they can’t control. That’s why they are tense. The wise are indifferent to things they can’t control. That’s why they are calm.”
Maxime Lagacé

16) “I am inclined to think that the power of wisdom is better shown by a display of calmness in the midst of provocation.”
Seneca

17) “A man’s most urgent necessity is neither happiness or money. It is wisdom. For it is wisdom that he will need to navigate the turbulent waters of his day to day existence without succumbing to the ocean of turmoils or to the empty road of prescriptions.”
Kapil Gupta

18) “The wise win before they fight, while the ignorant fight to win.” 
Zhuge Liang

19) “Happiness is what people seek. Reality is what hits them. Disappointment is what they get. Detachment is what they need.” 
Maxime Lagacé

20) “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”
Steve Jobs

39 Marcus Aurelius Quotes to Expand and Deepen Your Thinking

1) “Look into their minds, at what the wise do and what they don’t.”

2) “Don’t let your imagination be crushed by life as a whole. Don’t try to picture everything bad that could possibly happen. Stick with the situation at hand, and ask, ‘why is this so unbearable? Why can’t I endure it?’ You’ll be embarrassed to answer.”

3) “God sees all our souls freed from their fleshly containers, stripped clean of their bark, cleansed of their grime. If you learn to do the same, you can avoid a great deal of distress.”

4) “You can discard most of the junk that clutters your mind—things that exist only there—and clear out space for yourself: —By comprehending the scale of the world. —By contemplating infinite time. —By thinking of the speed with which things change—each part of everything; the narrow space between our birth and death; the infinite time before; the equally unbounded time that follows.”

5) “Nothing that goes on in anyone else’s mind can harm you. Nor can the shifts and changes in the world around you. —Then where is harm to be found? —In your capacity to see it. Stop doing that and everything will be fine. Let the part of you that makes that judgment keep quiet no matter what the body attaches itself to.”

6) “The world is nothing but change. Our life is only perception.”

7) “Beautiful things of any kind are beautiful in themselves and sufficient to themselves. Praise is extraneous. The object of praise remains what it was—no better and no worse.—Is an emerald suddenly flawed if no one admires it???”

8) “Pride is a master of deception: when you think you’re occupied in the weightiest business, thats when he has you in his spell.”

9) “Things are wrapped in such a veil of mystery that many good philosophers have found it impossible to make sense of them. Even the stoics have trouble. Any assessment we make is subject to alteration—just as we are ourselves.”

10) “That nothing belongs to anyone. Children, body, life itself—all of them come from the same source.”

11) “Characteristics of the rational soul: Self-perception, self-examination, and the power to make of itself whatever it wants. —It reaps its own harvest. —It reaches its intended goal, no matter where the limit of its life is set. No matter which task you pick-it has fulfilled its mission, done its work completely.  So that it can say, ‘I have what I came for.’—
—It surveys the world and the empty space around it, and the way its put together. It delves into the endlessness of time to extend its grasp and comprehension of the periodic births and rebirths the world goes through. It knows that those who come after us will see nothing different, and those who came before us saw no more than we do.—Affection for its neighbors. Truthfulness. Humility. Not to place anything above itself.”

12) “Give yourself a gift: the present moment.”

13) “If you can cut yourself—your mind—free of what other people do or say, of what you’ve said or done, of the things that you’re afraid will happen, the impositions of the body that contains you and the breath within, so the mind is freed from fate, brought to clarity, and lives life on its own recognizance—doing what’s right, accepting what happens, and speaking the truth—
—If you can cut free of impressions that cling to the mind, free of the future and the past—can make yourself ‘a sphere rejoicing in its perfect stillness’ And concentrate on living what can be lived (The present moment) —-then you can spend the time you have left in tranquility.  And in kindness. And at peace with the spirit within you.”

14) “Alexander and Caesar and Pompey. Compared with Diogenes, Heraclitus, Socrates?? The philosophers knew the what, the why, the how. Their minds were their own. —The others?? Nothing but anxiety and enslavement.”

15) “People ask, have you ever seen the gods you worship? How can you be sure they exist? Answers—Just look around….I’ve never seen my soul either, and yet I revere it —I Know they exist because I’ve felt their power over and over.”

16) “So keep this refuge in mind: the back roads of your self. Above all, no strain and no stress. Be straightforward. Look at things like a man, like a human, like a mortal.”

17) “External things are not the problem. It’s your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now.”

18) “So too a healthy mind should be prepared for anything. The one that keeps saying ‘Are my children all right?’ Or ‘everyone must approve of me’ is like eyes that can only stand pale colors, or teeth that can handle only mush.”

19) “Wash yourself clean. With simplicity, with humility, with indifference to everything but right and wrong.”

20) “Don’t be disturbed. Un-complicate yourself. Something happens to you. Good. It was meant for you by nature, woven into the pattern from the beginning.”

21) “Pray for others and pray not to feel fear, or desire, or grief… —Isn’t it better to do what’s up to you?? Like a free man!  —Start praying like this and you’ll see.
—Not “some way to sleep with her” but a way to stop wanting to.
—Not “some way to get rid of him” but a way to stop trying.
—Not “some way to save my child” but a way to lose your fear.
REDIRECT your prayers like that, and watch what happens.”

22) “I am part of a world controlled by nature. I have a relationship with other, similar parts. And with that in mind I have no right, as a part, to complain about what is assigned me by the whole. Because what benefits the whole can’t harm the parts, and the whole does nothing that doesn’t benefit it.”

23) “And why is it so hard when things go against you? If it’s imposed by nature, accept it gladly and stop fighting it. And if not, work out what your own nature requires, and aim at that, even if it brings you no glory.”

24) “That no one can say truthfully that you are not a straightforward or honest person. That anyone who thinks that believes a falsehood. The responsibility is all yours; no one can stop you from being honest or straightforward. Simply resolve not to go on living if you aren’t. It would be contrary to the logos.”

25) “Four habits of thought to watch for, and erase from your mind when you catch them. Tell yourself:
—This thought is unnecessary.
—This one is destructive to the people around you.
—This wouldn’t be what you really think.
—That the more divine part of you has been beaten and subdued by the degraded mortal part—the body and its stupid self-indulgence.”

26) “Because to be drawn toward what is wrong and self-indulgent, toward anger and fear and pain, is to revolt against nature. And for the mind to complain about anything that happens is to desert its post. It was created to show reverence-respect for the divine—no less than to act justly.”

27) “If this evil is not of my doing, nor the result of it, and the community is not endangered, why should it bother me? Where is the danger for the community?”

28) “As you move forward in the logos, people will stand in your way.  They can’t keep you from doing what’s healthy; don’t let them stop you from putting up with them either. Take care on both counts. Not just sound judgments, solid actions—tolerances as well, for those who try to obstruct us or give us trouble in other ways.”

29) “It’s normal to feel stress and pain as a human, as a normal human being. And if it’s normal how can it be bad?”

30) “That it’s about how you choose to see things. That the present is all we have to live in. Or to lose.”

31) “If the problem is you’re not doing something you think you should be doing, why not just do it?”

32) “The mind in itself has no needs, except for those it creates itself. Is undisturbed, except for its own disturbances. Knows no obstructions, except those from within.”

33) “Keep in mind that when the mind detaches itself and realizes its own nature, it no longer has anything to do with ordinary life-the rough & the smooth.”

34) “Stop perceiving the pain you imagine and you’ll remain completely unaffected.”

35) “Comparing a man who people are mocking and a spring of clear water: —”A man standing by a spring of clear, sweet water and cursing it. While the fresh water keeps on bubbling up. He can shovel mud into it, or dung, and the stream will carry it away, wash itself clean, remain unstained. — To have that. NOT A CISTERN BUT A PERPETUAL SPRING. — HOW?? BY WORKING TO WIN YOUR FREEDOM. HOUR BY HOUR. THROUGH PATIENCE, HONESTY, HUMILITY.”

36) “You need to avoid certain things in your train of thought: everything random, everything irrelevant.  And certainly everything self-important or malicious. Get used to winnowing your thoughts so you aren’t ashamed of what you’re thinking.”

37) “The first step: Don’t be anxious. Nature controls it all. And before long you’ll be no one, nowhere—like Hadrian, like Augustus.
The second step: Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it.  Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy.”

38) “People try to get away from it all—to the country, to the beach, to the mountains. You always wish that you could too. Which is idiotic: you can get away from it anytime you like….By going within. Nowhere you can go is more peaceful-more free of interruptions- than you own soul  An instants recollection and there it is: complete tranquility (think of pleasant memories). A quick visit to this mindful place will be enough to ward off all nonsense and send you back ready to fave what awaits you.”

39) “The mind without passions is a fortress. No place is more secure. Once we take refuge there we are safe forever. Not to see this is ignorance. To see it and not seek safety means misery.” 

30 Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Other People and Why You Should Focus on Yourself

1) “Don’t pay attention to other people’s minds. Look straight ahead, where nature is leading you, through the things that happen to you through your own actions.”

2) “When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and unfriendly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil.”

3) “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?”

4) “God did not intend my happiness to rest with someone else.”

5) “Welcoming wholeheartedly whatever comes- whatever were assigned—not worrying too often, or with any selfish motive, about what other people say, or do, or think.”

6) “Don’t waste the rest of your time here worrying about other people—unless it affects the common good.  It will keep you from doing anything useful.  You’ll be too preoccupied with what so-and-so is doing, and why, and what they’re saying, and what they’re thinking, and what they’re up to, and all the other things that throw you off and keep you from focusing on your own mind.”

7) “You want praise from people who kick themselves every 15 minutes, the approval of people who despise themselves…why do you want approval from people who don’t know where or who they are on this planet?”

8) “The tranquility that comes when you stop caring what they say, or think, or do. Only what you do. Asking yourself: Is this fair? Is this the right thing to do?”

9) “Why do unskilled and untrained souls disturb souls with skill and understanding?”

10) “So other people hurt me? That’s their problem. Their character and actions are not mine.”

11) “So remember this principle when someone threatens to cause you pain: the thing itself was no misfortune at all; to endure it and prevail is great good fortune.”

12) “When someone seems to have injured you: ‘But how can I be sure?’ And in any case, keep in mind: —That he’s already been tried and convicted-by himself, like scratching your own eyes out.—That to expect a bad person not to harm others is like expecting fig trees not to secrete juice, babies not to cry, horses not to neigh—the inevitable not to happen.”

13) “When people injure you, ask yourself what good or harm they thought would come of it. If you understand that, you’ll feel sympathy rather than outrage or anger.”

14) “If they’ve injured you, then they’re the ones who suffer for it.”

15) “People do things that upset you, but it can’t harm your mind. People do boorish things, what’s strange or unheard of about that?? Isn’t it yourself you should reproach—for not anticipating that they’d act this way??—It was you who did wrong by assuming that someone with those traits deserved your trust.”

16) “Other people’s mistakes? Leave them to their makers.”

17) “Leave other peoples mistakes where they lie.”

18) “If anyone can refute me-show me I’m making a mistake or looking at things from the wrong perspective—I’ll gladly change. It’s the truth I’m after, and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance.”

19) “People out for posthumous fame forget that the Generations To Come will be the same annoying people they know now. And just as mortal. What does it matter to you if they say x about you, or think y?”

20) “When faced with people’s bad behavior, turn around and ask when you have acted like that. When you saw money as good, or pleasure, or social position. Your anger will subside as soon as you recognize that they acted under compulsion.”

21) “If someone despises me—that’s their problem. Mine—not to do or say anything despicable. If someone hates me—that’s their problem. Mine—to be patient and cheerful with everyone, including them. Ready to show them their mistake. Not spitefully, or to show off my own self-control, but in an honest, upright way. That’s the way we should be like inside, and never let the gods catch us feeling anger or resentment.”

22) “That kindness is invincible, provided it’s sincere—not ironic or an act. What can even the most vicious person do if you keep treating him with kindness and gently set him straight—if you get the chance—correcting him cheerfully at the exact moment that he’s trying to do you harm..
‘No, no my friend. That isn’t what we’re here for. It isn’t me who’s harmed by that. It’s you.’ And show him gently without pointing fingers that it’s so.”

23) “That it’s not what they do that bothers us: that’s a problem for their minds, not ours. It’s our own misperceptions. Discard them. Be willing to give up thinking of this as a catastrophe…and your anger is gone. How do you do that? By recognizing that you’ve suffered no disgrace.”

24) “That you don’t know for sure it is a mistake. A lot of things are means to some other end. You have to know an awful lot before you can judge other people’s actions with real understanding.”

25) “It never ceases to amaze me: We all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.”

26) “The despicable phoniness of people who say, ‘listen, I’m going to level with you here.’ What does that mean?? It shouldn’t even need to be said. It should be obvious—written in block letters on your forehead. It should be audible in your voice, visible in your eyes, like a lover who looks into your face, and takes in the whole story at a glance. A straightforward honest person should be like someone who stinks: when you’re in the same room with him, you know it.  But false straightforwardness is like a knife in the back. False friendship is the worst. Avoid it at all costs. If you’re honest and straightforward and mean well, it should show in your eyes. It should be unmistakable.”

27) “Or is it your reputation thats bothering you? But look at how soon we’re all forgotten. The abyss of endless time that swallows it all. The emptiness of all those applauding hands. The people who praise us-how capricious they are, how arbitrary. And the tiny region in which it all takes place. The whole earth a point in space-and most of it uninhabited.”

28) “To live life in peace, immune to all compulsion…Let them scream whatever they want.”

29) “Not to be distracted by their darkness.  To run straight for the finish line, unswerving.”

30) “Don’t be put off by other people’s comments and criticism.”