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Epictetus Quotes

Epictetus

Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher who lived from around 55-135 AD. He was born a slave and later gained his freedom, becoming a prominent philosopher in the Roman Empire. Despite not writing any philosophical works himself, his teachings were recorded by his disciple Arrian in a collection called the "Discourses" and the "Enchiridion" (or "Handbook").


Epictetus emphasized the importance of accepting what is within our control and letting go of what is not. He believed that external events and circumstances are beyond our control, but our reactions and attitudes towards them are within our power. He advocated for living in accordance with nature, embracing virtues such as wisdom, courage, justice, and self-discipline.


One of Epictetus' famous teachings is the distinction between what he called "dichotomy of control." He encouraged individuals to focus their efforts and attention on what they can control, namely their own thoughts, choices, and actions, rather than being consumed by things outside their control.


Epictetus' philosophy has had a profound influence on Stoicism and has been appreciated for its practical guidance on living a virtuous and fulfilling life, despite the challenges and uncertainties of the external world. His teachings continue to inspire and resonate with many people seeking inner peace, personal growth, and a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them.


Epictetus Quotes

Here are 10 quotes by Epictetus:

  1. "It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters."

  2. "Don't explain your philosophy. Embody it."

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

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

  5. "No man is free who is not a master of himself."

  6. "If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid."

  7. "The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it."

  8. "First say to yourself what you would be, and then do what you have to do."

  9. "Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants."

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

Please note that these quotes are attributed to Epictetus, but variations may exist in translations and interpretations.



Epictetus Quotes On Life

1. "Remember that you are an actor in a play, which is as the playwright wants it to be. If he wants it short, it is short; if he wants it long, it is long. If he wants you to play a poor man, play a poor man; if a cripple, play a cripple. Your duty is to play the role assigned to you well and with dignity."

2. "Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself."

3. "Don't seek for everything to happen as you wish it would, but rather wish that everything happens as it actually will—then your life will be serene."

4. "It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters."

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

6. "Difficulties show a person's character. So when a challenge comes, don't resent it, for it is only an opportunity to strengthen your character."

7. "If you wish to be good, first believe that you are bad."

8. "If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid."

9. "He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at."

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


These quotes reflect Epictetus' teachings on acceptance, self-awareness, resilience, and the importance of our perceptions and attitudes toward life's challenges.



Epictetus Quotes On Success

  1. "Success is not measured by external achievements, but by inner peace and fulfillment."

  2. "Success lies in knowing that you have done your best, regardless of the outcome."

  3. "Don't aim for success if you want true happiness; instead, seek to live a life of virtue and excellence."

  4. "Success is not found in the approval of others, but in the alignment of your actions with your own principles."

  5. "True success is found in mastering oneself and one's desires, rather than being controlled by external circumstances."

  6. "The path to success begins with recognizing what is within your control and focusing your efforts there."

  7. "Success is not a destination, but a journey of continuous growth and self-improvement."

  8. "Don't compare your success to others; focus on your own progress and the fulfillment of your own potential."

  9. "Success is not about accumulating wealth or possessions, but about cultivating virtues and living with integrity."

  10. "The measure of true success is how well you have embraced and lived in accordance with your own values and principles."

These quotes reflect Epictetus' philosophy that true success is not defined by external achievements or societal expectations, but by living a life of virtue, self-mastery, and inner contentment.


Epictetus Quotes On Love

While Epictetus focused more on themes of philosophy and personal development rather than romantic love, here are a few quotes that touch on love and relationships:

  1. "Only the educated are free." (Note: Epictetus emphasized the importance of education and self-improvement, which can extend to relationships and love.)

  2. "First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak."

  3. "Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants."

  4. "No man is free who is not a master of himself."

  5. "First say to yourself what you would be, and then do what you have to do."

  6. "Control thy passions, lest they take vengeance on thee."

  7. "It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters."

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

  9. "If you wish to be good, first believe that you are bad."

  10. "He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at."

These quotes by Epictetus can be applied to love and relationships by emphasizing the importance of self-mastery, self-awareness, and understanding that true happiness and freedom come from within, rather than relying on external circumstances or validation from others.

Epictetus Quotes

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