98 Great Quotes By Marcus Aurelius That Hold Profound Lessons
Marcus Aurelius was the most idolized Roman Emperor who placed his empire prior to his life. His name has been well-maintained in relic till date. He ruled from 161 to 180. He is considered to be the endmost of the alleged ‘Five Good Emperors’. He was an eager follower of Stoicisim and that is revealed through his writings, thoughts, views and philosophical ideas that have been compiled and safeguarded in a diary, known across the globe as ‘Meditations’. It is considered as a conspicuous source of modern comprehension of ancient Stoic philosophy. Many commentators consider this work by Aurelius as one of the greatest works of philosophy. It is believed that Aurelius was a keen learner and took interest in literature, sciences, drama, geometry, philosophy and music. We bring to you some of the most quoted quotes and sayings by the leader of the senate which have been squandered from his writings, books, thoughts, works and life. Read through the quotes and thoughts by Marcus Aurelius whose words are still applicable, even after 2000 years.
Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them. You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts. Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one. 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. When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love ... The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury. 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. It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. Our life is what our thoughts make it. The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts. 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. 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. 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. 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. Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears. The best revenge is not to be like your enemy. How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it. 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? 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. 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. Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look. 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. 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. You are a little soul carrying about a corpse, as Epictetus used to say. Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life. Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too. For it is in your power to retire into yourself whenever you choose. Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours. The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it. Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect. What we do now echoes in eternity. Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life. A man’s worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions. Nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by nature to bear. Receive without conceit, release without struggle. 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. Perfection of character is this: to live each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, without apathy, without pretence. Life is neither good or evil, but only a place for good and evil. Don't go on discussing what a good person should be. Just be one. Whatever anyone does or says, I must be emerald and keep my colour. How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life 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. Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs? Humans have come into being for the sake of each other, so either teach them, or learn to bear them. Though you break your heart, men will go on as before. Do what you will. Even if you tear yourself apart, most people will continue doing the same things. 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. Whoever does wrong, wrongs himself; whoever does injustice, does it to himself, making himself evil. 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. The memory of everything is very soon overwhelmed in time. Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish. It is in your power to withdraw yourself whenever you desire. Perfect tranquility within consists in the good ordering of the mind, the realm of your own. If any man despises me, that is his problem. My only concern is not doing or saying anything deserving of contempt. Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul. If you are pained by external things, it is not they that disturb you, but your own judgement of them. And it is in your power to wipe out that judgement now. That which is really beautiful has no need of anything; not more than law, not more than truth, not more than benevolence or modesty. Dig within. Within is the wellspring of Good; and it is always ready to bubble up, if you just dig. What we cannot bear removes us from life; what remains can be borne. Do not act as if you had ten thousand years to throw away. Death stands at your elbow. Be good for something while you live and it is in your power. A person's worth is measured by the worth of what he values. Misfortune nobly born is good fortune. Take full account of what Excellencies you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not. 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. 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. Unhappy am I because this has happened to me.- Not so, but happy am I, though this has happened to me, because I continue free from pain, neither crushed by the present nor fearing the future. All men are made one for another: either then teach them better or bear with them. Confine yourself to the present. A man must stand erect, not be kept erect by others. When you arise in the moring, think of what a precious privelege it is to be alive-- to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love All things fade and quickly turn to myth. Your days are numbered. Use them to throw open the windows of your soul to the sun. If you do not, the sun will soon set, and you with it. How ridiculous and unrealistic is the man who is astonished at anything that happens in life. Every living organism is fulfilled when it follows the right path for its own nature. No man is happy who does not think himself so. Everything - a horse, a vine - is created for some duty... For what task, then, were you yourself created? Live out your life in truth and justice, tolerant of those who are neither true nor just. Be like the cliff against which the waves continually break; but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it. Death is a release from the impressions of the senses, and from desires that make us their puppets, and from the vagaries of the mind, and from the hard service of the flesh. Neither worse then or better is a thing made by being praised. Anger cannot be dishonest. Look beneath the surface; let not the several quality of a thing nor its worth escape thee. All things of the body stream away like a river, all things of the mind are dreams and delusion; life is warfare, and a visit to a strange land; the only lasting fame is oblivion. A wrongdoer is often a man who has left something undone, not always one who has done something. From the philosopher Catulus, never to be dismissive of a friend's accusation, even if it seems unreasonable, but to make every effort to restore the relationship to its normal condition. That which is not good for the swarm, neither is it good for the bee. The happiness and unhappiness of the rational, social animal depends not on what he feels but on what he does; just as his virtue and vice consist not in feeling but in doing. The blazing fire makes flames and brightness out of everything thrown into it.
Men exist for the sake of one another.
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.
Adapt yourself to the life you have been given; and truly love the people with whom destiny has surrounded you
The honest and good man ought to be exactly like a man who smells strong, so that the bystander as soon as he comes near him must smell whether he choose or not.
The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way. As far as you can, get into the habit of asking yourself in relation to any action taken by another: "What is his point of reference here?" But begin with yourself: examine yourself first.