65 Motivational Epictetus Quotes For Success In Life

Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia, and lived in Rome until his banishment when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece for the rest of his life. His teachings were written down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses and Enchiridion. These Epictetus quotes will motivate you.

Best Epictetus Quotes

  1. “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” ~ Epictetus
  2. “Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.” ~ Epictetus, Epictetus quotes on control
  3. “When something happens, the only thing in your power is your attitude toward it. It is not the things that disturb us, but our interpretation of their significance. Things and people are not what we wish them to be nor are they what they seem to be. They are what they are.” ~ Epictetus
  4. “Any person capable of angering you becomes your master.” ~ Epictetus

  5. “Don’t be concerned with other people’s impressions of you. They are dazzled and deluded by appearances. Stick with your purpose. This alone will strengthen your will and give your life coherence.” ~ Epictetus
  6. “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.” ~ Epictetus
  7. “From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do — now.” ~ Epictetus
  8. “You become what you give your attention to…If you yourself don’t choose what thoughts and images you expose yourself to, someone else will, and their motives may not be the highest.” ~ Epictetus
  9. “Be careful whom you associate with. It is human to imitate the habits of those with whom we interact. We inadvertently adopt their interests, their opinions, their values, and their habit of interpreting events.” ~ Epictetus
  10. “Progress is not achieved by luck or accident, but by working on yourself daily.” – Epictetus

  11. “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” ~ Epictetus
  12. “I have to die. If it is now, well then I die now; if later, then now I will take my lunch, since the hour for lunch has arrived – and dying I will tend to later.” ~ Epictetus
  13. “Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.” ~ Epictetus
  14. “Try not to react merely in the moment. Pull back from the situation. Take a wider view. Compose yourself.” ~ Epictetus
  15. “Freedom and happiness come from understanding – and working with – our limits. Begin at once a program of self-mastery. Stick with your purpose. Do not seek external approval. Do not worry about anything outside of your control. The only things you command are your thoughts and actions. We choose our response. Stop aspiring to be anyone other than your own best self: for that does fall within your control.” ~ Epictetus
  16. “I laugh at those who think they can damage me. They do not know who I am, they do not know what I think, they cannot even touch the things which are really mine and with which I live.” ~ Epictetus
  17. “If someone speaks badly of you, do not defend yourself against the accusations, but reply; “you obviously don’t know about my other vices, otherwise you would have mentioned these as well” ~ Epictetus
  18. “You have been given your own work to do. Get to it right now, do your best at it, and don’t be concerned with who is watching you. Create your own merit.” ~ Epictetus
  19. “God has entrusted me with myself.” ~ Epictetus

  20. “No matter what happens, it is within my power to turn it to my advantage.” ~ Epictetus
  21. “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” ~ Epictetus
  22. “Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems” ~ Epictetus
  23. “Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. Once you have determined the spiritual principles you wish to exemplify, abide by these rules as if they were laws, as if it were indeed sinful to compromise them. Don’t mind if others don’t share your convictions. How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer.” ~ Epictetus
  24. “Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power.” ~ Epictetus
  25. “Wisdom means understanding without any doubt that circumstances do not rise to meet our expectations. Events happen as they may. People behave as they will.” ~ Epictetus, Epictetus quotes on circumstances
  26. “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” ~ Epictetus

  27. “Never depend on the admiration of others for self-satisfaction. It is a fact of life that other people, even people who love you, will not necessarily agree with your ideas, understand you always, or share your enthusiasm.” ~ Epictetus, Epictetus quotes on love
  28. “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” ~ Epictetus
  29. “When we blather about trivial things, we ourselves become trivial, for our attention gets taken up with trivialities. You become what you give your attention to.” ~ Epictetus
  30. “As you think, so you become…..Our busy minds are forever jumping to conclusions, manufacturing, and interpreting signs that aren’t there.” ~ Epictetus
  31. “Keep your attention focused entirely on what is truly your own concern, and be clear that what belongs to others is their business and none of yours.” ~ Epictetus
  32. “What matters most is what sort of person you are becoming. Wise individuals care only about whom they are today and who they can be tomorrow.” ~ Epictetus
  33. “Authentic happiness is always independent of external conditions.” ~ Epictetus

  34. “When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.” ~ Epictetus
  35. “No great thing is created suddenly. There must be time. Give your best and always be kind.” ~ Epictetus
  36. “He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at.” ~ Epictetus
  37. “You can be happy if you know this secret: Some things are within your power to control and some things are not.” ~ Epictetus
  38. “Freedom and happiness are won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control.” ~ Epictetus
  39. “It is our attitude toward events, not events themselves, which we can control. Nothing is by its own nature calamitous — even death is terrible only if we fear it.” ~ Epictetus
  40. “First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” ~ Epictetus

  41. “Who exactly do you want to be? What kind of person do you
    want to be? What are your personal ideals? Whom do you admire? What are their special traits that you would make your own It’s time to stop being vague. If you wish to be an extraordinary person, if you wish to become wise, then you should explicitly identify the kind of person you aspire to become. If you have a daybook, write down who you’re trying to be, so that you can refer to this self-determination. Precisely describe the demeanor you want to adopt so that you may preserve it when you are by yourself or with other
    people.” ~ Epictetus
  42. “Anything worth putting off is worth abandoning altogether.” ~ Epictetus

  43. “Nothing truly stops you. Nothing truly holds you back. For your own will is always within your control. Sickness may challenge your body. But are you merely your body? Lameness may impede your legs. But you are not merely your legs. Your will is bigger than your legs. Your will needn’t be affected by an incident unless you let it.” ~ Epictetus
  44. “Books are the training weights of the mind.” ~ Epictetus
  45. “It’s so simple really: If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you start something, finish it.” ~ Epictetus
  46. “Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant.” ~ Epictetus
  47. “Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control. Stop aspiring to be anyone other than your own best self: for that does fall within your control.” ~ Epictetus
  48. “And be silent for the most part, or else make only the most necessary remarks, and express these in few words. But rarely, and when occasion requires you to talk, talk, indeed, but about no ordinary topics. Do not talk about gladiators, or horseraces, or athletes, or things to eat or drink – topics that arise on all occasions; but above all, do not talk about people, either blaming, or praising, or comparing them.” ~ Epictetus
  49. “If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.” ~ Epictetus

  50. “What is a good person? One who achieves tranquillity by having formed the habit of asking on every occasion, “what is the right thing to do now?” ~ Epictetus
  51. “No matter where you find yourself, comport yourself as if you were a distinguished person.” ~ Epictetus
  52. “These are the signs of a wise man: to reprove nobody, to praise nobody, to blame nobody, nor even to speak of himself or his own merits.” ~ Epictetus
  53. “Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.” ~ Epictetus, Epictetus quotes on knowing yourself
  54. “We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.” ~ Epictetus
  55. “The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” – Epictetus

  56. “We all carry the seeds of greatness within us, but we need an image as a point of focus in order that they may sprout.” ~ Epictetus
  57. “Within our control are our own opinions, aspirations, and desires and the demons that distract us from these goals. Outside of our control are such things as what kind of body we have, whether or not we are born into wealth, and how we are regarded by others.” ~ Epictetus
  58. “Keep silence for the most part, and speak only when you must, and then briefly.” ~ Epictetus, Epictetus quotes on speaking
  59. “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” ~ Epictetus
  60. “Unremarkable lives are marked by the fear of not looking capable when trying something new.” ~ Epictetus

  61. “To make anything a habit, do it; to not make it a habit, do not do it; to unmake a habit, do something else in place of it.” ~ Epictetus
  62. “In trying to please other people, we find ourselves misdirected toward what lies outside our sphere of influence. In doing so, we lose our hold on our lifes purpose.” ~ Epictetus
  63. “Other people’s views and troubles can be contagious. Don’t sabotage yourself by unwittingly adopting negative, unproductive attitudes through your associations with others.” ~ Epictetus
  64. “Nothing truly stops you. Nothing truly holds you back. For your own will is always within your control.” ~ Epictetus
  65. “Have the wisdom to know what cannot be changed, and the strength to change what can.” ~ Epictetus

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