Tag Archives | Marcus Aurelius

Examine men’s ruling principles, even those of the wise, what kind of things they avoid, and what kind they pursue.

Examine men’s ruling principles, even those of the wise, what kind of things they avoid, and what kind they pursue. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? To me, this is about choosing friends, acquaintances and associates. It asks who they are, and by extension, if they are the kind of people you want to […]

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It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? While this appears to be an interesting German to English translation, the core of the quote remains the same, and a longer version is included at the bottom of the post. […]

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The best revenge is to be unlike the one who performed the injustice.

The best revenge is to be unlike the one who performed the injustice. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? This quote is translated in many forms, including “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.” which is very close to what my paper copy of Meditations says. This is something you have […]

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To the wise, life is a problem; to the fool, a solution.

To the wise, life is a problem; to the fool, a solution. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? To me, and my understanding of Stoicism, a closer translation of problem might well be puzzle or challenge. Stoics take the world as it is, and try to deal with it with the minimum fuss. Life, […]

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Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? The quote urges us to consider that what others say is their opinion, not fact. It may be a respected and well informed opinion, but still it is an opinion. […]

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My mind is an infinity of possibilities. This can be good or bad, but the choice is mine.

My mind is an infinity of possibilities. This can be good or bad, but the choice is mine. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? While this quote is a bit of a paraphrasing of a very large paragraph, it still has some power to it. In the paragraph, he speaks of both the soul […]

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It is not fit that I should give myself pain, for I have never intentionally given pain even to another.

It is not fit that I should give myself pain, for I have never intentionally given pain even to another. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? Inflicting pain on others. The vast majority of us do not do inflict pain on others deliberately. In the heat of passion, perhaps we might. But then we […]

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How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks.

How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? This is a shorter, Twiter-friendly version of a passage from his book Meditations regarding time, and the efficient use thereof. The more complete quote is listed below: “How much […]

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Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.

Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? To me, this quote is a bit of a double edged sword. If your soul (to me, this means our inner self, our mind) isn’t calm, then it might not be an ideal […]

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About death: Whether it is a dispersion, or a resolution into atoms, or annihilation, it is either extinction or change.

About death: Whether it is a dispersion, or a resolution into atoms, or annihilation, it is either extinction or change. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? Well, that’s pretty straightforward. You either cease to exist, or you change into something else. Either way, you are no longer the same, right? Not that I’m that […]

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The universe is change; life is what thinking makes of it.

The universe is change; life is what thinking makes of it. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? This quote is about how life works, and one way of looking at it. Change happens. There is no way around it, change will happen. Get used to it. The universe is full of change, and we […]

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Be like the promontory against which the waves continually break, but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it.

Be like the promontory against which the waves continually break, but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? This is about being the rock in the storm. It is about being stable and strong while the world goes crazy around you. It is […]

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

You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? This quote is about finding a fundamental truth of life. While many quotes focus on happiness coming from within, this covers the rest of the game, as we live in our mind. […]

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To refrain from imitation is the best revenge.

To refrain from imitation is the best revenge. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? Another classically brief quote. But it is packed with meaning. It is talking about revenge and how to best achieve it. However, it doesn’t say to serve it cold, or when they aren’t looking for it. The quote is about restraint. […]

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A man should be upright, not be kept upright.

A man should be upright, not be kept upright. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? At it’s heart, this quote is about a person and their character. It is a reminder that what we are on the inside is what we are seen as by others on the outside. The quote is usually interpreted […]

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