The last of the so-called “five good emperors,” Marcus Aurelius kept the Roman Empire safe from the Parthians and Germans between the years 161-180.
One of the most respected Roman emperors, Marcus Aurelius is best remembered for his rule driven by reason and his intellectual interest in Stoicism – a philosophy of personal ethics informed by its system of logic.
In brief, Stoicism teaches us that by self-restraint, people can develop clear judgment and inner calm. It also emphasizes the fact that the path to happiness is accepting the present moment as it is.
Influenced by Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius has written one of the greatest works of philosophy – Meditations. This series of personal writings consists of 12 books and is filled with personal notes and ideas on Stoicism.
The death of Marcus Aurelius is considered to be the end of Pax Romana, and eventually the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
Here are 20 Marcus Aurelius quotes that show you are the creator of your own happiness.
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.
The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.
When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love …
Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.
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.
Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.
Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.
Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.
The memory of everything is very soon overwhelmed in time.
Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs?
If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.
How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.
Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.
What we do now echoes in eternity.
It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.
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.
A man’s worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions.
I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.
Here is a rule to remember in future, when anything tempts you to feel bitter: not ‘This is misfortune,’ but ‘To bear this worthily is good fortune.’
Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life.