Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher best known for his works The Enchiridion (the handbook) and his Discourses, both foundational works in Stoic philosophy. Profoundly inspirational Epictetus quotes will encourage you to think a little deeper than you usually would and broaden your perspective.
If you’re searching for philosophical quotes that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of quotes by Epicurus, best Friedrich Nietzsche quotes and greatest Immanuel Kant quotes.
Famous Epictetus Quotes
When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.
Disease is an impediment to the body, but not to the will, unless the will itself chooses.
If you are in pain, you will find fortitude. If you hear unpleasant language, you will find patience.
The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.
Everything has two handles, the one by which it may be carried, the other by which it cannot.
A city is not adorned by external things, but by the virtue of those who dwell in it.
When, therefore, any one provokes you, be assured that it is your own opinion which provokes you.
You are but an appearance, and not absolutely the thing you appear to be.
With every accident, ask yourself what abilities you have for making a proper use of it.
There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will.
He who exercises wisdom, exercises the knowledge which is about God.
Some things are in our control and others not.
Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power.
If you ever happen to turn your attention to externals, for the pleasure of anyone, be assured that you have ruined your scheme of life.
Amazing Epictetus Quotes
Keep your attention focused entirely on what is truly your own concern, and be clear that what belongs to others is their business and none of yours.
Most of what passes for legitimate entertainment is inferior or foolish and only caters to or exploits people’s weaknesses.
For states are well governed by the wisdom of men, but not by stone and wood.
Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control.
It is better to do wrong seldom and to own it, and to act right for the most part than seldom to admit that you have done wrong and to do wrong often.
If you seek Truth, you will not seek to gain a victory by every possible means; and when you have found Truth, you need not fear being defeated.
However he may treat me, I must deal rightly by him. This is what lies with me, what none can hinder.
Nothing is in reality either pleasant or unpleasant by nature but all things become so through habit.
He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at.
Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do – now.
Never call yourself a philosopher, nor talk a great deal among the unlearned about theorems, but act conformably to them.
Let whatever appears to be the best be to you an inviolable law.
From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob.
To accuse others for one’s own misfortune is a sign of want of education. To accuse oneself shows that one’s education has begun. To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one’s education is complete.
Fortify yourself with contentment for this is an impregnable fortress.
To you, all you have seems small: to me, all I have seems great. Your desire is insatiable, mine is satisfied.
When you want to hear a philosopher, do not say, ‘You say nothing to me’; only show yourself worthy or fit to hear, and then you will see how you will move the speaker.
In every affair consider what precedes and what follows, and then undertake it.
Attach yourself to what is spiritually superior, regardless of what other people think or do. Hold to your true aspirations no matter what is going on around you.
The appearance of things to the mind is the standard of every action to man.
Give me, by all means, the shorter and nobler life, instead of one that is longer but of less account!
The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.
Inspirational Epictetus Quotes
True instruction is this: —to learn to wish that each thing should come to pass as it does.
Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions.
Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions.
People are not disturbed by things, but by the views they take of them.
Remember that you ought to behave in life as you would at a banquet.
Those proficient praise no one, blame no one, and accuse no one.
Lameness is an impediment to the leg, but not to the will.
Friend, bethink you first what it is that you would do, and then what your own nature is able to bear.
Events happen as they do. People behave as they are. Embrace what you actually get.
Death is nothing terrible, else it would have appeared so to Socrates. But the terror consists in our notion of death, that it is terrible.
The anger of an ape – the threat of a flattered – these deserve equal regard.
Have this thought ever present with thee, when thou losest any outward thing, what thou gainest in its stead; and if this be the more precious, say not, I have suffered loss.
No matter what happens, it is within my power to turn it to my advantage.
He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.
Take care not to hurt the ruling faculty of your mind. If you were to guard against this in every action, you should enter upon those actions more safely.
Any person capable of angering you becomes your master.
Nature hath given men one tongue but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.
Be free from grief not through insensibility like the irrational animals, nor through want of thought like the foolish, but like a man of virtue by having reason as the consolation of grief.