Marcus Aurelius was Roman emperor from 161 to 180 AD.
He was the last of the “Five Good Emperors”, the five rulers who presided over the most majestic days of the Roman Empire from 96 to 180 AD.
In addition to being one of the “Five Good Emperors”, Marcus Aurelius was a Stoic. Stoicism is a philosophy for life which was founded by the Greek scholar Zeno. In addition to Marcus Aurelius, Stoicism’s most famous adherents were the Roman statesman Seneca (4 BC – 65 AD) and the Greek philosopher Epictetus (55 – 135 AD).
Stoicism can be summarized as follows:
“Stay calm and serene regardless of what life throws at you.”
Some have called stoicism the ultimate self-improvement philosophy.
Below you’ll find 67 Marcus Aurelius quotes. The are words of profound wisdom that can change your life if you start applying this way of thinking into your day to day life.
67 Marcus Aurelius Quotes
1. “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius
2. “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
3. “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” – Marcus Aurelius
4. “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” – Marcus Aurelius
5. “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” – Marcus Aurelius
6. “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.” – Marcus Aurelius
7. “Loss is nothing else but change, and change is nature’s delight.” – Marcus Aurelius
8. “The universe is transformation: life is opinion.” – Marcus Aurelius
9. “He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.” – Marcus Aurelius
10. “The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.” – Marcus Aurelius
11. “Let not your mind run on what you lack as much as on what you have already.” – Marcus Aurelius
12. “Nothing happens to any man that he is not formed by nature to bear.” – Marcus Aurelius
13. “How much time he saves who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks.” – Marcus Aurelius
14. “Do every act of your life as if it were your last.” – Marcus Aurelius
15. “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
16. “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” – Marcus Aurelius
17. “A man’s worth is no greater than his ambitions.” – Marcus Aurelius
18. “The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away.” – Marcus Aurelius
19. “If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.” – Marcus Aurelius
20. “Tomorrow is nothing, today is too late; the good lived yesterday.” – Marcus Aurelius
21. “Everything that happens happens as it should, and if you observe carefully, you will find this to be so.” – Marcus Aurelius
22. “It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinions than our own.” – Marcus Aurelius
23. “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius
24. “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” – Marcus Aurelius
25. “You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can’t control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.” – Marcus Aurelius
26. “The time is at hand when you will have forgotten everything; and the time is at hand when all will have forgotten you. Always reflect that soon you will be no one, and nowhere.” – Marcus Aurelius
27. “It is the responsibility of leadership to work intelligently with what is given, and not waste time fantasizing about a world of flawless people and perfect choices.” – Marcus Aurelius
28. “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
29. “Most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquillity. Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?'” – Marcus Aurelius
30. “Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.” – Marcus Aurelius
31. “Adapt yourself to the life you have been given; and truly love the people with whom destiny has surrounded you.” – Marcus Aurelius
32. “If you are pained by any external thing, it is not this that disturbs you, but your own judgement about it.” – Marcus Aurelius
33. “Life is short. Do not forget about the most important things in our life, living for other people and doing good for them.” – Marcus Aurelius
34. “Don’t be ashamed to need help. Like a soldier storming a wall, you have a mission to accomplish. And if you’ve been wounded and you need a comrade to pull you up? So what?” – Marcus Aurelius
35. “It doesn’t hurt me unless I interpret its happening as harmful to me. I can choose not to.” – Marcus Aurelius
36. “Never act without purpose and resolve, or without the means to finish the job.” – Marcus Aurelius
37. “Do not act as if you were going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good.” – Marcus Aurelius
38. “Our life is what our thoughts make it. Do every act of your life as if it were your last. In a word, your life is short. You must make the most of the present with the aid of reason and justice. Since it is possible that you may be quitting life this very moment, govern every act and thought accordingly.” – Marcus Aurelius
39. “Every man’s life lies within the present; for the past is spent and done with, and the future is uncertain.” – Marcus Aurelius
40. “Think of what you have rather than of what you lack. Of the things you have, select the best and then reflect how eagerly you would have sought them if you did not have them.” – Marcus Aurelius
41. “Whoever does wrong, wrongs himself; whoever does injustice, does it to himself, making himself evil.” – Marcus Aurelius
42. “What we do now echoes in eternity.” – Marcus Aurelius
43. “Take full account of what Excellencies you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.” – Marcus Aurelius
44. “Failing to understand the workings of one’s own mind is bound to lead to unhappiness.” – Marcus Aurelius
45. “Without a purpose, nothing should be done.” – Marcus Aurelius
46. “Your life is an expression of all your thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius
47. “It’s silly to try to escape other people’s faults. They are inescapable. Just try to escape your own.” – Marcus Aurelius
48. “It is possible to depart from life at this moment. Have this thought in mind whenever you act, speak, or think.” – Marcus Aurelius
49. “You should banish any thoughts of how you may appear to others.” – Marcus Aurelius
50. “The wise man sees in the misfortune of others what he should avoid.” – Marcus Aurelius
51. “To expect an impossibility is madness.” – Marcus Aurelius
52. “If any man despises me, that is his problem. My only concern is not doing or saying anything deserving of contempt.” – Marcus Aurelius
53. “Your time has a limit set to it. Use it, then, to advance your enlightenment; or it will be gone, and never in your power again.” – Marcus Aurelius
54. “Discard everything except these few truths: we can live only in the present moment, in this brief now; all the rest of our life is dead and buried or shrouded in uncertainty. Short is the life we lead, and small our patch of earth.” – Marcus Aurelius
55. “Do not think that what is hard for you to master is humanly impossible; but if a thing is humanly possible, consider it to be within your reach.” – Marcus Aurelius
56. “A wrongdoer is often a man who has left something undone, not always one who has done something.” – Marcus Aurelius
57. “The man who has a house everywhere has a home nowhere.” – Marcus Aurelius
58. “Know the joy of life by piling good deed on good deed until no rift or cranny appears between them.” – Marcus Aurelius
59. “Nothing that goes on in anyone else’s mind can harm you.” – Marcus Aurelius
60. “The only thing that isn’t worthless: to live this life out truthfully and rightly, and be patience with those who don’t.” – Marcus Aurelius
61. “No man is happy who does not think himself so.” – Marcus Aurelius
62. “A man must stand erect, not be kept erect by others.” – Marcus Aurelius
63. “Consider that everything is opinion, and opinion is in thy power.” – Marcus Aurelius
64. “Do not be wise in words – be wise in deeds.” – Marcus Aurelius
65. “Both happiness and unhappiness depend on perception.” – Marcus Aurelius
66. “It is not fit that I should give myself pain, for I have never intentionally given pain even to another.” – Marcus Aurelius
67. “When pain is unbearable it destroys us; when it does not it is bearable.” – Marcus Aurelius
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