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36 Stoic Quotes for a Strong Character

Building a Strong Character: Quotes for Self-Mastery

By KamyaPublished 8 months ago 6 min read
Photo by Simone Pellegrini on Unsplash


Philosophy does not promise to secure anything external for a man. Otherwise, it would be admitting something that lies beyond its proper subject matter.

For, as the material of the carpenter is wood, and that of the statuary, bronze. So, the subject matter of the art of living is each person's own life.



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 a 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 the words become works.

No one to my mind lets humanity down quite so much as those who study philosophy as if it were a sort of commercial skill and then proceeds to live in a quite different manner to the one they tell other people to live. -Seneca


It does not matter what you bear but how you bear it. -Seneca


You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think. -Marcus Aurelius


The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals but within myself, to the choices that are my own. -Epictetus


True happiness is to enjoy the present without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears, but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient for he that is so once nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not. -Seneca


Don't seek for everything to happen as you wish it would, but rather wish that everything happens as it actually will, then your life will flow well.



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. -Marcus Aurelius


If you accomplish something good with hard work, the labor passes quickly but the good endures. If you do something shameful in pursuit of pleasure, the pleasure passes quickly but the shame endures. -Musonius Rufus


A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials. -Seneca


No person has the power to have everything they want, but it is in their power not to want what they don't have and to cheerfully put to good use what they do have. -Seneca


You will earn the respect of all if you begin by earning the respect of yourself. Don't expect to encourage good deeds in people conscious of your own misdeeds. -Musonius Rufus


The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude. -William James


Excellence is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution. It represents the wise choice of many alternatives. Choice, not chance, determines your destiny.



We are more often frightened than heard, and we suffer more in imagination than in reality. -Seneca


Man conquers the world by conquering himself. -Zeno of Citium


How does it help...to make troubles heavier by bemoaning them?



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


If it is not right, do not do it. If it is not true, do not say it.

-Marcus Aurelius


You should live in such a way that there is nothing which you could not as easily tell your enemy as keep to yourself. -Seneca


Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be. -Alan Watts


The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think. -Aristotle


We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.

-Zeno of Citium


The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way. -Marcus Aurelius


Don't promise twice what you can do once. -Cato the Younger


A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it is committing another mistake. -Confucius


He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how. -Nietzsche


Remember two things: 1) that everything has always been the same and keeps recurring, and it makes no difference whether you see the same things recur in 100 years or 200 or in an infinite period;

2) that the longest-lived and those who will die soonest lose the same thing, the present is all they can give up since that is all you have, and what you do not have, you cannot lose -Marcus Aurelius


Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather, he must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life, and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life. To life, he can only respond by being responsible.

-Victor Frankl


No amount of anxiety makes any difference to anything that is going to happen. -Alan Watts


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

-Marcus Aurelius


Nothing, to my way of thinking, is a better proof of a well-ordered mind than a man's ability to stop just where he is and pass some time in his own company. -Seneca


The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. -William James


I begin to speak only when I'm certain what I'll say isn't better left unsaid. -Cato the Younger


All Hellenistic schools seem to define wisdom in approximately the same terms, first and foremost as a state of perfect peace of mind.

From this viewpoint, philosophy appears as a remedy for human worries, anguish, and misery brought about, for the cynics, by social constraints and conventions; for the Epicureans, by the quest for false pleasures; for the Stoics, by the pursuit of pleasure and egotistic self-interest; and for the skeptics, by false opinions. -Pierre Hadot


Whether or not they lay claim to the Socratic heritage. All Hellenistic philosophers agreed with Socrates that human beings are plunged into misery, anguish, and evil because they exist in ignorance.

Evil is to be found not within things but in the value judgments which people bring to bear upon things. People can, therefore, be cured of their ills only if they are persuaded to change their value judgments. And in this sense, all these philosophies wanted to be therapeutic. -Pierre Hadot

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About the Creator


We should enjoy every moment fully, fall in love, make the most of our time, and live without regret. We should cherish the fact that there are still many moments in life that we have yet to experience for the last time.

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