Marcus Aurelius Quotes & Philosophies

Marcus Aurelius Quotes: Marcus Aurelius Quotes About Meditations

Who is Marcus Aurelius? /Marcus Aurelius’ Life

Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor from 161-180 CE and is considered the last of the five good emperors.  Marcus Aurelius was born in Rome on April 20th, 121 AD. He was the son of a Roman Centurion who had been made a senator.

He was born into an aristocratic family and had a relatively good education. He took the throne following the death of his predecessor, Antoninus Pius.

Marcus Aurelius, despite his power and stature, was a man who walked the earth as a philosopher. He would wake up early in the morning and see the sunrise, reflecting on the beauty of it. He believed life should be enjoyed and that if we do not appreciate things at the moment, then we will never make the most of the day.

He believed it was important not to worry about the future. In one entry, he admitted to being disappointed that he missed saying goodbye to one of his friends and instead was comforting his friend’s family. He wrote: “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.

Marcus Aurelius is considered by many to be one of the most important Stoic philosophers. Aurelius is primarily known for his Meditations, a series of personal private reflections. He was succeeded by his son, Lucius Aurelius Commodus.


Marcus Aurelius Quotes About Meditations

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The first and most necessary part of philosophy is the power of viewing each thing with tranquility and afterward ordering it rightly.
  4. Life is short, art long.
  5. The greatest mistake we make is not seeing things clearly.
  6. The whole secret of a successful life is to find your mission, the reason for which you are on this planet, and to achieve it.”
  7. Every day we should think about something we have not done and try to do it if only just a little bit or else all those days will be lost forever.”
  8. Nothing in the world has power if you do not give it that power through your belief in it.
  9. You must forgive him first.
  10. If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.”

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Relationships

  1. Choose not to become angry but choose to become wise.”
  2. We are creatures of a day. Some of us are famous for our lives, and some for their deaths, and a few for both.”
  3. Your duty is to do what your God ordained for you to do; and then to regard what pleases or displeases you as sent from the same God. For a man who does not desire or expect good from the gods, he will never find it.”
  4. If you are going to take a positive approach toward life, be sure that it is YOURS.”
  5. People think that it’s easy with money and power, but it’s hard because you’re always on show.
  6. It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”
  7. If you would cure the disease, first correct the mind.”
  8. #Marcus Aurelius quotes on life and nature
  9. All the things you enjoy in life are possible only if you are a good person. Happiness and honor depend on your character.”
  10. Let us forget about our cares and leave them in the hands of God, remembering that each one of us must give an account of himself to God.
  11. In the morning: Do not hurry. Be leisurely and calm, and at night be undisturbed.”
  12. When it is the time to get up, get up – whether you are compelled to or not.”
  13. If you are able to convince others that it is better for them not to find pleasure in sexual satisfaction, but in abstaining from desire, then you will be helping them as well as yourself.”
  14. God gives every man what he deserves.”
  15. The best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.”

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Thoughts and Change

  1. People do not have what they want because they aim too high and often miss what is near, and then they settle for something even lower than before.”
  2. You can cut all of the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”
  3. The one thing you should never leave half completed.”
  4. The individual is shaped not only by nature but also by knowledge.”
  5. The last end is the best. As the life of man continues, it becomes more and more pleasurable, until it finally reaches a state in which death is neither undesirable nor regrettable.”
  6. It is often in our sorrows that we are most tested.”
  7. People who are not involved in their own death do not realize their true situation.”
  8. You can no more go on living than you can go on breathing.”
  9. The best way is to live your life so that when you die, someone will say of you “he died well”.”
  10. There is a quality in the mind that cannot be changed, and this is what brings happiness.”
  11. People think that it’s easy with money and power, but it’s hard because you’re always on show.
  12. The good man does not look forward to death; the bad one looks for it. The good one is at peace, and the bad one is in a turmoil.”
  13. The purpose of my life is to be useful, so that I may gain the respect of those who know me and of those who do not know me.
  14. There is nothing we can do when confronted with events more severe than ourselves; only by being humble and polite can we hope to avoid conflict.”

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Change

  1. It’s never too late to make up for mistakes.”
  2. Freedom is more important than anything else.”
  3. The only thing that brings you greater trouble than the difficulty itself is spending your time searching for a solution to the wrong difficulty.”
  4. Let us live so that when our death comes, no one will say of us “he lived like a coward” and no one will say “he lived like a brave man.”
  5. A prudent man is quickly aware of his own discontent, and he tries to put it right by action.”
  6. You must consider yourself lucky to have a body like this, to experience these things.”
  7. The wise man does not take himself too seriously.”
  8. Time is something better spent in doing what needs to be done than moping around over regrets.”
  9. What is the happiest thing you know? What can you do? There is no end to this list!
  10. Don’t let time slip away, for it is the one thing we cannot buy back.”
  11. First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”
  12. “You will look back at your anger when you are old and understand that this was the best day of your life – the day you tried to give up anger for good.”
  13. “You will be like the man who wished his fire to be extinguished as soon as possible: though he wished that, he went on sitting beside it.

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Courage

  1. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
  2. The tyrant never understands that he is doing wrong because he thinks only of himself.”
  3. “No man who is not master of himself will ever be able to control others.
  4. All the virtues are included in the concept of a good and useful life.”
  5. We must learn what is the meaning of this world, how it is to be governed, and what kind of people we are to be.”
  6. “What I have written down here I leave to posterity for them to discuss.”
  7. “It has been my lot to serve under some powerful men, but none have conquered me as you have done, Marcus Aurelius”
  8. “It is better to die nobly in one’s bed than to live as a slave in chains.”
  9. “When I consider what we owe to Caesar, I am filled with awe. Therefore, it is clear that neither his good fortune nor his enemy’s bad fortune can harm him. He cannot be harmed by the life he has led or be harmed by death.”
  10. “If you would find the greatest happiness, look for it where nature has placed it, not where man has placed it.” 
  11. “All things are easy to industry, all things difficult to sloth.” 
  12. “There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent.”
  13. “The study of philosophy is nothing but the love of wisdom. It is love that gave birth to our beloved philosophy. And she is a charming and beautiful woman, as anyone will know who has grown old with her and become intimate with her.”
  14. “We are shaped and fashioned by our thoughts. What we think, we become.”
  15. “It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.”
  16. “There is no man who does not make a mistake, but it helps us to get over the errors that we do make if we admit them and talk them over with others.” [Paretur quicumque fallitur, ipse illud probat si faterit et ad alias rem animadverterit.]
  17. “If it is possible to tell a lie, it is also possible to tell the truth.”
  18. “When we rise in the morning, let us think that we have risen only for a few hours; and when we lie down at night, let us feel as if we had lived a full day.”
  19. “We are not shaped by nature but by our thoughts.”
  20. “The difference between pleasure and pain lies in our having been pleased or displeased by what has happened, not in anything that has happened itself. For we do not feel a thing as being good or bad because it has happened; we think it is so because of our opinion.”

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Life

  1. “Do not act as if you had ten thousand years to live.”
  2. “You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul with a body.”
  3. “Nothing happens to anyone that they can’t bear.”
  4. “Everything is only for a day.”
  5. “It can’t be helped, life is what it is.”
  6. “Life for the sake of life is not worth living.”
  7. “There was no death, there was no birth.”
  8. “If you think you are too important to go to the bathroom, then you’d better stay home.”
  9. “Everything in nature is balanced and in harmony with itself; this accounts for the fact that it does not reject anything.”
  10. “Don’t get worked up about being rich or poor.”
  11. “There is no such thing as bad luck. It’s good luck if you let bad luck happen to you.”
  12. “You are not born with a soul, you borrow it from the world.”
  13. “It is not things that make life hard, it is our judgments about them.”
  14. “I like to live in the present, in spite of its brevity.”
  15. “Nothing can hurt you if luck is on your side.”
  16. “I have a friend, and this friend is myself.”
  17. “No man can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which one is true.”
  18. “You can’t step in the same river twice.”
  19. “A man’s worth depends on what he is rather than what he has.”
  20. “Either you control your fate or it controls you. And in the final analysis, what people say or think of you is none of your business.”
  21. “The best revenge is to be unlike the one who performed the injury.”
  22. “You are a soul clothed in a body rather than a body clothed in a soul.”
  23. “Do not seek pleasure for its own sake. It never lasts.”
  24. “It is impossible for someone to defeat you unless you allow them to do so.

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on leadership

  1. “Be like the rock which, though exposed to constant pounding by the waves, stands unmoved and firm.”
  2. “Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now take what belongs to you and depart.”
  3. “Do not act as if something necessarily belongs to you because of your actual possession of it, but only because of your own opinion about it,”
  4. “Make sure that everything you do reflects a positive attitude and freedom from anxiety.”
  5. “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.”
  6. “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.”
  7. “[A] good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”
  8. “Accept your past with its errors and mistakes, and use it as a foundation for the present and the future.”
  9. “You can give without loving but you cannot love without giving.”
  10. “Do not act as if you had endless time at your disposal.”
  11. “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
  12. “What defines a man is not how deeply he sleeps, but how quietly he wakes.”
  13. “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
  14. “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.”
  15. “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.”
  16. “To keep your character intact you must expect attacks and bear them.”

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Death

  1. “Happiness is an art won by practice, not by nature.”
  2. “We will not be judged by the number of times we succeed, but by the number of times we try.”
  3. “All our life is a process of weaving together threads from previous lives into a new pattern that we give to future lives.”
  4. “A man must get used to being hurt and getting used to being helped.”
  5. “Modesty is the only shield from evils.”
  6. “A man who has no understanding of the world around him is a leaf blowing in the wind.”
  7. “To the gods I am indebted for having good grandfathers, good parents, a good sister, good teachers, good associates, and nearly everything good.”
  8. “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.”
  9. “Turning and returning are marks of the civilized man”
  10. “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.”
  11. “What you realize is greater than what you know.”
  12. “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”
  13. “We do not have to charge ahead and hack away at everything that stands in our way, for a gentle breeze makes trees incline toward it, but a strong wind uproots them.”
  14. “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. Everything we touch is a feeling, not an actuality.”
  15. “Only fools can find fault with the faults of others.”
  16. “It is the mark of a wise man that he knows how to win without winning.”
  17. “Having a friend who wants you, and being certain that the friend will never betray you, is one of the greatest of all blessings to human beings.”
  18. “Grit your teeth and keep going.”
  19. “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”
  20. “Try to say something that everyone will agree with, and you will be saying nothing.”
  21. “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
  22. “You can’t win if you don’t play.”
  23. “You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.”
  24. “Do not be misled by the appearance of things.”
  25. “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 everything that debases us.”
  26. “No grand result is ever won without a certain disregard for comfort.”
  27. “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Love

  1. “Love conquers all things.”
  2. “Love each other, but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”
  3. “What is the difference then between heaven and hell? In hell there is punishment, in heaven there is mercy; in hell there is fear, in heaven there are children; in hell are tears, in heaven joys unspeakable; for as love displaces sorrow so does joy cast out fear. You cannot be afraid of that which you love, and we love people not by measuring how much but how sincerely. And as anyone can measure, only the one who has given away all his wealth will possess it in full.”
  4. “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for.”
  5. “How did it ever enter your head that life was anything but death?”
  6. “Live out your life in harmony with nature. You have not long to live. You were born to die.”
  7. “He who knows the true meaning of what happens around him is a wise man, and he who does not know that eventide is coming will be a fool.”
  8. “Everything that happens happens as it should, and if you observe carefully, you will find this to be so.”
  9. “Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if it is not busy finding you.”
  10. “And do not grudge death to others, nor do what you would forbid them to do.”
  11. “It is better to die when the soul is still bright and merry than when it is filled with cares, for then there will be nothing left but a long night of sorrow:”
  12. “Who among men can live without this one thing which gives life value: the power of hope?”
  13. “The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing, in so much as it stands ready armed against the chances of life and does not expect to glide through them without being engaged.”
  14. “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.”
  15. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
  16. “I let go some of my power, so that if ever I were in grief I would not be crushed by it.”
  17. “Our life is short, and no one knows whether his departure shall be for good or for evil; but you will either live like a man or like a woman.”
  18. “What we are is defined by those we love; what we are not by what we have or can do.”
  19. “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
  20. “The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing in so far as it stands ready armed against the chances of life and does not expect ease from any person.”
  21. “A human being is influenced by what? By the things he sees, hears, and experiences. If you are not disturbed by anything, you are unbalanced. But if you are disturbed by nothing, how can you be disturbed?”
  22. “If your mind is set on nothing else but what is honorable and good, it must not be hindered.”
  23. “What we think has power over us, but we have power over our thoughts.”
  24. “Discrimination of the will is the real secret of freedom.”

Marcus Aurelius Quotes

Death smiles at us all, but all a man can do is smile back.

Marcus Aurelius Quotes

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

Marcus Aurelius Quotes



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