13 Stoic Lessons That Will Immediately Change Your Life

Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BC. It is a philosophy of personal ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world. According to its teachings, as social beings, the path to eudaimonia (happiness, or blessedness) is found in accepting the moment as it presents itself, by not allowing oneself to be controlled by the desire for pleasure or by the fear of pain, by using one’s mind to understand the world and to do one’s part in nature’s plan, and by working together and treating others fairly and justly.

Wikipedia article on Stoicism


  1. Our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: Externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to what I do control. Where will I find good and bad? In me, in my choices.
  2. It is not events that disturb people, it’s their judgment about things.
  3. Get rid of self conceit. It is impossible to learn that which one thinks they already know.
  4. The true man is revealed in difficult times. So when trouble comes, think of yourself as a wrestler paired with a tough young buck. For what purpose? To turn you into olympic-class material.


  1. There are more things likely to frighten us than there are to crush us; We suffer more in imagination than in reality.
  2. Excellence withers without an adversary.
  3. Associate with those who will make a better man of you. Welcome those whom you yourself can improve. The process is mutual; For men learn as they teach.
  4. This is our big mistake: To think we look forward to death. Most of death is already gone. Whatever time has passed is owned by death.

Marcus Aurelius

  1. At dawn when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work as a human being. What do i have to complain of, if I am going to do what I was born for — The things I was brought into this world to do. Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?”
  2. Our actions may be impeded, but there can be no impeding our intentions or our dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.
  3. If, at some point in your life, if you should find anything better than justice, honesty, self-control, and courage, if you find anything better than that embrace it without reservation. It must be an extraordinary thing indeed.
  4. No. It’s fortunate that this has happened and I’ve remained unharmed by it – Not shattered by the present or frightened of the future. It could have happened to anyone. But not everyone could have remained unharmed by it.
  5. You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.

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