Marcus Aurelius was a Stoic philosopher and emperor. Through his words, I’ve been able to find an incredible amount of contentment and peace. He teaches that wise man has an impregnable mind which can choose contentment no matter the circumstance.
Make sure to learn more and read Meditations, translated by George Long. It’s life changing.
Here are my 3 most favorite quotes from Marcus Aurelius:
Death hangs over thee: whilst yet thou livest, whilst thou mayest, be good.
At dawn of day, when you dislike being called, have this thought ready: “I am called to man’s labour; why then do I make a difficulty if I am going out to do what I was born to do and what I was brought into the world for?”
Keep yourself therefore, simple, good, pure, grave, unaffected, the friend of justice, religious, kind, affectionate, strong for your proper work. Wrestle to be the man philosophy wished to make you. Reverence the gods, save men. Life is brief; there is but one harvest of earthly existence, a holy disposition and neighborly acts.
Very little is needed to make a happy life.
This last quote isn’t by the emperor, but is about his philosophy, and is just as powerful as anything Aurelius ever wrote himself. It’s from George Long, the author:
A man’s greatness lies not in wealth and station, as the vulgar believe, not yet in his intellectual capacity, which is often associated with the meanest moral character, the most abject servility to those in high places and arrogance to the poor and lowly; but a man’s true greatness lies in the consciousness of an honest purpose in life, founded on a just estimate of himself and everything else, on frequent self-examination, and a steady obedience to the rule which he knows to be right, without troubling himself, as the emperor says he should not, about what others may think or say, or whether they do or do not do that which he thinks and says and does.
I can’t read the last quote without getting goosebumps. It’s powerful, to say the least.