40 Epictetus Quotes From The Stoic Philosopher

Let’s explore some of the best Epictetus quotes, sayings and teachings on stoicism, resilience, and the importance of mastering one’s mind in the face of adversity.

Epictetus, a Greek philosopher who lived roughly between 55 and 135 AD, stands out for his profound insights into Stoic philosophy. Born into slavery in Hierapolis, located in modern-day Turkey, Epictetus rose to prominence as a respected teacher and philosopher.

Central to his philosophy was the concept of focusing on what is within our control—our thoughts, attitudes, and actions, rather than being consumed by what is beyond our control.

Also See: Seneca Quotes

Through his works, such as the “Discourses” and the “Enchiridion,” compiled by his student Arrian, Epictetus expounded on timeless themes such as ethics, virtue, resilience, and mindfulness

In a world filled with chaos and uncertainty, Epictetus’s deep words helped me to stay grounded, find strength in adversity, and live with integrity. Let’s explore his timeless wisdom together and discover how it can enrich our lives today.

Top 10 Epictetus Quotes

  1. God has entrusted me with myself.” — Epictetus 

    quotes from epictetus
    quotes from epictetus
  2. “No man is free who is not master of himself.” — Epictetus 

    Epictetus Quotes
    Epictetus Quotes
  3. “Difficulty shows what men are.” ― Epictetus 

    Epictetus quote
    Epictetus quote
  4. “You become what you give your attention to.” ― Epictetus 

    quotes by Epictetus
    quotes by Epictetus
  5. “Seek not the good in external things; seek it in yourselves.” — Epictetus 

    best Epictetus quotes
    best Epictetus quotes
  6. “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” — Epictetus 

    quotes of Epictetus
    quotes of Epictetus
  7. “People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.” — Epictetus 

    Epictetus quotes on life
    Epictetus quotes on life
  8. “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” — Epictetus 

  9. “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” — Epictetus

    Epictetus quotations
    Epictetus quotations
  10. “Circumstances don’t make the man, they only reveal him to himself.” — Epictetus 

    Epictetus sayings
    Epictetus sayings
  11. “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” — Epictetus

    Epictetus Famous Quotes
    Epictetus Famous Quotes
  12. “The greater the difficulty the more glory in surmounting it.” — Epictetus

    epictetus philosophy quotes
    Epictetus philosophy quotes

Famous Quotes By Epictetus

  1. “Do not try to seem wise to others. ” — Epictetus
  2. “He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at.” — Epictetus
  3. “Authentic happiness is always independent of external conditions.” — Epictetus
  4. “A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope.” — Epictetus
  5. “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.” — Epictetus
  6. “First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” — The Discourses
  7. “It is not so much what happens to you as how you think about what happens.” — Epictetus
  8. “We are not disturbed by what happens to us, but by our thoughts about what happens to us.” — Epictetus
  9. Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control.” — Epictetus
  10. “The flourishing life cannot be achieved until we moderate our desires and see how superficial and fleeting they are.” — Epictetus

Best Quotes From Epictetus

  1. “If you would be a reader, read; if a writer, write.” — Epictetus
  2. “First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.” — Epictetus
  3. “Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.” — Epictetus
  4. “Getting distracted by trifles is the easiest thing in the world… Focus on your main duty.” — Epictetus
  5. “Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems.” — Epictetus
  6. “Small-minded people blame others. Average people blame themselves. The wise see all blame as foolishness.” — Epictetus
  7. “We suffer not from the events in our lives but from our judgement about them.” ― Epictetus
  8. “When your thoughts, words, and deeds form a seamless fabric, you streamline your efforts and thus eliminate worry and dread.” — 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

Epictetus Quotes To Inspire You

  1. “Only the educated are free.” — Epictetus
  2. “Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.” — Epictetus
  3. “If evil be said of thee, and if it be true, correct thyself; if it be a lie, laugh at it.” — Epictetus
  4. “Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent.” — Epictetus
  5. “Any person capable of angering you becomes your master; he can anger you only when you permit yourself to be disturbed by him.” — Epictetus
  6. “The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” — Epictetus
  7. “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” — Epictetus
  8. “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” — Epictetus
  9. “It’s time to stop being vague. If you wish to be an extraordinary person, if you wish to be wise, then you should explicitly identify the kind of person you aspire to become.” — Epictetus
  10. “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

Famous Books By Epictetus

Epictetus is primarily known for his teachings on Stoicism, which were recorded by his student Arrian in a series of books known as the “Discourses” and a shorter handbook called the “Enchiridion.” Here are some key works associated with Epictetus:

  1. Discourses
  2. Enchiridion (Handbook)
  3. Fragments
  4. Arrian’s “Epictetus: The Discourses of Epictetus
  5. The Art of Living by Sharon Lebell
  6. The Golden Sayings of Epictetus
  7. “The Philosophy of Epictetus” by Theodore Scaltsas

Which of the above Stoic quotations inspired you the most? Let us know in the comments section below. Feel free to share these meaningful quotes with friends and family to motivate them on Instagram, Tumblr, X, Pinterest, Facebook, and more.

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