87 Marcus Aurelius Quotes On Life, Control, Happiness

By Maxime Lagacé

Maxime is the founder of WisdomQuotes. He has been collecting quotes since 2004. His goal? To help you develop a calm and peaceful mind. Learn more about him on his about page.

marcus aurelius quotes life control happiness wisdom

Marcus Aurelius was one of the most powerful men in the world.

He was:

  • A Roman emperor from 161 to 180 AD
  • A Stoic philosopher
  • A clear thinker

Inspired by this, I collected the top 87 Marcus Aurelius quotes.

I spent 10+ hours curating the best ones for you (out of 500+ quotes).

What will you learn from Marcus Aurelius?

  • How to have more self-control
  • How to be indifferent to external events
  • How to live a better and more peaceful life

I hope you’ll enjoy and learn as much as I did.

marcus aurelius quotes not events disturb people judgements wisdom

It is not events that disturb people, it is their judgements concerning them. Marcus Aurelius

The best answer to anger is silence. Marcus Aurelius

The more we value things outside our control, the less control we have. Marcus Aurelius

The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts. Marcus Aurelius

Receive without conceit, release without struggle. Marcus Aurelius

Life is short. That’s all there is to say. Get what you can from the present – thoughtfully, justly. Marcus Aurelius

How soon will time cover all things, and how many it has covered already. Marcus Aurelius

Remember: Matter. How tiny your share of it. Time. How brief and fleeting your allotment of it. Fate. How small a role you play in it. Marcus Aurelius

Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears. Marcus Aurelius


marcus aurelius quotes live good life potential indifferent wisdom

To live a good life: We have the potential for it. If we can learn to be indifferent to what makes no difference. Marcus Aurelius

When someone is properly grounded in life, they shouldn’t have to look outside themselves for approval. Marcus Aurelius

He who follows reason in all things is both tranquil and active at the same time, and also cheerful and collected. Marcus Aurelius

If someone responds to insult like a rock, what has the abuser gained with his invective? Marcus Aurelius

Stick to what’s in front of you – idea, action, utterance. Marcus Aurelius

Don’t be overheard complaining… Not even to yourself. Marcus Aurelius

Do not be perturbed, for all things are according to the nature of the universal; and in a little time you will be nobody and nowhere. Marcus Aurelius

Let not your mind run on what you lack as much as on what you have already. Marcus Aurelius

marcus aurelius quotes love only what happens great harmony wisdom

To love only what happens, what was destined. No greater harmony. Marcus Aurelius

Objective judgement, now, at this very moment. Unselfish action, now, at this very moment. Willing acceptance, now, at this very moment – of all external events. That’s all you need. Marcus Aurelius

You’re subject to sorrow, fear, jealousy, anger and inconsistency. That’s the real reason you should admit that you are not wise. Marcus Aurelius

Stop honouring externals, quit turning yourself into the tool of mere matter, or of people who can supply you or deny you those material things. Marcus Aurelius

How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life. Marcus Aurelius

As the same fire assumes different shapes when it consumes objects differing in shape, so does the one self take the shape of every creature in whom he is present. Marcus Aurelius

A man when he has done a good act, does not call out for others to come and see, but he goes on to another act, as a vine goes on to produce again the grapes in season. Marcus Aurelius

Receive without pride, let go without attachment. Marcus Aurelius


Here’s one of the books I’ve recommended the most: Meditations
meditations marcus aurelius

Quick facts
Name at birth: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
Place: Rome, Italia
April 26, 121, March 17, 180 (aged 58)
Occupation: Roman emperor
More Marcus Aurelius facts (Wikipedia page)


marcus aurelius quotes each needs nature gives wisdom

Each of us needs what nature gives us, when nature gives it. Marcus Aurelius

I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinions of himself than on the opinions of others. Marcus Aurelius

Be content with what you are, and wish not change; nor dread your last day, nor long for it. Marcus Aurelius

In a word, if there is a god, all is well; and if chance rules, do not also be governed by it. Marcus Aurelius

Treat whatever happens as wholly natural; not novel or hard to deal with; but familiar and easily handled. Marcus Aurelius

So I look for the best and am prepared for the opposite. Marcus Aurelius

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. Marcus Aurelius

Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions – not outside. Marcus Aurelius

Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart. Marcus Aurelius

If it’s not right, don’t do it. If it’s not true, don’t say it. Marcus Aurelius

marcus aurelius quotes nothing natural evil wisdom

Nothing natural is evil. Marcus Aurelius

Confine yourself to the present. Marcus Aurelius

Straight, not straightened. Marcus Aurelius

Whatever happens to you has been waiting to happen since the beginning of time. Marcus Aurelius

To live happily is an inward power of the soul. Marcus Aurelius

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. Marcus Aurelius

Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one. Marcus Aurelius

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. Marcus Aurelius

The best revenge is not to be like your enemy. Marcus Aurelius


marcus aurelius quotes rock thrown air loses nothing wisdom

A rock is thrown in the air. It loses nothing by coming down, gained nothing by going up. Marcus Aurelius

Do every act of your life as if it were your last. Marcus Aurelius

To accept without arrogance, to let it go with indifference. Marcus Aurelius

Each day provides its own gifts. Marcus Aurelius

Character and self-control. (What Marcus learned from his grandfather Verus)

Anger cannot be dishonest. Marcus Aurelius

Someone despises me. That’s their problem. Marcus Aurelius

Nothing should be done without a purpose. Marcus Aurelius

Even the smallest thing should be done with reference to an end. Marcus Aurelius

What is your art? To be good. Marcus Aurelius

marcus aurelius quotes tolerant others strict yourself wisdom

Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself. Marcus Aurelius

Give yourself a gift: the present moment. Marcus Aurelius

Glory’s an empty, changeable thing, as fickle as the weather. Marcus Aurelius

A man should be upright, not be kept upright. Marcus Aurelius

Nothing happens to anyone that he can’t endure. Marcus Aurelius

Keep at it… As a blazing fire takes whatever you throw on it, and makes it light and flame. Marcus Aurelius

Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them. Marcus Aurelius

Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look. Marcus Aurelius

What illusion about myself do I entertain? Marcus Aurelius

marcus aurelius quotes first step dont anxious nature controls wisdom

The first step: Don’t be anxious. Nature controls it all. Marcus Aurelius

The second step: Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it. Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being; remind yourself what nature demands of people. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy. Marcus Aurelius

So you were born to feel “nice”? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands? Marcus Aurelius

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment. Marcus Aurelius

Take the shortest route, the one that nature planned – to speak and act in the healthiest way. Do that, and be free of pain and stress, free of all calculation and pretention. Marcus Aurelius

It’s time you realized that you have something in you more powerful and miraculous than the things that affect you and make you dance like a puppet. Marcus Aurelius

There were two vices much blacker and more serious than the rest: lack of persistence and lack of self-control… persist and resist. Marcus Aurelius

Look within. Within is the foundation of good, and it will ever bubble up, if you will ever dig. Marcus Aurelius

Be satisfied with success in even the smallest matter, and think that even such a result is no trifle. Marcus Aurelius

Related: 8 life lessons from the Stoics – The Dad Train (thedadtrain.com)

marcus aurelius quotes almost nothing material happy life wisdom

Almost nothing material is needed for a happy life, for he who has understood existence. Marcus Aurelius

People with a strong physical constitution can tolerate extremes of hot and cold; people of strong mental health can handle anger, grief, joy and the other emotions. Marcus Aurelius

It is in your power to live here. But if men do not permit you, then get away out of life, as if you were suffering no harm. The house is smoky, and I quit it. Why do you think that this is any trouble? But so long as nothing of the kind drives me out, I remain, am free, and no man shall hinder me from doing what I choose; and I choose to do what is according to the nature of the rational and social animal. Marcus Aurelius

‘I will throw you into prison.’ Correction – it is my body you will throw there. Marcus Aurelius

Related: The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living (Amazon book)

Have I been made for this, to lie under the blankets and keep myself warm? Marcus Aurelius

‘But I get to wear a crown of gold.’ If you have your heart set on wearing crowns, why not make one out of roses – you will look even more elegant in that. Marcus Aurelius

Who exactly are these people that you want to be admired by? Aren’t they the same people you are in the habit of calling crazy? And is this your life ambition, then – to win the approval of lunatics? Marcus Aurelius

Do you have reason? I have. Why then do you not use it? Marcus Aurelius


marcus aurelius quotes power over mind outside events strength wisdom

You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. Marcus Aurelius

He who has a vehement desire for posthumous fame does not consider that every one of those who remember him will himself also die very soon. Marcus Aurelius

Let us overlook many things in those who are like antagonists in the gymnasium. For it is in our power, as I said, to get out of the way and to have no suspicion or hatred. Marcus Aurelius

The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are. Marcus Aurelius

Begin – to begin is half the work, let half still remain; again begin this, and thou wilt have finished. Marcus Aurelius

“A cucumber is bitter.” Throw it away. “There are briars in the road.” Turn aside from them. This is enough. Do not add, “And why were such things made in the world?” Marcus Aurelius

To do harm is to do yourself harm. To do an injustice is to do yourself an injustice. Marcus Aurelius

Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away. Marcus Aurelius

Related: How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius (Amazon book)

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Author Bio

maxime lagace

Maxime Lagacé started collecting quotes in 2004 after he lost his girlfriend in a car accident.

In search of meaning, he dived in the self-improvement world, psychology and trail running.

Books, blogs, quotes and nature became his guide.

He started journaling, reflecting, writing his thoughts, feelings and quotes.

His goal was to understand his pain, his depression, his fears, his lack of motivation and inspiration.

He finished his software engineering degree in 2007 at the École de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal.

A few years later, he started his first website to share his love of quotes.

Maxime is a father of two, husband, and INFJ.

Other notable interests of Maxime are health (mental and physical), meditation, bananas, SEO, human potential, and education.

You can find him on X, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube.

Last update

May 1, 2023

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