30 Stoic Quotes That Will Immediately Change Your Perspective

30 Stoic Quotes That Will Immediately Change Your Perspective

Need a shift in perspective?

These 30 timeless Stoic quotes will help you calm your mind and pluck up the courage to face whatever the market throws your way.

But first, what is Stoicism?

In just a few words, Stoicism is ancient philosophy founded in Athens around 3rd century B.C.

These days, philosophies like Stoicism and practices like mindfulness have both made a strong comeback since one of their core principles is emotional ‘control’, which leads to better stress control, focus, productivity, and overall well-being.

Very useful in nowadays go-go-go culture.

Three of the best stoicism books I can recommend are Enchiridion of Epictetus, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, and On The Shortness Of Life by Seneca.

In addition to those paper books, you can hear all of these three books in audio form on Youtube for free.

Honorable mentions: The Daily Stoic, The Obstacle is The Way, and Ego Is The Enemy, all by Ryan Holiday, who does a great job of decoding Stoicism, contextualizing its lessons, and adapting it to the modern era.

Without further ado, listed below is my list of the top 30 quotes from Stoic philosophy on different subjects.


On Impermanence.


Time is like a river made up of the events which happen, and a violent stream; for as soon as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and another comes in its place, and this will be carried away too.
― Marcus Aurelius


Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too.

— Marcus Aurelius


Cling tooth and nail to the following rule: not to give in to adversity, never to trust prosperity, and always take full note of fortune’s habit of behaving just as she pleases, treating her as if she were actually going to do everything it is in her power to do. Whatever you have been expecting for some time comes as less of a shock.
— Seneca


No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.

— Epictetus

On Difficulty.


A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man without trials.


It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult.

— Seneca


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


Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.

– Marcus Aurelius


Difficulty shows what men are. Therefore when a difficulty falls upon you, remember that God, like a trainer of wrestlers, has matched you with a rough young man. Why? So that you may become an Olympic conqueror, but it is not accomplished without sweat.
― Epictetus


If you hear that someone is speaking ill of you, instead of trying to defend yourself you should say: ‘He obviously does not know me very well, since there are so many other faults he could have mentioned’.”

On Life.


You live as if you were destined to live forever, no thought of your frailty ever enters your head, of how much time has already gone by you take no heed. You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last.
― Seneca


Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.

— Epictetus


Whatever happens to you has been waiting to happen since the beginning of time. The twining strands of fate wove both of them together.
— 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


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 opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.

— Marcus Aurelius

On Control.


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

– Marcus Aurelius


If you are pained by any external thing, it is not this thing that disturbs you, but your own judgment about it. And it is in your power to wipe out this judgment now.
— Marcus Aurelius


We should always be asking ourselves: “Is this something that is, or is not, in my control?”
— Epictetus


Take a lyre player: he’s relaxed when he performs alone, but put him in front of an audience, and it’s a different story, no matter how beautiful his voice or how well he plays the instrument. Why? Because he not only wants to perform well, he wants to be well received — and the latter lies outside his control.
— Epictetus

On Practice.


Books are the training weights of the mind. They are very helpful, but it would be a bad mistake to suppose that one has made progress simply by having internalized their contents.

— Epictetus


Don’t just say you have read books. Show that through them you have learned to think better, to be a more discriminating and reflective person.

— Epictetus


If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you’re needing is not to be in a different place but to be a different person.
― Seneca


As long as you live, keep learning how to live.
to err is human, but to persist (in the mistake) is diabolical.

— Seneca


It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters.

— Seneca

On Mind.


Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.
― Seneca


We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.

— Seneca


The mind that is anxious about future events is miserable.

— Seneca


Anything or anyone capable of angering you becomes your master.

— Epictetus


It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

— Epictetus


Appearances to the mind are of four kinds. Things either are what they appear to be; or they neither are, nor appear to be; or they are, and do not appear to be; or they are not, and yet appear to be. Rightly to aim in all these cases is the wise man’s task.

— Epictetus

More on Stoicism:

Stoicism Series 1-5: What Is Stoicism And How It Can Help You Become A Better Trader

Stoicism Series 2-5: 30 Quotes By Marcus Aurelius For Traders

Stoicism Series 3-5: 30 Quotes By Epictetus For Traders

Stoicism Series 4-5: 30 Quotes By Seneca For Traders

Stoicism Series 5-5: How To Be A Stoic Trader In 6 Steps

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I've been trading for a living since 2006. By merging mindfulness (an in-depth study of the mind and its tendencies in the present moment), a good trading process, and an efficient business practice, I went from being a losing trader to a consistently profitable one. Through my work here at Trading Composure, I aim at helping you do the same.
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