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From Vol. 2, Issue 8, August 2020

Stoic thoughts for every day of the month

Stoic Everyday || EDITOR

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1 - You are not going to learn anything new, if you think you know it already. [Epictetus, D 2.17] 

2  - Honour that which is greatest in the universe, which is served by everything and governs everything. Honour the highest in yourself, the part that shares its nature with the greatest. [Marcus Aurelius, M. 5.21] 

3  - He who fears death will never do anything worthy of someone alive. [Seneca,T11] 

4  - What does not harm the community does not harm the individual. [Marcus Aurelius, M. 5.22] 

5  - By looking forward to everything that may happen to her as though it will happen to her, a person takes the sting out of all misfortunes. [Seneca,T11] 

6  - Make it so that whatever happens is what you want to happen. How can you then be unhappy? [Epictetus, D 2.17] 

7  - Think how quickly all things come into being and how quickly they pass away. The river of life flows without stopping. [Marcus Aurelius, M. 5.23] 

8  - It makes no difference what happens to those who expect it and are prepared to meet it. [Seneca,T11] 

9  - But how can you call yourself educated, if you still experience envy, pity, jealousy, and fear, and complain everyday about your condition and about God? What kind of education is that? [Epictetus, D 2.17] 

10  - What sense does it make to fret and fume—as if your troubles are going to last forever? [Marcus Aurelius, M. 5.23] 

11  - You say, "I did not think this would happen," and "would you ever have believed that this would have happened?" But why not? [Seneca,T11] 

12  - Why is it that when you want something, it doesn’t come about, and when you don’t want it, it comes about? For that’s very strong proof that you are in a troubled and unfortunate state. [Epictetus, D 2.17] 

13  - In the totality of everything, yours is a small share. In the totality of time, yours is a brief instant. In the totality of destiny, yours is a puny part. [Marcus Aurelius, M. 5.24] 

14  - Know then that every human condition is temporary and that what has ever happened to anybody can happen to you, too. [Seneca,T11] 

15  - Those who are most eager to offer affronts to others are least able to endure them. [Seneca, On the Firmness of the Wise Person, 18] 

16  - Every habit is formed, and every capacity strengthened, by our doing things associated with it. Walking makes you walk better, running makes you run better. [Epictetus, D 2.17] 

17  - Has anyone done me wrong? Let them take care of it. Their character and actions are theirs. ... I will act according to my nature. [Marcus Aurelius, M. 5.25] 

18  - Unless you expect that whatever can happen will happen to you, you give adversity power over you. [Seneca,T11] 

19  - If you want to do something, make it a habit. If you don’t want to do something, do something else in its place. [Epictetus, D 2.17] 

20  - Let no emotions of pleasure or pain affect your supreme part—your mind. Keep emotions confined to their place, away from it. If they enter your mind, don’t try to resist them. Just use your reason. Don’t think of them as good or bad. [ Marcus Aurelius, M. 5.26] 

21  - Avoid doing meaningless work or work whose purpose is trivial. [Seneca, T12] 

22  - When you are angry, it is not an isolated bad thing. You have encouraged a habit, adding fuel to the fire. [Epictetus, D 2.17] 

23  - Live with the gods. How? By showing them that you accept whatever they give you and doing whatever they ask of you. [Marcus Aurelius, M. 5.25] 

24  - Don’t desire things that you cannot achieve, and those which, once achieved after much sweat, make you realize they were not worth going after. [Seneca ,T12] 

25  - Calm down. Don’t be angry today. Or the following day. Count the number of days you can go without getting angry. “I used to be angry every day. Then every other day. Then every third,” and so on. If you manage to spend thirty days without getting angry, give thanks to God. Your habit was weakened at first and then destroyed. [Epictetus, D 2.17] 

26  - You are a particle of the gods, which is your mind and your reason. [ Marcus Aurelius, M. 5.27] 

27  - Our effort should not be without a result, and the result should be worthy of our effort [Seneca, T 12] 

28  - It is enough even if you seek the company of people of good character. Model your behavior after such people, whether they are alive or dead. [Epictetus, D 2.17] 

29  - You can live on earth like you mean to live in the hereafter. [ Marcus Aurelius, M. 5.29] 

30  - We must stop being busy like most people: wandering through houses, theaters, and markets. [Seneca, T12] 

31  - People want what they cannot have and try to avoid what they cannot escape. [Epictetus, D 2.13] 

LEGEND: D=Discourses by Epictetus; M=Meditations by Marcus Aurelius; T=On Tranquility by Seneca 

All quotes were taken from The Stoic Gym Publications: Stoic Choices (D), Stoic Meditations (M), and Stoic Tranquility (T)