quote by Marcus Aurelius

The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

— Marcus Aurelius

Whopping Stoic quotations

From here on out, there's just reality.

I think that's what maturity is: a stoic response to endless reality. But then, what do I know?

A Stoic is someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.

Let the stoics say what they please, we do not eat for the good of living, but because the meat is savory and the appetite is keen.

So-called austerity, the stoic injunction, is the path towards universal destruction. It is the old, the fatal, competitive path. Pull in your belt is a slogan closely related to gird up your loins, or the guns-butter metaphor.


So-called austerity, the stoic injunction, is the path towards universal destruction. It is the old, the fatal, competitive path. Pull in your belt is a slogan closely related to gird up your loins, or the guns-butter metaphor.

So I should say that civilizations begin with religion and stoicism: they end with scepticism and unbelief, and the undisciplined pursuit of individual pleasure. A civilization is born stoic and dies epicurean.

Belief in God and a future life makes it possible to go through life with less of stoic courage than is needed by skeptics.

But then my mother, who's a very selfless, stoic person from a family of Marines, would tell us that what was good for our father was good for us - he would make more money; therefore, we'd be able to get better educations.

Peace of heart that is won by refusing to bear the common yoke of human sympathy is a peace unworthy of a Christian. To seek tranquility by stopping our ears to the cries of human pain is to make ourselves not Christian but a kind of degenerate stoic having no relation either to stoicism or Christianity.


The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.

As a stoic I must despise injury or, rather, I must not feel it, must not be affected by it so that it cannot violate the freedom of my soul.

A consciousness of wrongdoing is the first step to salvation.

..you have to catch yourself doing it before you can correct it.

It makes a tremendous emotional and practical difference to one whether one accepts the universe in the drab discolored way of stoic resignation to necessity, or with the passionate happiness of Christian saints.

Human nature, if healthy, demands excitement;

and if it does not obtain its thrilling excitement in the right way, it will seek it in the wrong. God never makes bloodless stoics; He makes no passionless saints.


To be a good sportsman, one must be a stoic and never show rancor in defeat, or triumph in victory, or irritation, no matter what annoyance is encountered. One who can not help sulking, or explaining, or protesting when the loser, or exulting when the winner, has no right to take part in games or contests.

An aristocratic culture does not advertise its emotions.

In its forms of expression it is sober and reserved. Its general attitude is stoic.

Many of us assume that we have to do things a certain way: ignore passion in favor of safer bets, act stoic amid inner turmoil, run on an upward trajectory of success and money acquisition at any emotional cost. But these are not rules.

I'm a really stoic artist. I'm serious a lot of times. I can joke and play sometimes, but most of the time, I'm stoic.

Normal people think we're highly dependent and can't live without ongoing support, but in fact there are times when we're stoic heroes.


What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.

[Christianity] neither enjoins the nastiness of the Cynic, nor the insensibility of the Stoic.

courage isn't simply a matter of leading charges: sometimes it consists in speaking up, sometimes in stoic silence, sometimes in forging ahead, sometimes in circumspection, and sometimes in nothing less than preserving our own humanity.

Hit the nail on the head.

A civilization is born Stoic and dies Epicurean.


When you're wearing an animal costume and something bad happens, your facial expression doesn't change. The animal is deadpan the whole time. If you're skiing in a gorilla suit and you fall, you just see a gorilla who has no emotion. It's just a stoic gorilla, wildly falling down a hill, out of control.

My childhood was very difficult. I had every childhood disease and then some, but my parents didnt mollycoddle me. They left me to fight those battles on my own. I guess that was very Canadian, very stoic. But its good. I had to become a warrior. I had to give up hope and find a substitute for hope that would be far more stable.

"Fate permitting" is a standard Stoic phrase meant to remind ourselves that planning things is up to us, but the ultimate outcomes are not under our control. It helps us to develop an attitude of equanimity toward the universe. We should very much try to change things for the better, that's the whole point of the Stoic discipline of action.

Does Christ commend the famous 'apathy' of the Stoic or the Buddhist elimination of desire? Far from it. The issue is not just feeling or desire, but right feeling or desire, or being controlled by feeling or desire.

From forty to fifty a man is at heart either a stoic or a satyr.


Even the stoics agree that certainty is very hard to come at;

that our assent is worth little, for where is infallibility to be found?

CALLOUS, adj. Gifted with great fortitude to bear the evils afflicting another. When Zeno was told that one of his enemies was no more he was observed to be deeply moved. "What!" said one of his disciples, "you weep at the death of an enemy?" "Ah, 'tis true," replied the great Stoic; "but you should see me smile at the death of a friend.".

No choice maxims - we Stoics don't practice that kind of window dressing.

Every stoic was a stoic; but in Christendom where is the Christian?

Reserved people often really need the frank discussion of their sentiments and griefs more than the expansive. The sternest-seeming stoic is human after all, and to burst with boldness and good-will into the silent sea of their souls is often to confer on them the first of obligations.