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Epictetus quotes page 3

Small-minded people habitually reproach others for their own misfortunes. Average people
reproach themselves. Those who are dedicated to a life of wisdom understand that the
impulse to blame something or someone is foolishness, that there is nothing to be gained in
blaming, whether it be others or oneself.
Epictetus

Prattle is seductive. Stay out of its clutches.
Epictetus

In theory there is nothing to hinder our following what we are taught; but in life there are
many things to draw us aside.
Epictetus

Wisdom is revealed through action, not talk.
Epictetus

From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob.
Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do - now.
Epictetus

All philosophy lies in two words, sustain and abstain.
Epictetus

Conventional thinking - its means and ends - is essentially uncreative and uninteresting. Its
job is to preserve the status quo for overly self-defended individuals and institutions.
Epictetus

Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to.
Epictetus

This is our predicament: Over and over again, we lose sight of what is important and what
isn't. We crave things over which we have no control, and are not satisfied by the things
within our control.
Epictetus

Thou shalt not blame or flatter any.
Epictetus

Practice having a grateful attitude and you will be happy.
Epictetus

Stop aspiring to be anyone other than your own best self: for that does fall within your
control.
Epictetus

Take care not to casually discuss matters that are of great importance to you with people
who are not important to you. Your affairs will become drained of preciousness.
Epictetus

It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them.
Epictetus

It's better to be a good person and fulfill your obligations than to have renown and power.
Epictetus

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.
Epictetus

Other people's views and troubles can be contagious... If you encounter a downhearted
friend, a grieving parent, or a colleague who has suffered a sudden reversal of fortune, be
careful not to be overcome yourself by the apparent misfortune.
Epictetus

Character matters more than reputation.
Epictetus

It is your own convictions which compels you; that is, choice compels choice.
Epictetus

In any events, however seemingly dire, there is nothing to prevent us from searching for its
hidden opportunity. It is a failure of the imagination not to do so. But to seek out the
opportunity in situations requires a great deal of courage, for most people around you will
persist in interpreting events in the grossest terms: success or failure, good or bad, right or
wrong.
Epictetus

First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.
Epictetus

Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems.
Epictetus

The first step to living wisely is to relinquish self-conceit.
Epictetus

Since it is reason which shapes and regulates all other things, it ought not itself to be left in
disorder.
Epictetus

If we are not stupid or insincere when we say that the good or ill of man lies within his own
will, and that all beside is nothing to us, why are we still troubled?
Epictetus

If any man be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone. For
God hath made all men to enjoy felicity and constancy of good.
Epictetus

Make the necessary sacrifices that are the price for the worthiest goals: freedom,
evenmindedness, and tranquility.
Epictetus

When a man prides himself on being able to understand and interpret a difficult book, say to
yourself: If the book had been well written this man would have nothing on which to pride
himself.
Epictetus

The good or ill of a man lies within his own will.
Epictetus

What is the first business of one who studies philosophy? To part with self-conceit. For it is
impossible for any one to begin to learn what he thinks that he already knows.
Epictetus

All human beings seek the happy life, but many confuse the means - for example, wealth and
status - with that life itself.
Epictetus

Open your eyes: See things for what they really are, thereby sparing yourself the pain of
false attachments and avoidable devastation.
Epictetus

Of pleasures, those which occur most rarely give the most delight.
Epictetus

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