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The Best Stoic Quotes on Happiness, Control, Anger and Death

Welcome to a journey through the timeless wisdom of Stoicism, where we’ll explore the best stoic quotes on various facets of life. These quotes, drawn from the great Stoic philosophers, provide profound insights into daily inspiration, navigating adversity, managing anger, understanding control, pursuing happiness, and contemplating the inevitable—death.

9 minutes read time

The Best Stoic Quote for Daily Inspiration:

Memento Mori


The Quintessential Stoic Reminder

The Stoic philosophy is replete with wisdom and guidance for living a life of virtue and resilience. Yet, among the plethora of Stoic quotes, “Memento Mori” stands as a gem that encapsulates the essence of Stoicism in just two words. Translated as “Remember you will die,” it is a succinct yet powerful reminder of the impermanence of life, serving as an anchor for daily practice.

Two Profound Words

In a world where complexity often muddles our thoughts, “Memento Mori” is a clarion call to simplicity. These two words are an uncomplicated yet profound reminder of life’s transitory nature. The Stoics, from Seneca to Marcus Aurelius, emphasised the impermanence of life as a cornerstone of their philosophy. By meditating daily on “Memento Mori,” we are prompted to face our mortality, setting the stage for living a life of purpose and meaning.

The Power of Now

Beyond its brevity, “Memento Mori” is an actionable quote. It urges us to reflect on the present moment, for it is all we truly possess. It compels us to prioritise what matters most, to embrace virtue, and to shed the trivialities that clutter our existence. This quote encourages us to live each day as if it were our last, not in reckless abandon, but with an acute awareness of our choices, values, and actions. “Memento Mori” is the rudder that keeps us on course in life’s turbulent waters.

Not Just a Stoic Quote, but a Stoic Practice

The beauty of “Memento Mori” lies in its universal applicability. Whether facing adversity, grappling with anger, or striving for happiness, this Stoic reminder remains relevant. It harmonises with Stoic themes such as resilience, emotional control, and the pursuit of virtue. This two-word aphorism has the power to guide us in our quest for a flourishing life, making it the best Stoic quote for daily use. “Memento Mori” is not just a quote; it’s a transformative daily practice that weaves Stoic philosophy into the fabric of our lives.

Best Stoic Quote on Adversity: Finding Strength in Challenges:

“I judge you unfortunate because you have never lived through misfortune. You have passed through life without an opponent—no one can ever know what you are capable of, not even you.”


Embracing Adversity: The Stoic Wisdom of Seneca

Seneca’s words resonate as one of the most compelling Stoic quotes on adversity. These words encapsulate the essence of Stoic philosophy, emphasising that adversity is not to be shunned but embraced as an invaluable teacher.

Exploring Your True Potential

Adversity, as Seneca suggests, is the crucible in which our true capabilities are forged. It is during our encounters with life’s challenges, setbacks, and obstacles that we discover the depths of our resilience and the extent of our inner strength. In this quote, Seneca admonishes that a life devoid of adversity is a life untested, a life where one’s potential remains hidden, even from themselves.

An Opportunity for Growth

In our modern world, the aversion to adversity is palpable. We seek comfort and convenience, often unaware that our hardships are our greatest teachers. Seneca’s quote serves as a poignant reminder that adversity is not a foe to be feared but a friend to be embraced. The Stoics viewed adversity as an opportunity for growth, a chance to develop wisdom, resilience, and moral character–what the Stoics call living in accordance with nature. By grappling with life’s adversities, we come to know ourselves more profoundly, unlocking our latent potential.

Flourishing with Acceptance

In practicing Stoic wisdom, we learn to be grateful for adversity, for it is through hardship that we transform and ascend. Adversity is not an obstacle; it is the path to self-discovery and self-mastery. Seneca’s quote reminds us that it is precisely during life’s adversities that we have the chance to shine and reveal our true capabilities. By adopting a Stoic perspective and greeting adversity with gratitude, we not only endure life’s challenges but also flourish in the face of them.

Best Stoic Quote on Anger: Mastering Emotional Control

“How satisfying it is to dismiss and block out any upsetting or foreign impression, and immediately to have peace in all things”

–Marcus Aurelius

Mastering Anger: The Stoic Wisdom of Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius’s reflection stands as a beacon among Stoic quotes on anger. These words convey the essence of Stoicism’s approach to emotional control and the profound wisdom of maintaining inner peace, even in the face of provocations.

Emotions are Choices

Anger is a potent and often uncontrollable emotion. It can consume reason, cloud judgment, and lead to actions that one may later regret. Marcus Aurelius’s quote offers a glimmer of hope amid this turbulent sea of emotions. It suggests that it is not only possible but profoundly satisfying to dismiss anger and maintain inner tranquility. The Stoic philosophy teaches us that emotional responses are, in fact, choices. By dismissing the initial impulse to anger, we take control of our emotions rather than allowing them to control us.

An Opportunity to Hone a Precious Skill

The quote also emphasises the immediate reward of such control: “to have peace in all things.” In a world marked by chaos and unpredictability, the ability to find peace in all circumstances is a precious skill. Marcus Aurelius reminds us that by practicing Stoic principles, we can develop this skill. In a sense, he reframes anger as a test and an opportunity. Rather than being overwhelmed by anger, we can view it as a challenge to hone our emotional control, deepening our understanding of inner peace.

The Development of Mind Mastery

In the Stoic perspective, anger is not a necessary response to life’s provocations; it is a conditioned reaction that can be unconditioned. Marcus Aurelius’s quote underscores the transformative power of Stoicism, offering a glimpse of the profound satisfaction in mastering one’s emotions and finding serenity even in the most challenging circumstances. It reminds us that the path to emotional control and inner peace is a journey well worth undertaking.

Best Stoic Quote on Control: Navigating Life’s Uncertainties

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will”


Epictetus on Control: The Gateway to Happiness

Epictetus’s timeless wisdom serves as one of the most profound Stoic quotes on the concept of control. This quote encapsulates the core of Stoic philosophy and has earned its place as an enduring guide to a life of tranquility and contentment.

Understanding our Limits

In the realm of Stoicism, Epictetus is renowned for his work on distinguishing between what is and is not within our control. His renowned work, the “Enchiridion,” is a treasure trove of insights on the Stoic mindset. This quote crystallises his teachings, highlighting that the pathway to happiness lies in understanding the boundaries of our control. It is a call to focus our mental and emotional energies on the things we can influence, rather than expending them on matters that lie beyond our sphere of influence.

We Have Full Control… of Our Minds

The quote implies that happiness is not found in external circumstances, but within our own attitudes and choices. By ceasing to worry about things beyond our control, we free ourselves from the anxiety and frustration that often accompany such concerns. Epictetus emphasises that happiness is a state of mind, and to attain it, we must cultivate the discipline of accepting the limitations of our control. This message transcends time and remains as pertinent today as it was in ancient Rome.

Learning to Live in the Moment

Furthermore, this quote serves as a beacon for those seeking peace and contentment. It invites us to embark on the journey of self-mastery, teaching us to let go of needless concerns and to focus our attention on the here and now. By understanding and living by the wisdom contained in these words, we can uncover the path to lasting happiness, underlining why it is indeed one of the best Stoic quotes on the concept of control.

Best Stoic Quote on Happiness: The Pursuit of Virtue

“A man is as unhappy as he has convinced himself he is”


Seneca’s Proclamation on Happiness: A Mirror to the Self

Seneca’s succinct yet profound statement stands as one of the most resonant Stoic quotes on happiness. Within this quote, Seneca crystallises a profound truth about the nature of human contentment and underscores the power of one’s own perceptions and beliefs in shaping their happiness.

Rewrite the Narrative

Happiness, according to Seneca, is not an objective measure. It is a subjective state of mind, heavily influenced by one’s perceptions and self-convictions. This Stoic insight compels us to reflect upon our own thought patterns and the narratives we construct about our lives. It suggests that happiness is not merely a product of external circumstances but, more significantly, the product of our internal narratives.

Happiness is Ours to Take

In a world where individuals often seek happiness in external achievements, possessions, or circumstances, Seneca’s quote challenges us to look within. It encourages us to scrutinise our thought processes and question the beliefs that may be casting shadows on our happiness. This quote is a reminder that happiness is not elusive; it is within our control. By altering our convictions and fostering a positive mindset, we can shape our own happiness.

Don’t Rely on External Factors

Furthermore, Seneca’s quote urges us to take responsibility for our own emotional well-being. It emphasises that our degree of happiness is not reliant on external factors but on our mental disposition. It underscores the power of self-awareness and the potential for self-transformation. Seneca’s wisdom resonates as a guide for those seeking to cultivate happiness from within, making it one of the most enlightening Stoic quotes on this vital aspect of human life.

Best Stoic Quote on Death: Embracing Life’s Inevitability

“Let each thing you would do, say, or intend, be like that of a dying person”

–Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius on Embracing Mortality: A Stoic Perspective on Death

This quote by Marcus Aurelius shines as a beacon among Stoic quotes on the subject of death. It holds a unique position as a bridge to the previously explored Stoic concept of “Memento Mori” and offers profound insights on living a life of wisdom and purpose.

Memento Mori with Everything

In the Stoic philosophy, the contemplation of mortality is central to understanding life’s true value. “Memento Mori,” the practice of remembering one’s mortality, serves as a daily reminder of life’s impermanence and the urgency of living virtuously. Marcus Aurelius’s quote amplifies this idea by urging us to approach every action, word, or intention as if we were on the precipice of death.

What Really Matters?

This perspective encourages us to prioritise the essential and the virtuous in our lives. By contemplating the finite nature of existence, we gain a heightened sense of the significance of our choices and intentions. The quote challenges us to abandon pettiness and focus on what truly matters. It underscores the transitory nature of life and calls us to live with intention, integrity, and a sense of duty.

Stoic Mindfulness

Furthermore, Marcus Aurelius’s quote inspires a life infused with mindfulness. By approaching each aspect of life with the awareness of mortality, we become more present and attentive. It invites us to savour the moments, to cultivate gratitude, and to align our actions with our values.

Life from Death

Ultimately, the quote connects with the Stoic principle that embracing the reality of death can lead to a better and more purposeful life. It’s a reminder that in the face of mortality, we have the opportunity to live fully and virtuously, making it one of the most compelling Stoic quotes on death.


The Stoics have gifted us with timeless wisdom that has the power to transform lives. Consequently, as you journey through these Stoic quotes and their associated themes, remember that Stoicism is not just a philosophy to read about but a way of life to embrace. These quotes offer a roadmap to resilience, wisdom, and a life lived with purpose. We invite you to embark on this enriching exploration and harness the strength of Stoic philosophy for your own personal growth and serenity.