30 Inspirational Marcus Aurelius Quotes

Marcus Aurelius, also known as the Philosopher, was a Roman emperor (161 – 180). His books, the Meditations, are still commonly known today for his descriptions of perspective on the self and the world and how judgement can affect life. Here are some of his most inspirational quotes:

 

Marcus Aurelius Quotes:

1. The universal order and the personal order are nothing but different expressions and manifestations of a common underlying principle.

2. What does not benefit the hive does not benefit the bee either.

3. No one will prevent you living in accordance with the principal of your own nature: nothing will happen to you contrary to the principal of universal nature.

4. If it is not right, don’t do it: if it is not true, don’t say it.

5. First, nothing aimless or without ulterior reference. Second, no reference to any end other than the common good.

6. You control your thinking. So remove your judgements whenever you wish and then there is calm – as the sailor rounding the cape finds smooth water and the welcome of a waveless bay.

7. I have often wondered how it is that everyone loves himself more than anyone else, but rates his own judgement of himself below that of others.

8. Live through life in the best way you can.

9. The sinner sins against himself: the wrongdoer wrongs himself, by making himself morally bad.

10. Erase the print of imagination, stop impulse, quench desire: keep your directing mind its own master.

11. If you have sharp sight, use it: but, as the poet says, add wise judgement.

12. Someone despises me? That is his concern. But I will see to it that I am not found guilty of any word or action deserving contempt. Will he hate me? That is his concern. But I will be kind and well-intentioned to all.

13. No action should be undertaken without aim, or other than in conformity with a principle affirming the art of life.

14. There is nothing so cheering as the stamp of virtues manifest in the character of colleagues.

15. While you live, while you can, become good.

16. Everything in any way beautiful has its beauty of itself, inherent and self-sufficient: praise is no part of it.

17. You can live here in this world just as you intend to live when you have left it.

18. If you remove your judgement of anything that seems painful, you yourself stand quite immune to pain.

19. The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.

20. Consider each individual thing you do and ask yourself whether to lose it through death makes death itself any cause for fear.

21. Very little is needed to make a happy life.

22. 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.

23. When you have assumed these names – good, modest, truthful, rational, a man of equanimity, and magnanimous – take care that you do not change these names; and if you should lose them, quickly return to them.

24. 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.

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

26. An ignorant person is inclined to blame others for his own misfortune. To blame oneself is proof of progress. But the wise man never has to blame another or himself.

27. You can pass your life in an equable flow of happiness if you can follow the right way and think and act in the right way.

28. How long will you wait before you demand the best of yourself, and trust reason to determine what is best?

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

30. If you learn that someone is speaking ill of you, don’t try to defend yourself against the rumours; respond instead with, ‘Yes, and he doesn’t know the half of it, because he could have said more’.

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