Who the hell is Marcus Aurelius?

Marcus Aurelius was a successful Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher. His journal is posthumously released as The Meditations and marks a milestone in Stoic literature.

Books by Marcus Aurelius

Quotes by Marcus Aurelius

“A brief existence is common to all things, and yet you avoid and pursue all things as if they would be eternal.”

Marcus Aurelius

“A man must stand erect, not be kept erect by others.”

Marcus Aurelius

“A man’s worth is no greater than his ambitions.”

Marcus Aurelius

“A vine cannot behave olively, nor an olive tree vinely – it is impossible, inconceivable. No more can a human being wholly efface his native disposition.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Alexander the Great and his mule driver both died and the same thing happened to both.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Almost nothing material is needed for a happy life, for he who has understood existence.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Anger cannot be dishonest.”

Marcus Aurelius

“As an antidote to battle unkindness we were given kindness.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Be content to seem what you really are.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Confine yourself to the present.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Do as Socrates did, never replying to the question of where he was from with, ‘I am Athenian,’ or ‘I am from Corinth,’ but always, ‘I am a citizen of the world.’”

Marcus Aurelius

“Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Each of us needs what nature gives us, when nature gives it.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Everything that happens is either endurable or not. If it’s endurable, then endure it. Stop complaining. If it’s unendurable… then stop complaining. Your destruction will mean its end as well. Just remember: you can endure anything your mind can make endurable, by treating it as in your interest to do so. In your interest, or in your nature.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Give thyself time to learn something new and good, and cease to be whirled around.”

Marcus Aurelius

“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.”

Marcus Aurelius

“How long will you wait before you demand the best of yourself, and trust reason to determine what is best?”

Marcus Aurelius

“How much time he saves who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks.”

Marcus Aurelius

“If it’s not right, don’t do it. If it’s not true, don’t say it.”

Marcus Aurelius

“If you are pained by external things, it is not they that disturb you, but your own judgment of them. And it is in your power to wipe out that judgment now.”

Marcus Aurelius

“In a little while you will have forgotten everything; in a little while everything will have forgotten you.”

Marcus Aurelius

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”

Marcus Aurelius

“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

“Live out your life in truth and justice, tolerant of those who are neither true nor just.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Nothing happens to anyone that he can’t endure.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Practice really hearing what people say. Do your best to get inside their minds.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Refer your action to no other end than the common good.”

Marcus Aurelius

“So you were born to feel “nice”? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?”

Marcus Aurelius

“Stop wishing for something else to happen, for a different fate. That is to live a false life.”

Marcus Aurelius

“The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing, in so far as it stands ready against the accidental and the unforeseen, and is not apt to fall.”

Marcus Aurelius

“The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.”

Marcus Aurelius

“The best answer to anger is silence.”

Marcus Aurelius

“The first thing a pretender to philosophy must do is get rid of their presuppositions; a person is not going to undertake to learn anything that they think they already know.”

Marcus Aurelius

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”

Marcus Aurelius

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

Marcus Aurelius

“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.”

Marcus Aurelius

“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.”

Marcus Aurelius

“The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.”

Marcus Aurelius

“The true man is revealed in difficult times. So when trouble comes, think of yourself as a wrestler whom God, like a trainer, has paired with a tough young buck. For what purpose? To turn you into Olympic-class material. But this is going to take some sweat to accomplish.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Things themselves cannot touch the soul, not in the least degree, nor have they admission to the soul nor can they turn or move the soul: it turns and moves itself alone and whatever judgment it may think proper to make, such it makes by remaking for itself the things that present themselves to it.”

Marcus Aurelius Meditations

“To have contemplated human life for forty years is the same as to have contemplated it for ten thousand years. For what more will you see?”

Marcus Aurelius

“Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions – not outside.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Today I escaped from the crush of circumstances, or better put, I threw them out, for the crush wasn’t from outside me but in my own assumptions.”

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

“When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts.”

Marcus Aurelius

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Whenever externals are more important to you than your own integrity, then be prepared to serve them the remainder of your life.”

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

“Why are we still lazy, indifferent and dull? Why do we look for excuses to avoid training and exercising our powers of reason?”

Marcus Aurelius

“Why should we feel anger at the world? As if the world would notice?”

Marcus Aurelius

“You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you.”

Marcus Aurelius

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

Marcus Aurelius

“Your life is an expression of all your thoughts.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought, for the human spirit is colored by such impressions.”

Marcus Aurelius