A Roman emperor as well as a consul, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was one of the greatest and most reputable personalities during his time. He was also a philosopher, learning and teaching Stoicism Philosophy, to be precise.
His dedication towards philosophy made him all the more intellectual; he was also a passionate student, learning Latin and Greek.
Aurelius had also written some of the most inspiring books and gave highly motivating and prolific quotes. Here is a list of some of the best Marcus Aurelius quotes:
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.
The way you think, the way you let other things and people affect your thoughts and to what extent, and your own mindset is what has a direct effect on the quality of your life, and not anything or anybody else.
If you are optimistic and have a positive attitude in general and surround yourself with similar energy, then you are bound to have a good life; it wouldn't be free of difficulties fully, but you will still enjoy it. However, if you have a negative mindset and always think the worst of any possible situation, you won't be able to live your life to the fullest.
Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.
Merely arguing or speaking about how an individual should be or what your perspective of that of a good man is like, is not enough. It would be best if you act upon your words to hold veracity.
Even without speaking, just be the person you believe somebody else should be. Speak less and do more, because if you keep talking about stuff without really doing anything about it, you are just going to be all talk no show.
Until and unless your actions don't match your words, neither of them would hold much value.
It is not death a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.
Death is inevitable and is bound to come to any and everybody no matter what. This is why it is futile to worry about dying; rather, one should worry about not living at all and just existing because not everyone is merely existing. You should fear missing out on all the happiness and adventures life has to offer instead of overthinking about something like death, which is not even in your control in the first place, for the former is only and only in your hands!
If it is not right, do not do it; if it is not true, do not say it.
If you think something is not right or if your gut tells you so, never ignore it and don't do that particular thing; especially if you know for a fact it is wrong. Similarly, if you know something is false or incorrect, simply do not say it.
One should always resort to being truthful and honest and do the right thing regardless of the situation.
The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.
If you give in to the temptations of vendetta and hatred, there would be little or no difference between you and the person who did you wrong or is your enemy.
The best revenge is no revenge at all because if you do something to retaliate, you would just be acting like the person against whom you stand and that is even worse. Don't grant your enemy the satisfaction of letting them get to you and wanting to take revenge will only showcase that more. The best revenge would be letting them think they don't even matter for you to have revenge in the first place.
How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.
The aftermath of rage and anger is way worse than what caused it, and the regret will eat you away. This is because while we are angry, we don't usually tend to think sensibly and act out of haste and bitterness and that only ever does any good to anybody. This is why working out of anger in a situation has proved to be more harmful to oneself, than the person one is angry on.
One should thus always avoid saying or acting during a fit of rage because the consequences are always far worse than the causes.
A person's worth is measured by the worth of what he values.
An individual's true worth is often identified by what he values the most or follows in life because your preferences and principles often reflect a piece of who you are, and what kind of a personality you have.
For instance, if you are in support of immoral acts and unjust behaviour, then you are most likely to be a person who dwells into that too. On the other hand, if you tend to take a stand for good causes or appreciate or support kind and compassionate acts, you are most likely to be a morally and socially aware person in general.
Confine yourself to the present.
The past is something that has already been done and cannot be changed no matter what you do. And the future is something that has not yet come and is not in your control. The present all you have and is all that is in your hands. rather than dwelling over your past or worrying about your future, focus on the present.
Think about today, about right now, instead of yesterday which has already passed, or tomorrow which hasn't arrived yet.
Be like the cliff against which the waves continually break; but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it.
Here Aurelius has referred to the cliff as an individual and the waves to the various obstacles that enter one's life like situations and other individuals.
When the tide comes along, and the waves rush against the cliffs and the huge rocks that stand on the shore, it does not move them or break them; the cliff continues to stand still even as the waves haul over it.
Aurelius has asked one to be like just these cliffs and rocks and stay unbothered by anybody else's negative energy or comments and face all the challenges and hindrances head-on. No matter how scary an obstacle might look, never let it shake your confidence or your aura, and do your best to fight it.
Adapt yourself to the life you have been given; and truly love the people with whom destiny has surrounded you
Learn to adapt to the environment life puts you in or the situation you are supposed to face. If you whine and complain about the way life it is instead of trying to adjust it; it is only going to get worse for you because your complaints aren't going to change the situation, they will only make it harder for you to adapt and grow. But if you get along with the way things are instead of resisting them, it will only turn out in your favour and even become better in the long run.
Similarly, instead of getting bitter about people in your life or being unhappy about them, learn to love them fully and accept them the way they are because you have people in your life for a reason; everything in life happens because of a reason.
Let us continue reading some more Maruc Aurelius quotes.
Do not think that what is hard for you to master is humanly impossible; and if it is humanly possible, consider it to be within your reach.
If you are unable to do something, it does not mean that no one else would be able to do it too; just because you fail to come through a particular situation or instance, it's not necessary that nobody else will either. That means someone or the other might just be able to do it and it isn't humanly impossible. And if it isn't humanly impossible, then you can do it too! All you need to do is push your limits a little more and believe in yourself.
Do not be ashamed of help.
Asking for help should never feel embarrassing for it is not. It does not make you look weak or timid, it only makes you look stronger than the majority, who does not hesitate to ask for help as and when needed because everyone needs it at some point or the other in their life.
Lending a hand or being lent one, is nothing anybody should ever be ashamed of.
Kindness is invincible.
Nothing could possibly beat the power of kindness and compassion.
Being a kind and helpful person is not too difficult, and it is not only good for the other person, but for oneself too because it tends to make us feel better about ourselves too. It is like a light that is much needed in this rather dark world.
No matter how much hatred people spread, kindness will always defeat it and stand above bitterness and pettiness because it is that powerful and eye-opening.
Nothing is more scandalous than a man that is proud of his humility.
If an individual is humble, he/she would be so without them being consciously aware of the fact that they are. This is because modesty is such a thing that is either built within your subconscious or is not there at all.
If a person is proud of him/her being modest, then chances are they are not, because no humble person boasts about their modesty.
There is no man so blessed that some who stand by his deathbed won't hail the occasion with delight.
No matter what you do in your life, you are not going to be able to please or appease every single person who comes and goes from your life. There is always going to be someone who is would be rather happy with your death, regardless of what all good you might have done for them or in general while you were alive.
This is why don't live your life based on other people's opinions and to make them happy, live it for yourself, and to make yourself content.
The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.
The way one thinks is most likely to determine the way he/she lives their life and what they do in life.
If you carry negative thoughts and a rather drab mindset along with you, then your soul and your personality are bound to reflect that in your actions and your way of living. However, suppose you have an optimistic set of thoughts and a positive way of thinking. In that case, your behaviour will get affected by your way of thinking because of which your thoughts would be evident in your way of living, i.e., you would do good things in general too if you think about them.
Each day provides its own gifts.
Life is constant and does not stop for anybody, just like time. This is why no day of one's life is futile or goes to waste, even if it might look like so to one; sooner or later you will realise that it wasn't the case, in the long run.
Every day teaches you something new and something different than the previous one, and each day holds value. Even if it is something small, there is something or the other that life has to offer to you each and every day. It is all a matter of whether or we notice it; sometimes we do, other times we realise it later.
To live happily is an inward power of the soul.
How one's life goes, and on which course it goes, is entirely in that individual's control and nobody else's. Whether or not we are happy in our lives, is totally dependent on us and how we perceive life and not on anybody else because it is our way of thinking and our perspective of life that tends to paint the picture of life for us; if we think positively, life is bound to be a happy journey.
Execute every act of thy life as if it were thy last.
Live every day of your life as if it were your last. Don't resort anything to tomorrow if you know you can do it today; don't sulk over the past when you know it is unchangeable. Just live your present thinking that there is not going to be a tomorrow and give your all and your best to today.
There is nothing that happens to any person but what was in his power to go through with.
Everything that one goes through, including every challenge and obstacle that one faces in their life, is only because it was in the limits of their capacity to take it. Nothing happens in life if it is not meant for you; everything happens for a reason, and you might not be able to see that while it is happening or even after that it happens, but you will be able to realise it in the long run.
In this article, we have discussed some of the top quotes of Marcus Aurelius on Life, Philosophy, Kindness, Happiness, etc. with their meanings. We also have tried throwing light on how quotes of Marcus Aurelius can guide you to develop a clear sense of judgement.
Co-author: Khushi Shah
Khushi has just passed her school and is now studying at PDPU. Apart from writing, she likes to sketch and dance. She also has other blogs where she posts proses and poetry.