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68 Epictetus Quotes – Great Words from the Greek Stoic Philosopher

Epictetus Quotes

Epictetus quotes are known for their wisdom and insight. We have compiled a selection of the most famous and mind-blowing Epictetus quotes, which you will enjoy reading.

Epictetus was a Greek philosopher who lived in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. He is known for his philosophy of Stoicism, which emphasizes self-control, rationality, and inner peace. His quotes reflect his stoic philosophy and offer practical advice for living a virtuous life.

One of Epictetus’s most famous quotes is:
“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

This quote highlights the importance of focusing on our reactions to events rather than on the events themselves.

Epictetus believed that we cannot control external events, but we can control our thoughts and reactions. By practicing self-control and rationality, we can maintain inner peace and happiness, even in the face of adversity.

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Epictetus emphasized the importance of living in accordance with nature. One of his quotes reads:
“Nature hath given men one tongue but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.”

This quote highlights the importance of listening to others and learning from them. By living in harmony with nature and recognizing the value of others, we can become better people and live more fulfilling lives.

Another important Epictetus quote is:
“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.”

This quote emphasizes the importance of humility and a willingness to learn.

Epictetus believed that true wisdom comes from recognizing our limitations and constantly striving to improve ourselves.

By being open to criticism and willing to learn from our mistakes, we can become better people and live more virtuous lives. He also said: “No man is free who is not master of himself”.

Epictetus Quotes for Wisdom and Insight

Quotes by Epictetus on stoicism and the stoic life.

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”

Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control.”

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”

“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”

“No great thing is created suddenly.”

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”

“The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it.”

“If you wish to be a writer, write.”

“If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make excuses about what is said of you but answer, ‘He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone.'”

“Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems.”

“If one oversteps the bounds of moderation, the greatest pleasures cease to please.”

“We must not believe the many, who say that only free people ought to be educated, but we should rather believe the philosophers who say that only the educated are free.”

“Difficulties are things that show a person what they are.”

“We should not moor a ship with one anchor or our life with one hope.”

“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.”

Epictetus Quotes for Improvement and Wisdom

“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.”

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

“It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them.”

“He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at.”

“Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.”

“Circumstances don’t make the man, they only reveal him to himself.”

“It is not death or pain that is to be dreaded, but the fear of pain or death.”

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

“Practice yourself, for heaven’s sake, in little things, and then proceed to greater.”

“The beginning of philosophy is a consciousness of your own weakness and inability in necessary things.”

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”

“It is impossible for a man to be free if he is a slave to his passions.”

“If you seek tranquility, do less. Or do what’s essential, what the logos of a social being dictates.”

“The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it.”

“Nature hath given men one tongue but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.”

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

“Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems.”

“We must make haste then, not only to do what is good, but also to do it well.”

“Control thy passions lest they take vengeance on thee.”

More of Epictetus Quotes

“The two powers which in my opinion constitute a wise man are those of bearing and forbearing.”

“He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment

“Men are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of them.”

“Not every difficult and dangerous thing is suitable for training, but only that which is conducive to success in achieving the object of our effort.”

“It is not what happens to you that matters, but how you react to it.”

“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: some things are within our control, and some things are not.”

“We should not be upset by the things that go wrong, as long as we are doing the best we can.”

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”

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

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

“In prosperity, it’s very easy to find a friend; in adversity, nothing is more difficult.”

“To accuse others for one’s own misfortunes is a sign of want of education; to accuse oneself shows that one’s education has begun; to accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one’s education is complete.”

“No man is free who is not master of himself.”

“It is not so much what happens to you as how you think about what happens.”

“Do not seek to bring things to pass in accordance with your wishes, but wish for them as they are, and you will find them.”

“Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.”

Epictetus Stoic Quotes

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

“The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it.”

“The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself.”

“If you want to be free, all you have to do is to decide that you are free.”

“What concerns me is not the way things are, but rather the way people think things are.”

“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.”

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”

“We have within us the power to rise above whatever is currently happening in our lives.”

“Wealth is like seawater; the more we drink, the thirstier we become.”

“The only way to happiness is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”

More of Epictetus Stoic Quotes

“The true man is revealed in difficult times.”

“We should always be asking ourselves: “Is this something that is, or is not, in my control?”

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

“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.”

“To accuse others for one’s own misfortunes is a sign of want of education; to accuse oneself shows that one’s education has begun; to accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one’s education is complete.”

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”

“He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment.”

“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”

“He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at.”

Some Outstanding Epictetus Quotes

Epictetus emphasized the importance of living in the present moment. One of his quotes reads, “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”

This quote highlights the importance of gratitude and appreciation for what we have. By focusing on the present moment and being grateful for what we have, we can find happiness and inner peace.

Another famous Epictetus quote is, “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” This quote emphasizes the importance of simplicity and contentment. Epictetus believed that true wealth is not measured by material possessions, but by a lack of desire for them.

By focusing on our own internal state rather than external possessions, we can find true happiness and contentment.

Concluding Words

Epictetus quotes offer valuable insights into the Stoic philosophy and practical advice for living a virtuous life. By practicing self-control and focusing on internal states rather than external possessions, we become happier.

By living in accordance with nature, being open to learning, and living in the present moment, we can become better people and find true contentment.

Epictetus quotes are a testament to his philosophy of Stoicism, emphasizing self-control, rationality, and inner peace.

They offer practical advice for living a virtuous life, including focusing on our own reactions to events, living in accordance with nature, being open to learning, and living in the present moment.

These quotes inspire us to strive for inner peace, happiness, and contentment by focusing on what we can control and detaching ourselves from what we cannot.

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