Marcus Aurelius Quotes

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Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus was a Roman Emperor who ruled from from 161 to 180 AD. He is popularly known as a Stoic philosopher and the last of the rulers who are commonly referred to as the Five Good Emperors. Marcus Aurelius is also the author of Meditations.

Here are some of the best Marcus Aurelius quotes on life, stoicism, love, leadership, death, success, change and so much more:

Best Marcus Aurelius Quotes

best Marcus Aurelius quotes

1. What we do now echoes in eternity. -Marcus Aurelius

2. The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts. -Marcus Aurelius

3. Though you break your heart, men will go on as before. -Marcus Aurelius

4. Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears. -Marcus Aurelius

5. The memory of everything is very soon overwhelmed in time. -Marcus Aurelius

6. The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury. -Marcus Aurelius

7. Dig within. Within is the wellspring of Good; and it is always ready to bubble up, if you just dig. -Marcus Aurelius

8. Choose not to be harmed—and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed—and you haven’t been. -Marcus Aurelius

9. Whoever does wrong, wrongs himself; whoever does injustice, does it to himself, making himself evil. -Marcus Aurelius

10. If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.

Marcus Aurelius

11. Confine yourself to the present. -Marcus Aurelius

12. Misfortune nobly born is good fortune. -Marcus Aurelius

13. Receive without conceit, release without struggle. -Marcus Aurelius

14. A man’s worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions. -Marcus Aurelius

15. For it is in your power to retire into yourself whenever you choose. -Marcus Aurelius

16. Whatever anyone does or says, I must be emerald and keep my color. -Marcus Aurelius

17. Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one. -Marcus Aurelius

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

19. Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. -Marcus Aurelius

20. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Quotes On Life

Marcus Aurelius quotes on life

21. Our life is what our thoughts make it. -Marcus Aurelius

22. Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life. -Marcus Aurelius

23. Life is neither good or evil, but only a place for good and evil. -Marcus Aurelius

24. The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts. -Marcus Aurelius

25. How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life. -Marcus Aurelius

26. When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love. -Marcus Aurelius

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

28. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

29. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

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

Marcus Aurelius

31. Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

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

33. Do what you will. Even if you tear yourself apart, most people will continue doing the same things. -Marcus Aurelius

34. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

35. 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

36. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

37. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

38. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

39. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

40. Do not disturb yourself by picturing your life as a whole; do not assemble in your mind the many and varied troubles which have come to you in the past and will come again in the future, but ask yourself with regard to every present difficulty: ‘What is there in this that is unbearable and beyond endurance?’ You would be ashamed to confess it! And then remind yourself that it is not the future or what has passed that afflicts you, but always the present, and the power of this is much diminished if you take it in isolation and call your mind to task if it thinks that it cannot stand up to it when taken on its own. -Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Quotes About Stoicism

Marcus Aurelius quotes about stoicism

41. Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself. -Marcus Aurelius

42. Stay calm and serene regardless of what life throws at you. -Marcus Aurelius

43. You’re better off not giving the small things more time than they deserve.

Marcus Aurelius

44. You don’t have to turn this into something. It doesn’t have to upset you. -Marcus Aurelius

45. It’s silly to try to escape other people’s faults. They are inescapable. Just try to escape your own. -Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Quotes On Love

Marcus Aurelius quotes on love

46. You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you. -Marcus Aurelius

47. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

48. The spiritual meaning of love is measured by what it can do. Love is meant to heal. Love is meant to renew. Love is meant to bring us closer to God. -Marcus Aurelius

49. If someone is incapable of distinguishing good things from bad and neutral things from either – well, how could such a person be capable of love? The power to love, then, belongs only to the wise man.

Marcus Aurelius

50. To love only what happens, what was destined. No greater harmony. -Marcus Aurelius

51. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. -Marcus Aurelius

52. Adapt yourself to the things among which your lot has been cast and love sincerely the fellow creatures with whom destiny has ordained that you shall live. -Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Quotes On Leadership

Marcus Aurelius quotes on leadership

53. First, do nothing inconsiderately or without a purpose. Second, make your acts refer to nothing else but a social end. -Marcus Aurelius

54. Be like the cliff against which the waves continually break; but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it. -Marcus Aurelius

55. To be feared is to fear: no one has been able to strike terror into others and at the same time enjoy peace of mind himself.

Marcus Aurelius

56. The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious. -Marcus Aurelius

57. When a guide meets up with someone who is lost, ordinarily his reaction is to direct him on the right path, not mock or malign him, then turn on his heel and walk away. As for you, lead someone to the truth and you will find that he can follow. But as long as you don’t point it out to him, don’t make fun of him; be aware of what you need to work on instead. -Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Quotes On Death

Marcus Aurelius quotes on death

58. Death smiles at us all; all we can do is smile back. -Marcus Aurelius

59. You are a little soul carrying about a corpse, as Epictetus used to say. -Marcus Aurelius

60. Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life. -Marcus Aurelius

61. Let each thing you would do, say, or intend, be like that of a dying person. -Marcus Aurelius

62. About death: Whether it is a dispersion, or a resolution into atoms, or annihilation, it is either extinction or change. -Marcus Aurelius

63. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

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

Marcus Aurelius

65. Perfection of character is this: to live each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, without apathy, without pretence. -Marcus Aurelius

66. Stop whatever you’re doing for a moment and ask yourself: ‘Am I afraid of death because I won’t be able to do this anymore? -Marcus Aurelius

67. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

68. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

69. But death and life, honor and dishonor, pain and pleasure — all these things, equally happen to good men and bad, being things which make us neither better nor worse. Therefore they are neither good nor evil. -Marcus Aurelius

70. Brief is man’s life and small the nook of the Earth where he lives; brief, too, is the longest posthumous fame, buoyed only by a succession of poor human beings who will very soon die and who know little of themselves, much less of someone who died long ago. -Marcus Aurelius

71. Finally, waiting for death with a cheerful mind, as being nothing else than a dissolution of the elements of which every living being is compounded. But if there is no harm to the elements themselves in each continually changing into another, why should a man have any apprehension about the change and dissolution of all the elements? -Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Quotes On Success

Marcus Aurelius quotes on success

72. Don’t let outward appearances mislead you into thinking that someone with more prestige, power or some other distinction must on that account be happy. -Marcus Aurelius

73. The love of power or money or luxurious living are not the only things which are guided by popular thinking. We take our cue from people’s thinking even in the way we feel pain. -Marcus Aurelius

74. Glory’s an empty, changeable thing, as fickle as the weather.

Marcus Aurelius

75. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Quotes On Change

Marcus Aurelius quotes on change

76. The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it. -Marcus Aurelius

77. Be content with what you are, and wish not change; nor dread your last day, nor long for it. -Marcus Aurelius

78. Every part of me then will be reduced by change into some part of the universe, and that again will change into another part of the universe, and so on forever. -Marcus Aurelius

79. If we try to adapt our mind to the regular sequence of changes and accept the inevitable with good grace, our life will proceed quite smoothly and harmoniously. -Marcus Aurelius

80. When you have assumed these names – good, modest, truthful, rational, a man of equanimity, and magnanimous – take care that you do not change these names; and if you should lose them, quickly return to them. -Marcus Aurelius

81. 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.

Marcus Aurelius

82. Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature’s delight. -Marcus Aurelius

83. Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too. -Marcus Aurelius

84. The world is maintained by change – in the elements and in the things they compose. That should be enough for you; treat it as an axiom. -Marcus Aurelius

85. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

86. Is any man afraid of change? What can take place without change? What then is more pleasing or more suitable to the universal nature? And can you take a hot bath unless the wood for the fire undergoes a change? And can you be nourished unless the food undergoes a change? And can anything else that is useful be accomplished without change? Do you not see then that for yourself also to change is just the same, and equally necessary for the universal nature? -Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Meditations Quotes

Marcus Aurelius Meditations quotes

87. How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it. -Marcus Aurelius

88. Every living organism is fulfilled when it follows the right path for its own nature. -Marcus Aurelius

89. Humans have come into being for the sake of each other, so either teach them, or learn to bear them. -Marcus Aurelius

90. Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look. -Marcus Aurelius

91. Take full account of what Excellencies you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not. -Marcus Aurelius

92. 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

93. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

94. 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? -Marcus Aurelius

95. Casting aside other things, hold to the precious few; and besides bear in mind that every man lives only the present, which is an indivisible point, and that all the rest of his life is either past or is uncertain. Brief is man’s life and small the nook of the earth where he lives; brief, too, is the longest posthumous fame, buoyed only by a succession of poor human beings who will very soon die and who know little of themselves, much less of someone who died long ago. -Marcus Aurelius

96. When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own – not of the same blood and birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are unnatural.

Marcus Aurelius

97. If any man despises me, that is his problem. My only concern is not doing or saying anything deserving of contempt. -Marcus Aurelius

98. How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy. -Marcus Aurelius

99. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

100. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

101. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

102. You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can’t control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone. -Marcus Aurelius

103. No one can lose either the past or the future – how could anyone be deprived of what he does not possess? It is only the present moment of which either stands to be deprived: and if this is all he has, he cannot lose what he does not have. -Marcus Aurelius

104. 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. -Marcus Aurelius

105. So you know how things stand. Now forget what they think of you. Be satisfied if you can live the rest of your life, however short, as your nature demands. Focus on that, and don’t let anything distract you. You’ve wandered all over and finally realized that you never found what you were after: how to live. Not in syllogisms, not in money, or fame, or self-indulgence. Nowhere. -Marcus Aurelius

106. Is your cucumber bitter? Throw it away. Are there briars in your path? Turn aside. That is enough. Do not go on and say, “Why were things of this sort ever brought into this world?” neither intolerable nor everlasting – if thou bearest in mind that it has its limits, and if thou addest nothing to it in imagination. Pain is either an evil to the body (then let the body say what it thinks of it!)-or to the soul. But it is in the power of the soul to maintain its own serenity and tranquility. -Marcus Aurelius

107. Concentrate every minute like a Roman— like a man— on doing what’s in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. And on freeing yourself from all other distractions. Yes, you can— if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered , irritable. You see how few things you have to do to live a satisfying and reverent life? If you can manage this, that’s all even the gods can ask of you. -Marcus Aurelius