This article is a collection of some of the best stoic quotes.
One of (if not the) best person to explain Stoicism is Ryan Holiday.
Ryan is a bestselling author who’s published numerous books on stoicism, such as The Obstacle Is the Way and Ego Is the Enemy.
He’s also the host of the podcast The Daily Stoic.
So, what is stoicism exactly? Ryan says: “The whole thing boils down to this one idea, ‘There’s some stuff that’s up to us, there’s some stuff that’s not up to us.’”
Our job is focus on the things that are up to us, like this very moment, our actions in our careers, and the words we say.
Rather than regretting the past, complaining about what’s outside of your control, and worrying about the future, you have to focus on the present.
What’s up to you right now and what can you do about it?
What’s outside of you that you can’t control that you can stop stressing about? That’s stoicism.
But as Darius Foroux (another best-selling author who practices stoicism) says:
“No one expects you to always live according to Stoic values and be positive, resilient, and never have a moment of weakness. That’s not realistic. But trying to be your best and most reliable self is very realistic.”
In this article I’m going to give you stoic quotes for any situation.
If you need a bit of inspiration or words to get you through a bad day, here are some stoic quotes for you to read.
Stoic Quotes for When You Want to Change Your Life
- “How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?” – Epictetus
- “If you feel like the voice in your head is somehow standing in the way of living a good life, realize that you can change the voice.” – Darius Foroux
- “To be somebody or to do something.” – Ryan Holiday
- “No random actions, none based on underlying principles.” – Marcus Aurelius
- “Whenever you need to make a big decision, try to ask yourself: What are the ultimate outcomes I’m looking for? Does this align with who I actually am? What I’m actually good at? What I actually enjoy? Will this help me reach my ultimate goals? As Epictetus said, think about the consequences: Good and bad. If that’s in line with who you are, then go for it, if it’s not, don’t.” – Darius Foroux
- “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” – Epictetus
- “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.” – Seneca
- “The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.” – Seneca
- “When success begins to slip from your fingers—for whatever reason—the response isn’t to grip and claw so hard that you shatter it to pieces. It’s to understand that you must work yourself back to the aspirational phase. You must get back to first principles and best practices.” – Ryan Holiday
- “Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.” – Marcus Aurelius
Stoic Quotes On Being Mindful and Present
- “We can’t recognize opportunities—or create them—if instead of seeing what is in front of us, we live inside our own fantasy.” – Ryan Holiday
- “You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
- “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.” ― Marcus Aurelius
- “To make the best of what is in our power, and take the rest as it occurs.” – Epictetus
- “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will. ”― Epictetus
- “Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems.” – Epictetus
- “Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” – Marcus Aurelius
- “True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.” – Seneca
- “We live only now. Everything else is either passed or is unknown.” – Marcus Aurelius
- “They lose the day in expectation of the night, and the night in fear of the dawn.” – Seneca
Stoic Quotes for When You Need Motivation and Inspiration
- “Love the hand that fate deals you and play it as your own, for what could be more fitting?” – Marcus Aurelius
- “Make it about what you feel you must do and say, not what you care about and wish to be.” – Ryan Holiday
- “You cannot change what happens to you. You can change the meaning you give to what happens.” – Darius Foroux
- “When everything seems to be melancholic in your life, and you’re just not excited about anything, try the following:. Create a new, meaningful goal.” – Darius Foroux
- “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” – Marcus Aurelius
- “The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.” – Ryan Holiday
- “Throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack.” – Seneca
- “Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer. Put your principles into practice – now. Stop the excuses and the procrastination. This is your life! – Epictetus
- “Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do – now.” – Epictetus
- “Seek not the good in external things; seek it in yourselves.” – Epictetus
Stoic Quotes For When You Need Some Wisdom and Advice
- “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” – Ryan Holiday
- “If it is not right, do not do it, if it is not true, do not say it.” – Marcus Aurelius
- “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.” – Marcus Aurelius
- “Life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear the future.” – Seneca
- “Until we have begun to go without them, we fail to realize how unnecessary many things are. We’ve been using them not because we needed them but because we had them.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
- “We will learn that though we think big, we must act and live small in order to accomplish what we seek.” – Ryan Holiday
- “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”―Seneca
- “When you stay in your own head, simmering in your own thoughts, the last thing you want to do is focus more on yourself. Start to focus on something outward.” – Darius Foroux
- “Circumstances don’t make the man, they only reveal him to himself.” – Epictetus
- “We forget: In life, it doesn’t matter what happens to you or where you came from. It matters what you do with what happens and what you’ve been given.” – Ryan Holiday
Recommended read: How to Succeed in Life: 4 Mental Shifts You Must Make
Quotes for When You Have a Hard Day
- ”No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself.” – Seneca
- “Remember, it is not enough to be hit or insulted to be harmed, you must believe that you are being harmed. If someone succeeds in provoking you, realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation. Which is why it is essential that we not respond impulsively to impressions; take a moment before reacting, and you will find it easier to maintain control.” – Epictetus
- “Nothing is burdensome if taken lightly, and nothing need arouse one’s irritation so long as one doesn’t make it bigger than it is by getting irritated.”- Lucius Annaeus Seneca
- “We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more in imagination than in reality.”- Seneca
- “I judge you unfortunate because you have never lived through misfortune. You have passed through life without an opponent—no one can ever know what you are capable of, not even you.” – Seneca
- “The greatest work and art comes from wrestling with the void, facing it instead of scrambling to make it go away.” – Ryan Holiday
- “When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love…” – Marcus Aurelius
- “Sometimes it’s useful to process what’s happened in our past, and to try to work through it. But it’s also important not to let our stories about ourselves trap us.” – Darius Foroux
- “Remember, it is not enough to be hit or insulted to be harmed, you must believe that you are being harmed. If someone succeeds in provoking you, realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation. Which is why it is essential that we not respond impulsively to impressions; take a moment before reacting, and you will find it easier to maintain control. – Epictetus
- “Here is a rule to remember in future, when anything tempts you to feel bitter: not “This is misfortune,” but “To bear this worthily is good fortune.” – Marcus Aurelius
We hope you feel inspired, excited, or motivated after reading these great stoic quotes by some of the best philosophers and stoic experts.
There’s a quote for any situation, and sometimes that’s enough to push you through the day.
Make sure to come back and read these stoic quotes whenever you need them for a burst of energy or as a reality check.
Stoicism is a life-long practice, so don’t expect yourself to be perfect.
Like anything else, it’s a matter of paying attention and evaluating where you are.
If you realize you’re out of alignment with your beliefs, simply choose to realign.
These stoic quotes are perfect for those times.