Marcus Aurelius Quotes and Sayings from His Book Meditations


“Meditations” is a collection of personal writings by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who lived from 121 to 180 AD. It’s considered a classic work of Stoic philosophy and provides insight into Marcus’ reflections on life, ethics, and personal beliefs.

These quotes highlight Marcus’ focus on personal responsibility, self-reflection, and inner peace, which are central themes in the Stoic philosophy.

Marcus Aurelius was commonly known as “the Philosopher” because of his writings in Greek that centered around how to live one’s life philosophically and morally.

In addition to being a philosopher, he was also a successful general, astronomer, and geographer, because of his extensive knowledge of many different fields.

Marcus Aurelius Quotes from His Book ‘Meditations’

Here are some of Marcus Aurelius famous quotes sayings from the book ‘Meditations’:

“You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

“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.”

“The best way to avenge yourself is to be unlike your enemy.”

Marcus Aurelius Quote from Meditations

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”

“Do not waste time on what you cannot change. Never let it be said that you waited for someone to change so that your life could improve. Live your own life as you see fit, but do not expect others to live theirs as you do.”

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”

“The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.”

“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.”

“What is not good for the hive is not good for the bee.”

“It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.”

“The present is all that a man has. The past is gone, and the future is uncertain.”

Related: Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Life, Discipline and Strength.

More of Marcus Aurelius Quotes from ‘Meditations’

“If you are pained by external things, it is not they that disturb you, but your own judgment of them. And it is in your power to wipe out that judgment now.”

“For it is in your power to retire into yourself whenever you choose.”

“A person’s worth is measured by the worth of what he values.”

“The measure of a man is what he does with power.”

“We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.”

“Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.”

“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.”

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

“The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.”

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

“Receive without conceit, release without struggle.”

“Do not let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”

Related: Stoic Quotes that Will Change Your Perspective on Life.

“The universe is change; life is opinion.”

“How easy it is to repel and to wipe away every impression which is troublesome or unsuitable, and immediately to be in all tranquility.”

Gems from Meditations – Marcus Aurelius Quotes

“Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life.”

“Neither worse then or better is a thing made by being praised.”

“When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love.”

“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?”

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

“It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.”

“Confine yourself to the present.”

The Wisdom of Marcus Aurelius Quotes

Aurelius quotes contain wisdom, instructions and tips for life. Here are a few examples.

1. “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius

Your thoughts affect how you feel. You should become aware of the thoughts you think, and if they are causing you unhappiness, you should change them to thoughts that make you feel happy.

Don’t tell yourself that you are unhappy because of your circumstances. You are unhappy because of your thoughts and expectations, which affect your circumstances.

Your happiness truly depends on the quality of your thoughts.

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

You have the power to choose the thoughts you want and reject the ones you do not want. Yes, this requires some practice, but it is within your reach.

You can change your thoughts and attitude. This will make you stronger and enable you to deal better with outside events.

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

It is a waste of time arguing, thinking and analyzing what a good person is. This leads nowhere. These are just words and thoughts. Instead, you should strive, to be good person.

Talking about the attributes of a good person does not make one a good person. But acting kindly, politely and with consideration makes one a good person.

4. “Confine yourself to the present.”

The present is the only time that exists. The past is over and the future has not arrived.

Dwelling on the past or worrying about the future will keep you stranded and unhappy. Live in the present and enjoy the present.

More information about Marcus Aurelius Book “Meditations”.

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