When you’ve decided that you ought to do something and are doing it, never try to avoid being seen to do it, even if most people will probably view it with disapproval; for if it isn’t right to do it, avoid doing it in the first place, but if it is, why be afraid of those who’ll reproach you without justification.
Epictetus (c.50 – 135), Handbook (35)
Execupundit’s Michael Wade offers an excerpt from the Little Book of Stoicism:
No tree becomes deep-rooted and sturdy unless strong winds blow against it. This shaking and pulling is what makes the tree tighten its grip and plant its roots more securely; the fragile trees are those grown in a sunny valley. “Why then,” asks Seneca, “do you wonder that good men are shaken…
Read the rest, here.
Photo by Faye Cornish on Unsplash
In your conversation, avoid talking at length or overmuch about your own exploits or the dangers that you’ve faced; for pleasant though it may be for you to recall your perils, it is not as for others to listen to everything that has happened to you.
Epictetus (c.50 – 135), Handbook (14)
He who dies merely because of pain is weak and lazy; he who lives merely for pain is a fool.
Seneca (4 BC – AD 65), Moral Letters to Lucilius (58.36)
Lay down from this moment a certain character and pattern of behaviour for yourself, which you are to preserve both when you’re alone and when you’re with others.
Epictetus (c.50 – 135), Handbook (33.1)
Men seek for seclusion in the wilderness, by the seashore, or in the mountains – a dream you have cherished only too fondly yourself. But such fancies are wholly unworthy of a philosopher, since at any moment you can choose to retire within yourself. Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul; above all, he who possesses resources in himself, which he need only contemplate to secure immediate ease of mind – the ease that is but another word for a well-ordered spirit. Avail yourself often, then, of this retirement, and so continually renew yourself.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (4.3)
Photo by Mark Koch on Unsplash
Give your heart to the trade you have learnt, and draw refreshment from it. Let the rest of your days be spent as one who has wholeheartedly committed his all to the gods, and is thenceforth no man’s master or slave.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (4.31)
Leave another’s wrongdoing where it lies.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (9.20)
All the things that fortune favours become fruitful and pleasant only if those who possess them are also in possession of themselves and not in the power of heir property. It is a mistake to judge fortune responsible for anything that is good or bad for us. Fortune merely gives us the material for good and bad things—the preliminaries for what will turn out to be either good or bad within us.
Seneca (4 BC – AD 65), Moral Letters to Lucilius (98.2)
For the stone thrown there is no more evil in falling than there is goods in rising.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (9.17)