Epictetus (55 - 135 BC) was a Greek philosopher of the Stoic school. He was born a slave in Hierapolis, Phrygia (now Pamukkale, Turkey) and lived in Rome until his exile, when he went to Nicopolis, in northwestern Greece. His teachings were written and published by his student Arrian.
Epictetus taught that philosophy is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. For Epictetus, all external events are beyond our control; We must calmly and serenely accept what happens around us. However, individuals are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline.
Famous Epictetus quotes
Your happiness depends on three things, all of which are in your power: your will, your ideas about the events in which you are involved and your use of your ideas.
Man is not worried so much about real problems as about his imagined anxieties about real problems.
The key is to accompany the people who encourage you, whose presence is the best possible.
It is more necessary for the soul to heal than the body; because it is better to die than to live badly.
A ship should not sail with a single anchor, nor life with a single hope.
Do not live according to your own rules, but in harmony with nature.
Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is earned by ignoring things that are beyond our control.
No person is free than if she does not own herself.
You can be invincible if you never undertake combat whose return you are not sure of and only when you know that victory is in your hand.
Wealth is not about having great possessions, but about having few desires.
Anyone capable of bothering you becomes your teacher; Someone can bother you only when you allow yourself to be bothered by him.
Don't look for events to happen as you wish, let them happen as they do, and everything will be fine.
If you talk badly about yourself, and if it's true, correct yourself; If it's a lie, laugh at it.
The opinions and problems of other people can be contagious. Do not sabotage yourself by involuntarily adopting negative and unproductive attitudes through your friendships with others.
He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at.
You become what you give to your attention.
People do not mind things, but the opinions they give to those things.
There is only one way of peace of mind and happiness, and that is not taking external things as their own.
If you seek the truth, you will not seek a victory by all possible means. When you have found the Truth, you should not fear being defeated.
Circumstances do not make man, they only reveal him.
"Who is the rich man?" They asked, and Epictetus replied: "He who is happy."
Or God wants to abolish evil and cannot; Or you can, but you don't want to.
It is better to starve having lived without pain and fear, than to live with a troubled spirit, in the midst of abundance.
A city is not adorned by external things, but by the virtue of those who inhabit it.
All matters have two handles: on one they are manageable, on the other they are not.
Don't you know that a good man does nothing for appearances, but for doing the right thing?
It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.
Accusing others for their own misfortune is a sign of lack of education. Accusing oneself shows that one's education has begun. Not accusing oneself or others shows that one's education is complete.
Don't try to seem wise to others.
In prosperity it is very easy to find friends, in adversity there is nothing more difficult.
Excessive anger breeds madness.
First tell yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.
Desire and happiness cannot live together.
I laugh at those who think they can harm me. They don't know who I am, they don't know what I think, they can't even touch the things that are really mine and that I live with.
Whoever wants to listen to philosophers needs considerable practice to listen.
First learn the meaning of what you say and then talk.
Join what is spiritually superior, regardless of what other people think or do. Keep your true aspirations no matter what is happening around you.
Nature has given men a tongue and two ears, so that we can hear from others twice as much as we speak.
The truth triumphs by itself, the lie always needs complicity.
The essence of philosophy is that a man must live in such a way that his happiness depends as little as possible on external things.
If they speak ill of you with foundation, correct yourself; Otherwise, laugh.
The greater the difficulty, the more glory you get when you overcome it. Skilful pilots get their reputation in storms and storms.
Prudence is the highest of all assets.
In our own misfortunes we must remember the state of conformity with which we look at others.
Just as the Sun does not expect prayers and spells to rise, but it shines and is well received by all: so neither do you expect to applaud and shout and praise to fulfill your duty; no, do good by your own will, and you will be loved as the sun.
He is a wise man who does not regret the things he does not have, but rejoices over those he has.
Just as there is an art of good talk, there is an art of good listening.
Do not look for the good in external things, look for it in yourselves.
Appearances in the mind are of four types. Things are what they seem to be; or they are not, nor do they seem to be; or they are, and they don't seem to be; or they are not, and yet they seem to be. With good reason to point in all these cases is the task of the wise.
You could tie my leg, but not even Zeus himself can get the best of my free will.
The difficulty shows what men are.
The old man's mistake is that he intends to prosecute today with yesterday's criteria.
You are a small soul that carries a corpse.
If you want to improve, please be considered silly and stupid.
Men are not afraid of things, but how they see them.
There is only one way to achieve happiness and it is to stop worrying about things that are beyond power or our will.
Give me by all means the shortest and most noble life, instead of one that is longer but of less value!
Philosophizing is this: examine and refine the criteria.
It is our attitude towards events, not the events themselves, that we can control. Nothing is, by its very nature, calamitous; Even death is terrible only if we fear it.
When you have to sentence, try to forget the litigants and remember only the cause.
Control your passions so they don't beat you.
You don't get to champion without sweating.
Do not be afraid of poverty or exile, or jail, or death. What you have to be afraid of is fear itself.
We have two ears and one mouth to be able to hear twice what we speak.
If someone speaks badly about you, don't defend yourself against the accusations, just respond; "You obviously don't know about my other vices, otherwise you would have mentioned them too."
The difficulty shows what men are. Therefore, when a difficulty falls on you, remember that God, as a wrestling coach, has paired you with someone rude. Why? So you can become an Olympic conqueror; But that is not achieved without sweating.
Envy is the adversary of the most fortunate.
Rare pleasures are the ones that delight us the most.
Only the cultured man is free.
Take this moment. Immerse yourself in its details. Answer this person, this challenge, this action. Leave the evasions. Stop looking for unnecessary problems. It is time to live; to fully inhabit the situation you are in now.
Do you want to stop belonging to the number of slaves? Break your chains and cast away all fear and spite.