The Best Stoic Quotes on Anything
Stoic quotes on how to take action, fuel your reasoned ambition, maneuver battlefields and egos, and motivate others to follow your example.Explore Quotes
Stoic quotes on how to deal with the raging fire within, the overwhelming emotions - on how to step back, detach, and make a decision.Explore Quotes
Stoic quotes on how to tell right from wrong, as well as make a judgement based on reason and conviction - not personal preference.Explore Quotes
Our latest Stoic Quote Reflection
Who are we?
We're Niche Mates. Startup Founders and Stoics at ❤️
Our company Philosopy is built on Stoicism and we want to make Stoicism more accessible because we think everybody can benefit from applying a stoic mindset to day to day tasks and operations.
We started with Stoic quotes because they are powerful, timeless and a good reminder that most problems never change.
Marcus Aurelius struggled with the same things 2000 years ago that we're struggling with today.
Once you realize that you can stop complaining and start working on being the best version of yourself. 🙏
What's your favorite stoic quote?
Got a favorite quote that helped you understand the meaning of Stoicism?
Submit it here and we will consider adding it to the bunch!
What is Stoicism?
Stoicism is a practical philosophy – it gives you actionable advice for everyday situations, which is why it is so appealing. A lot of the lessons are centuries old, but still, hold true today. The parallels between ancient Roman and Greek life, and the lives we live today, often are bewildering.
The Stoics reasoning, on how to act, is based on the 4 cardinal virtues:
Courage – Temperance – Justice – Wisdom
Stoics believe that each decision, each moment can be broken down into one or more of these 4 virtues because they inherit an ultimate truth. Everyone is able to recognize deep down what the right thing is one should do.
To act right you need to be brutally honest with yourself and ask yourself questions like:
- Are you just enough with yourself and others to do the right thing?
- Are you temperate enough to stand back and let pain replace pleasure to serve a higher purpose?
- Are you wise enough to know when to act and when to retreat?
- Are you courageous enough to act on your own convictions, the ones you know to be true?
In the end, Stoics want to live a good life, a balanced life, that is virtuous, and in accordance with nature.
This means Stoics will try to mold themselves into people that do the right thing – no matter if it is hard or not.
They will not be controlled by outside forces and cheap desires.
They will stand by their beliefs and work to achieve their goals.
However, these goals will also be in the interest of everyone else since Stoics see themselves as part of a greater whole, and gaining at the expense of others or nature is not their way. It wouldn't be just or wise to step over someone else to get to where you want to be.
Stoicism is about balance, about how you act to achieve your goals and live your happiest life.
Who founded Stoicism?
It is said that Zeno of Citium was the founder of Stoicism.
He was the heir of a merchant family that was in the business of selling purple dye - at this time it meant he was incredibly fortunate and wealthy but also had to put his family's wealth at risk whenever he crossed the seas to deliver his cargo.
So it came that he suffered a terrible shipwreck in which all of his purple was lost.
His wealth, destroyed in an instance, taken from him by chance. He, however, survived the disaster and came to find himself in Athens afterward.
In a book store, he read about Socrates and asked the bookseller where he could find such men. The seller just pointed to a man who was walking by - one of the most famous cynics, no less. So it came that Zeno actually studied Cynicism first, and was taught many humbling lessons, before moving on to study other philosophies, too.
In the end, he started teaching his views in the Athenian marketplace and on the Stoa Poikile, from which Stoicism got his name.
He emphasized a virtuous life in accordance with nature - a life that would be inherently good because one would choose the right things, even if they were unpleasant for oneself.
Who he got his attitude from, though, is unknown. Perhaps his father or teacher, we simply cannot say. What we know is that it sparked a way of thinking that persisted centuries until today and continues to inspire people.
How can I get started with Stoicism?
Stoics have 4 common mantras that guide their self-reflection.
- Remember, your days are limited.
- Are you living the way you want?
- Will people remember you as the person you want to be?
- Whatever may happen, happens.
- Accept what is outside of your control without getting emotional about it and you will find inner peace, freedom, and strength.
- Think about what could (realistically) go wrong
- This is Murphy's Law.: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong".
- So think about what you can do and then do it, except if you don't care but then you also mustn't complain.
The Inner Citadel
- To know that there is always a place of peace and solitude with ourselves we can retreat into whenever we want to.
- Stoics treat themselves often to this sensation to gain a sense of awareness and to stay calm in situations that might be overwhelming otherwise.
You can start with the practice of self-reflection today.
Just take 15 minutes, sit down - with pen and paper if you want - and reflect on your day.
For example, ask yourself:
- What did I want to achieve today? Did I accomplish that?
- Where did I fail today?
- Where did I succeed?
- Am I living up to my expectations?
- What has happened to me that could have been prevented?
- Where did I react overly emotionally when I should have held a cooler composure?
Who are the most famous Stoics?
The most famous Stoics are arguably
The Roman emperor that is the poster-child for every Stoic. His personal journal "Meditations" is still a must-read for every buddying Stoic. This man had near god-like powers and did not abuse them, he lead by example and remains an inspiration to many leaders today.
A Roman senator that was incredibly wise. He wrote many letters to a young friend of his called Lucillius. Sadly he did not back up his wisdom with actions, which is incredibly un-stoic and constitutes a harsh dichotomy to all his letters. In his case, we need to follow as he said, not as he did.
As a freed slave Epictetus is a contrast to the upper-class Stoics that are most present in history, which just emphasizes his story. The teaching we know him best for is the indifference before things you cannot change and the freedom you will gain once you let go of them to focus on what is within your control.
There are many other good examples, also modern ones, like Massimo Pigliucci and Ryan Holiday that continue to teach Stoic philosophy. No one can touch the teachings of the original Stoics, though. Because of how society worked back then, they have had entire lives to dedicate to the cause of defining how to be good and virtuous.
Unfortunately, women are underrepresented in history because of the way society was back then, but modern times promise to change that. We hope - and are actively looking for - female contributions to the Stoic community.
In fact, the ancient Stoics were the first ones to see themselves as cosmopolitans and encouraged women to be educated. Stoicism is definitely one of the most inclusive philosophies, as it would be inherently unstoic to exclude anyone based on ethnicity or gender. Stoics believe in reason and there is no reason against inclusion.
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