The Wisdom of Epictetus

  • EpictetusFirst say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. 
  • Try not to react merely in the moment.  Pull back from the situation.  Take a wider view.  Compose yourself.
  • It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
  • Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them.
  • When something happens, the only thing in your power is your attitude toward it; you can either accept it or resent it.
  • Ask yourself:  Does this appearance (of events) concern the things that are within my own control or those that are not?  If it concerns anything outside your control, train yourself not to worry about it.
  • Don’t demand or expect that events happen as you would wish them do.  Accept events as they actually happen.  That way, peace is possible.
  • Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.
  • No matter where you find yourself, comport yourself as if you were a distinguished person.
  • Ask yourself, “How are my thoughts, words and deeds affecting my friends, my spouse, my neighbour, my child, my employer, my subordinates, my fellow citizens?”
  • Imagine for yourself a character, a model personality, whose example you determine to follow, in private as well as in public. 
  • What is a good person?  One who achieves tranquility by having formed the habit of asking on every occasion, “what is the right thing to do now?”
  • We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. 
  • He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.

 

The stoic philosopher Epictetus was a Greek-born slave of Rome in the first century. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *