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From Vol. 2, Issue 9, September 2020

Stoic thoughts for every day of the month

Stoic Everyday || Editor

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1 - Is there any storm that is more powerful than impressions that drive out reason? [Epictetus, D2.17]

2 - I choose to live in accordance with nature as a reasonable member of a social community. [Marcus Aurelius, M5.35]

3 Direct all your efforts toward some purpose, and keep that aim in sight. [Seneca,T12]

4 - “Make a bad beginning and you’ll contend with troubles ever after.” Hesiod. [Epictetus D2.17]

5 - How have you behaved in the past – to the gods, to your parents, to your siblings, spouse, children, teachers, tutors, friends, relatives, household? In all your dealings with them until now, can you fairly say that “Never a harsh word, never an injustice was delivered to a single person?” [Marcus Aurelius, [Marcus Aurelius, M5.35]

6 - If a man wishes to live in peace, let him not engage in many activities either privately or publicly. Democritus, [Seneca,T13]

7 - Just observe the way you behave, and you will soon discover what your philosophy is. [Epictetus D2.18]

8 - Soon you will be ashes or bones. Just a name, perhaps not even that. [Marcus Aurelius, M5.35]

9 - Nothing happens to the wise that they did not expect. [Seneca,T13]

10 - It is my ambition to secure you from restraint, compulsion, and obstruction, and to make you free, prosperous, and happy … You are here to learn and practice these things. [Epictetus D2.19]

11 - The things we desire in life are vanity, corruption, and trash. We are like scuffling puppies or quarrelling children – all smiles one moment and in tears the next. [Marcus Aurelius, M5.33]

12 - The pain associated with unfulfilled desires is less severe if you are not confident things will turn out the way you expect. [Seneca,T13]

13 - Set the past aside. Just begin. Trust me, you will see what I have been saying is true. [Epictetus D2.19]

14 -  Our senses are easily deceived. Our soul itself is mere vapour exhaled from blood. Fame in this world is worthless. [Marcus Aurelius, M5.33]

15 - We must make ourselves more flexible and avoid becoming too attached to our current plans. [Seneca, T13]

16 - A vine cannot behave like an olive tree or an olive tree like a vine. It is impossible. Neither can human beings lose their affections. [Epictetus D2.20]

17 - Do good to people. Bear and forbear. Remember that nothing belongs to you outside the bounds of your poor body. [Marcus Aurelius, M5.33]

18 - We must adapt ourselves to whatever future may bring us without fearing a change in our purposes or in our life’s condition. [Seneca,T14]

19 - We are surrounded by people who are so confused and so ignorant of what they are saying. [Epictetus D2.21]

20 - Be steady as you go forward. Keep the straight road in your thinking and doing. Your will flows smoothly. [Marcus Aurelius, M5.33]

21 We should not become indecisive, a vice entirely opposed to peace. [Seneca,T14]

22 - First, cure cure your ulcers, stop the discharges, and calm your mind. Bring it to the school, free from distractions. Only then will you know how powerful reason can be. [Epictetus D2.21]

23 - If something is not of your doing, nor caused by you and the community is not affected by it, why worry about it? [Marcus Aurelius, M5.34]

24 - Stubbornness … involve anxiety and misery. Yet indecisiveness, which cannot control itself, is much harder to bear. [Seneca,T14]

25 - Have no illusions, this is a universal law: Every creature is attached to nothing as strongly as to its own interest. Whatever appears to threaten its interest – be it brother, father, child, or lover – is hated, accused, and cursed. We are naturally disposed to favor our own interest. [Epictetus D2.22]

26 - Don’t be taken in by your first impressions. Help those in need as far as you can. They deserve it. [Marcus Aurelius, M5.35]

27- The mind must withdraw into itself, away from external things. Let it confide, rejoice in itself, and admire its own works. [Seneca,T14]

28 - Everyone moves towards what is “me” and “mine.” If you believe your interests are served by your body, it will dominate your life; if it is moral choice, then it is moral choice that will dominate; and if external things, then it is external things. You will be where your choices are. [Epictetus D2.22]

29 - Who is fortunate? The person who gives himself the gifts of fortune: good character, good intentions, and good actions. [Marcus Aurelius, M5.35]

30 - We gain nothing by getting rid of everything that causes sadness. [Seneca,T15]

30 - Where else can you find friendship if not with fairness, reliability, and respect for what is honourable – and these things only? [Epictetus D2.22]

Note: D: Discourses; M: Meditations; T: On Tranquility