Quotes – Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius was Roman Emperor from 161 to 180. He ruled with Lucius Verus as co-emperor from 161 until Verus’ death in 169. He was the last of the Five Good Emperors and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers.

“But death and life, success and failure, pain and pleasure, wealth and poverty, all these happen to good and bad alike, and they are neither noble nor shameful and hence neither good nor bad.” Marcus Aurelius Meditations 2:11

“The elements move upward, downward, in all directions. The motion of virtue is different-deeper. It moves at a steady pace on a road hard to discern, and always forward.” Marcus Aurelius Meditations 6:17

“Let it happen, if it wants, to whatever it can happen to. And what’s affected can complain about it if it wants. It doesn’t hurt me unless I interpret its happening as harmful to me. I can choose not to.” Marcus Aurelius Meditations 7:14

“No matter what anyone says or does, my task is to be good. Like gold or emerald or purple repeating to itself, “No matter what anyone says of does, my task is to be emerald, my color undiminished.” Marcus Aurelius Meditations 7:15

“The first step: Don’t be anxious.Nature controls it all. And before long you’ll be non 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; remind yourself what nature demands of people. Then do it, without hesitations, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy.” Marcus Aurelius Meditations 8:5

“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.” Marcus Aurelius Meditations 8:48

“Do what nature demands. Get a move on if you have it in you and don’t worry whether anyone will give you credit for it. And don’t go expecting Plato’s Republic; be satisfied with even the smallest progress, and treat the outcome of it all as unimportant.” Marcus Aurelius Meditations 9:29

“Everything you’re trying to reach by taking the long way round you could have right now, this moment. If you’d only stop thwarting your own attempts. If you’d only let go of the past, entrust the future to Providence, and guide the present toward reverence and justice.”  Marcus Aurelius Meditations 12:1

“You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” Marcus Aurelius

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” Marcus Aurelius

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” Marcus Aurelius

“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.” Marcus Aurelius

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius

“If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.” Marcus Aurelius

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” Marcus Aurelius

“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

“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.” Marcus Aurelius

“As you rise with the morning Sun, think what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breath, to think, to enjoy, to love.” Marcus Aurelius