Marcus Aurelius, in full Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, original name (until 161 CE) Marcus Annius Verus, (born April 26, 121 CE, Rome [Italy]—died March 17, 180, Vindobona [Vienna, Austria] or Sirmium, Pannonia), Roman emperor (161–180 CE), best known for his Meditations on Stoic philosophy. Marcus Aurelius has symbolized for many generations in the West the Golden Age of the Roman Empire.
More Text Quotes By Marcus Aurelius
The more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.
The best answer to anger is silence.
The first step: Don’t be anxious. Nature controls it all.
The second step: Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it. Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being; remind yourself what nature demands of people. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy.
To love only what happens, what was destined. No greater harmony.
Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions – not outside.
Objective judgment, now, at this very moment. Unselfish action, now, at this very moment. Willing acceptance, now, at this very moment – of all external events. That’s all you need.
How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life.
You’re subject to sorrow, fear, jealousy, anger, and inconsistency. That’s the real reason you should admit that you are not wise.
Almost nothing material is needed for a happy life, for he who has understood existence.
Receive wealth or prosperity without arrogance, and be ready to let it go.
For God’s sake, stop honoring externals, quit turning yourself into the tool of mere matter, or of people who can supply you or deny you those material things.
As the same fire assumes different shapes when it consumes objects differing in shape, so does the oneself take the shape of every creature in whom he is present.
A man when he has done a good act does not call out for others to come and see, but he goes on to another act, as a vine goes on to produce again the grapes in season.
Remember Matter. How tiny your share of it. Time. How brief and fleeting your allotment of it. Fate. How small a role you play in it.
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?
Receive without pride, let go without attachment.
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.
Let not your mind run on what you lack as much as on what you have already.
If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.
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 opinions of himself than on the opinions of others.
Be content with what you are, and wish not to change; nor dread your last day, nor long for it.
Consider that before long you will be nobody and nowhere, nor will any of the things exist that you now see, nor any of those who are now living. For all things are formed by nature to change and be turned and to perish in order that other things in continuous succession may exist.
He who follows reason in all things is both tranquil and active at the same time, and also cheerful and collected.
In a word, if there is a god, all is well; and if chance rules, do not also be governed by it.
So I look for the best and am prepared for the opposite.
Treat whatever happens as wholly natural; not novel or hard to deal with, but familiar and easily handled.
Do you have a reason? I have. Why then do you not use it?
Have I been made for this, to lie under the blankets and keep myself warm?
‘But I get to wear a crown of gold.’ If you have your heart set on wearing crowns, why not make one out of roses – you will look even more elegant in that.
Who exactly are these people that you want to be admired by? Aren’t they the same people you are in the habit of calling crazy? And is this your life ambition, then – to win the approval of lunatics?
Consider what men are when they are eating, sleeping, coupling, evacuating, and so forth. Then what kind of men they are when they are imperious and arrogant, or angry and scolding from their elevated place.
How much time he saves who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks. Click to tweet
For all their compliments do verses pay? They may not, yet these same poems make me gay.
Conceal a flaw, and the world will imagine the worst.
If you learn that someone is speaking ill of you, don’t try to defend yourself against the rumors; respond instead with, ‘Yes, and he doesn’t know the half of it, because he could have said more’.
If someone responds to insult like a rock, what has the abuser gained with his invective?
He who has a vehement desire for posthumous fame does not consider that every one of those who remember him will himself also die very soon.
Let us overlook many things in those who are like antagonists in the gymnasium. For it is in our power, as I said, to get out of the way and to have no suspicion or hatred.
Begin – to begin is half the work, let half still remain; again begin this, and thou wilt have finished.
It is just charming how people boast about qualities beyond their control. For instance, ‘I am better than you because I have many estates, while you are practically starving’; or, ‘I’m a consul,’ ‘I’m a governor,’ or ‘I have fine curly hair.’
How strangely men act. They will not praise those who are living at the same time and living with themselves; but to be themselves praised by posterity, by those whom they have never seen or ever will see, this they set much value on.
“A cucumber is bitter.” Throw it away. “There are briars in the road.” Turn aside from them. This is enough. Do not add, “And why were such things made in the world?”
Always observe how ephemeral and worthless human things are, and what was yesterday a speck of semen tomorrow will be a mummy or ashes.
Under no circumstances ever say ‘I have lost something,’ only ‘I returned it.’