Marcus Aurelius Quotes On Life, Love and Death

Marcus Aurelius quotes remain relevant and insightful today. Here are some of his best quotes on happiness, success, and living a good life.

marcus aurelius meditations quotes

PAGE CONTENT:

  • Marcus Aurelius Short Biography
  • 24 Inspirational Marcus Aurelius quotes
  • 30 Marcus Aurelius quotes  on Life 
  • 6 Marcus Aurelius quotes on love
  • 13 Marcus Aurelius quotes on death 

The Life and Times of Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius was born on April 26, 121 A.D. to Ceasar Marcus Annius Verus and Domitia Lucilla. He was raised in Rome and educated by some of the best teachers in the empire. In 138 A.D., he married Faustina the Younger, and they had fourteen children.

 He became emperor in 161 A.D. following the death of his adoptive father, Antoninus Pius, and reigned until his death on March 17, 180 A.D.

Marcus Aurelius is best known for his philosophical work, Meditations, which he wrote while on a campaign. In it, he reflects on his own life and the nature of the universe. He also provides advice on how to live a good life.

Despite his philosophical outlook, Marcus Aurelius was faced with many challenges as emperor. He had to deal with wars, rebellions, and plague. He also had to deal with the increasing power of the Roman bureaucracy.

Marcus Aurelius was a complex figure, who was both a great emperor and a great philosopher. He is an important figure in both Roman and Western history.

Inspirational Marcus Aurelius quotes

marcus aurelius quotes
  1. “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

2. “When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love …”

3. “The things you think about determine the quality of your mind.”

4. “Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”

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

6. “Confine yourself to the present.”

7. “Don’t go on discussing what a good person should be. Just be one.”

8. “A man’s worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions.”

9. “Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.”

10. “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.”

Famous Marcus Aurelius quotes

11. “The happiness of those who want to be popular depends on others; the happiness of those who seek pleasure fluctuates with moods outside their control; but the happiness of the wise grows out of their own free acts.”

12. “Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.”

13. “If you are pained by external things, it is not they that disturb you, but your own judgement of them. And it is in your power to wipe out that judgement now.”

14. “Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil.”

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

16. “No man is happy who does not think himself so.”

17. “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”

18. “If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.”

19. “The memory of everything is very soon overwhelmed in time.”

20. “Do not waste what remains of your life in speculating about your neighbors, unless with a view to some mutual benefit. To wonder what so-and-so is doing and why, or what he is saying, or thinking, or scheming—in a word, anything that distracts you from fidelity to the ruler within you—means a loss of opportunity for some other task.”

Thought-Provoking Marcus Aurelius quotes

21. “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”

22. “Your days are numbered. Use them to throw open the windows of your soul to the sun. If you do not, the sun will soon set, and you with it.”

23. “Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too.”

24. “As far as you can, get into the habit of asking yourself in relation to any action taken by another: “What is his point of reference here?” But begin with yourself: examine yourself first.”

Marcus Aurelius quotes  on Life 

marcus aurelius quotes on life

25. “Life is opinion.”

26. “Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life.”

27. “Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.”

28. “The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.”

29. “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

30. “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.”

Motivational Marcus Aurelius quotes

31. “Live out your life in truth and justice, tolerant of those who are neither true nor just.”

32. “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

33. “Perfection of character is this: to live each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, without apathy, without pretence.”

34. “The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.”

35. “When another blames you or hates you, or people voice similar criticisms, go to their souls, penetrate inside and see what sort of people they are. You will realize that there is no need to be racked with anxiety that they should hold any particular opinion about you.”

36. “For it is in your power to retire into yourself whenever you choose.”

37. “Life is neither good or evil, but only a place for good and evil.”

38. “You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can’t control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.”

39. “All things of the body stream away like a river, all things of the mind are dreams and delusion; life is warfare, and a visit to a strange land; the only lasting fame is oblivion.”

40. “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

Marcus Aurelius quotes To Live By

41. “Do not act as if you were going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good.”

42. “Do what you will. Even if you tear yourself apart, most people will continue doing the same things.”

43. “The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.”

44. “Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”

45. “Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs?”

marcus aurelius god quote

46. “What we cannot bear removes us from life; what remains can be borne.”

47. “How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.”

48. “Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?”

49. “If any man despises me, that is his problem. My only concern is not doing or saying anything deserving of contempt.”

Best Marcus Aurelius quotes

50. “Every living organism is fulfilled when it follows the right path for its own nature.”

51. “The happiness and unhappiness of the rational, social animal depends not on what he feels but on what he does; just as his virtue and vice consist not in feeling but in doing.”

52. “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

53. “Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what’s left and live it properly. What doesn’t transmit light creates its own darkness.”

54. “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.”

Marcus Aurelius quotes on love

55. “Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together,but do so with all your heart.”

56. “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”

57. “When you arise in the moring, think of what a precious privelege it is to be alive– to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love”

58. “To love only what happens, what was destined. No greater harmony.”

59. “Adapt yourself to the life you have been given; and truly love the people with whom destiny has surrounded you.”

60. “It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.”

Marcus Aurelius quotes on death 

marcus aurelius famous quotes

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

62. “Do not act as if you had ten thousand years to throw away. Death stands at your elbow. Be good for something while you live and it is in your power.”

63. “Everything of the body is a river. Everything of the soul is dream and vapour. Life is war and the abode of a stranger. The only fame after death is oblivion.”

64. “Death smiles at us all; all we can do is smile back.”

65. “We must make haste then, not only because we are daily nearer to death, but also because the conception of things and the understanding of them cease first.”

66. “Death is a release from the impressions of the senses, and from desires that make us their puppets, and from the vagaries of the mind, and from the hard service of the flesh.”

67. “But death and life, success and failure, pain and pleasure, wealth and poverty, all these happen to good and bad alike, and they are neither noble or shameful—and hence neither good nor bad.”

68. “Don’t let yourself forget how many doctors have died, furrowing their brows over how many deathbeds.”

69. “In everything that you do, pause and ask yourself if death is a dreadful thing because it deprives you of this”

70. “Death hangs over thee. While thou livest, while it is in thy power, be good.”

71. “In everything that you do, pause and ask yourself if death is a dreadful thing because it deprives you of this.”

72. “Meditate upon what you ought to be in body and soul when death overtakes you; meditate on the brevity of life, and the measureless gulf of eternity behind it and before, and upon the frailty of everything material.”

73. “There is no man so blessed that some who stand by his deathbed won’t hail the occasion with delight.”

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