44 Insightful Epictetus Quotes

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Epictetus is one of the most notable and known philosophers of Stoicism. Born in 55 AD, he was a slave during most of his younger years. He was able to gain his freedom shortly after his master was put to death.

He had a simple life but he was widely known as a powerful speaker and recognized for his wisdom and knowledge. His work had a strong influence on people for centuries that Marcus Aurelius’ empire used it as its central doctrine. Epictetus died in Nicopolis around A.D 135.

If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make excuses about what is said of you but answer, “He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone”.

Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

epictetus quote

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.

There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will.

The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.

epictetus quotes life

Nature hath given men one tongue but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.

Any person capable of angering you becomes your master; he can anger you only when you permit yourself to be disturbed by him.

He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at.

epictetus quotes laughter

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

Only the educated are free.

Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control.

freedom epictetus quotes

It is better to die of hunger having lived without grief and fear, than to live with a troubled spirit, amid abundance.

People are not disturbed by things, but by the views they take of them.

Circumstances don’t make the man, they only reveal him to himself.

circumstances epictetus quotes

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.

The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests. 

No man is free who is not master of himself.

master of himself epictetus quotes

If any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone. For God hath made all men to enjoy felicity and constancy of good.

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. 

Seek not the good in external things;seek it in yourselves.

epictetus quotes goodness

The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.

Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.

Reason is not measured by size or height, but by principle.

epictetus quotes reason

A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope

If you choose, you are free; if you choose, you need blame no man—accuse no man. All things will be at once according to your mind and according to the Mind of God.

Let silence be your general rule; or say only what is necessary and in few words.

epictetus quotes silence

The husbandman deals with land; physicians and trainers with the body; the wise man with his own Mind.

At feasts, remember that you are entertaining two guests, body and soul. What you give to the body, you presently lose; what you give to the soul, you keep for ever.

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.

epictetus quotes truth

A man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.

Don’t seek to have events happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do happen, and all will be well with you.

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.

epictetus quotes wealth

If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.

Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself.

Events do not just happen, but arrive by appointment.

events epictetus quotes

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.

Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.

epictetus quotes listen

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.

Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them.

The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.

epictetus quotes happiness

It is not so much what happens to you as how you think about what happens.

There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.

happiness epictetus quotes

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