Epictetus Quotes

Most popular Epictetus Quotes

Only the educated are free.
— Epictetus

education

Let a man accept his destiny.
— Epictetus
Nothing is to be had for nothing.
— Epictetus
If you wish to be a writer, write.
— Epictetus

writing writing advice

No great thing is created suddenly.
— Epictetus
Forgiveness is better than punishment.
— Epictetus
It is difficulties that show what men are.

difficulties

No man is free who is not master of himself.
— Epictetus

freedom slavery

There is nothing good or evil save in the will.
— Epictetus
All philosophy in two words—sustain and abstain.
— Epictetus

wise

The good or ill of a man lies within his own will.
— Epictetus
If you would be a reader, read; if a writer, write.
— Epictetus
All philosophy lies in two words, sustain and abstain.
— Epictetus
Chastise your passions, that they may not chastise you.
— Epictetus
First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.
— Epictetus
He who glories in his luck may be overthrown by destiny.
— Epictetus
It's not what happens to you, but how you react that matters.
— Epictetus
Men are not disturbed by things, but the view they take of things.
— Epictetus
It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
— Epictetus
We should not moor a ship with one anchor, or our life with one hope.
— Epictetus

hope

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

hope diversification

People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.
— Epictetus

attitude

Fortify yourself with contentment, for this is an impregnable fortress.
— Epictetus

contentment

What is it to be a philosopher? Is it not to be prepared against events?
— Epictetus
First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.
— Epictetus
Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.
— Epictetus

attitude

It is your own conviction which compels you; that is, choice compels choice.

conviction

It is not events that disturb the minds of men, but the view they take of them.
— Epictetus
It is impossible for any man to begin to learn what he thinks he already knows.
— Epictetus
Seek not good from without: seek it within yourselves, or you will never find it.
— Epictetus
Remember never to say that you are alone; nay, God is within, and your genius is within.

loneliness

For with slight efforts how should we obtain great results? It is foolish even to desire it.
— Epictetus
Practice yourself, for heaven's sake, in little things; and thence proceed to greater things.
— Epictetus
Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired, but by controlling the desire.

freedom self-control desire

Men are disturbed not by the things that happen but by their opinion of the things that happen.
— Epictetus

adversity

One that desires to excel should endeavor in those things that are in themselves most excellent.
— Epictetus

excellence

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

happiness

There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.
— Epictetus
Imagine for yourself a character, a model personality, whose example you determine to follow, in private as well as in public.
— Epictetus

imagination

Ask not that events should happen as you will, but let your will be that events should happen as they do, and you shall have peace.
— Epictetus
The first business of philosophy is to part from self-conceit. For it is impossible for any man to begin to learn what he thinks he already knows.
— Epictetus
We must not believe the many, who say that only free people ought to be educated, but we should rather believe the philosophers who say that only the educated are free.
— Epictetus

freedom education

It is the critical moment that shows the man.  So when the crisis is upon you, remember that God, like a trainer of wrestlers, has matched you with a tough and stalwart antagonist.

crisis

Lampis the ship owner, on being asked how he acquired his great wealth, replied, 'My great wealth was acquired with no difficulty, but my small wealth, my first gains, with much labour.'
— Epictetus

wealth

If you hear that someone is speaking ill of you, instead of trying to defend yourself, say: "Obviously he does not know me very well since there are so many other faults he could have mentioned."
— Epictetus

criticism shortcomings