Marcus Aurelius (121 AD- 180 AD)

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”

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

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

“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.”

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

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

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

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

“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.”

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

“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.”

“The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.”

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

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

“If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.”

“The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.”

“I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.”

“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.”

“Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”

“Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too.”

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

“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.”

“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.”

“The universe is change; life is your perception of it.”

“Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil.”

“You are a little soul carrying about a corpse, as Epictetus used to say.”

“Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life.”

“Receive without conceit, release without struggle.”

“Nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by nature to bear.”

“Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs?”

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

“Just that you do the right thing. The rest doesn’t matter. Cold or warm. Tired or well-rested. Despised or honored. Dying … or busy with other assignments. Because dying, too, is one of our assignments in life. There as well: “To do what needs doing.” Look inward. Don’t let the true nature of anything elude you. Before long, all existing things will be transformed, to rise like smoke (assuming all things become one), or be dispersed in fragments…to move from one unselfish act to another with God in mind. Only there, delight and stillness…when jarred, unavoidably, by circumstances, revert at once to yourself, and don’t lose the rhythm more than you can help. You’ll have a better grasp of the harmony if you keep going back to it.”

“Though you break your heart, men will go on as before.”

“Regain your senses, call yourself back, and once again wake up. Now that you realize that only dreams were troubling you, view this ‘reality’ as you view your dreams.”

“Whatever anyone does or says, I must be emerald and keep my colour.”

“Life is neither good or evil, but only a place for good and evil.”

“Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.”

“That which is really beautiful has no need of anything; not more than law, not more than truth, not more than benevolence or modesty.”

“Observe always that everything is the result of change, and get used to thinking that there is nothing Nature loves so well as to change existing forms and make new ones like them.”

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

“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.”

“Whoever does wrong, wrongs himself; whoever does injustice, does it to himself, making himself evil.”

“The memory of everything is very soon overwhelmed in time.”

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

“The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.”

“When another blames you or hates you, or people voice similar criticisms, go to their souls, penetrate inside and see what sort of people they are. You will realize that there is no need to be racked with anxiety that they should hold any particular opinion about you.”

“Humans have come into being for the sake of each other, so either teach them, or learn to bear them.”

“Do what you will. Even if you tear yourself apart, most people will continue doing the same things.”

“Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.”

“A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires.”

“Pass then through this little space of time conformably to nature, and end thy journey in content, just as an olive falls off when it is ripe, blessing nature who produced it, and thanking the tree on which it grew.”

“Dig within. Within is the wellspring of Good; and it is always ready to bubble up, if you just dig.”

“How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life”

“Do not waste what remains of your life in speculating about your neighbors, unless with a view to some mutual benefit. To wonder what so-and-so is doing and why, or what he is saying, or thinking, or scheming — in a word, anything that distracts you from fidelity to the ruler within you — means a loss of opportunity for some other task.”

“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.”

“It loved to happen.”

“Neither worse then or better is a thing made by being praised.”

“No one loses any other life than the one he now lives, nor does one live any other life than that which he will lose.”

“Life is opinion.”

“For it is in your power to retire into yourself whenever you choose.”

“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.”

“What we cannot bear removes us from life; what remains can be borne.”

“How ridiculous and unrealistic is the man who is astonished at anything that happens in life.”

“Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what’s left and live it properly. What doesn’t transmit light creates its own darkness.”

“I was once a fortunate man but at some point fortune abandoned me. But true good fortune is what you make for yourself. Good fortune: good character, good intentions, and good actions.”

“All men are made one for another: either then teach them better or bear with them.”

“No man is happy who does not think himself so.”

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

“Not to waste time on nonsense. Not to be taken in by conjurors and hoodoo artists with their talk about incantations and exorcism and all the rest of it. Not to be obsessed with quail-fighting or other crazes like that. ”

“Men exist for the sake of one another.”

“Death smiles at us all, all a man can do is smile back.”

“Anger cannot be dishonest.”

“When men are inhuman, take care not to feel towards them as they do towards other humans.”

“Retire into thyself. The rational principle which rules has this nature, that it is content with itself when it does what is just, and so secures tranquility.”

“Misfortune nobly born is good fortune.”

“The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.”

“Be like the cliff against which the waves continually break; but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it.”

“The soul is dyed the colours of its thoughts.”

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