106 Brilliant Marcus Aurelius Quotes On Leadership


This post is all about 106 Marcus Aurelius Quotes On Leadership.

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If you are looking for the best Marcus Aurelius quotes on leadership, you’ll find everything you need in this blog post.

These are the best quotes for business leaders and human beings in general who want to improve their leadership skills.


Who is Marcus Aurelius?

Marcus Aurelius was a highly influential Roman Emperor and good leader whose wisdom has carried on since his death in 180.

Born in Rome, Italy on the 26th of April in the year 121, Marcus Aurelius was an Emperor of the Roman empire from 161 to 180.

According to The History Ace, Marcus Aurelius was a true leader and was known for “waging a series of defensive wars over his lifetime, bolstering the economy of the Roman Empire, and writing one of the most influential books of all time.”

He was one of the “5 Good Emperors” and great leaders who led Rome during the Pax Romana which was a period of time that brought much peace and prosperity for Rome.

He believed that the happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. In order to live a good life and a happy life, one must not let outside events cloud their mind.

He also believed that the consequences of anger outweigh the thing that brought on the anger in the first place. He believed waking up each day and having the ability to breathe, think, and love was a precious privilege.


What is Stoicism?

Stoicism, by definition, is the “the endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint.”

Marcus Aurelius was wise man and a stoic philosopher. Stoicism in philosophy is “a philosophy of personal ethics and a methodology for seeking practical wisdom in life”.

One of the most important things that Stoics advise is that “we should not worry about things beyond our control as everything in life can be divided into two categories – things that are up to us and things that are not.”

You will see that many, if not all, of the quotes below reflect the Stoic philosophy and art of living.


106 Marcus Aurelius Quotes On Leadership

Here are the best Marcus Aurelius quotes to get your leadership journey moving in the right direction.


1. “Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.” – Marcus Aurelius

2. “Do not be ashamed of help.” – Marcus Aurelius

3. “Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?” – Marcus Aurelius

4. “In your actions, don’t procrastinate. In your conversations, don’t confuse. In your thoughts, don’t wander. In your soul, don’t be passive or aggressive. In your life, don’t be all about business.” – Marcus Aurelius

5. “If they’ve made a mistake, correct them gently and show them where they went wrong. If you can’t do that, then the blame lies with you. Or no one.” – Marcus Aurelius

6. “It is the responsibility of leadership to work intelligently with what is given, and not waste time fantasizing about a world of flawless people and perfect choices.” – Marcus Aurelius

7. “The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.” – Marcus Aurelius

8. “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.” – Marcus Aurelius

9. “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?” – Marcus Aurelius

10. “If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.” – Marcus Aurelius

11. “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.” – Marcus Aurelius

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


The Trevi Fountain in Rome which is where Marcus Aurelius ruled.
Trevi Fountain


13. “The more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.” – Marcus Aurelius

14. “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.” – Marcus Aurelius

15. “Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.” – Marcus Aurelius

16. “Be content to seem what you really are.” – Marcus Aurelius

17. “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.” – Marcus Aurelius

18. “A man’s worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions.” – Marcus Aurelius

19. “Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.” – Marcus Aurelius

20. “Don’t go on discussing what a good person should be. Just be one.”- Marcus Aurelius

21. “It is in your power to withdraw yourself whenever you desire. Perfect tranquility within consists in the good ordering of the mind, the realm of your own.” – Marcus Aurelius

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

23. “Take full account of what Excellencies you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.” – Marcus Aurelius

24. “Every living organism is fulfilled when it follows the right path for its own nature.” – Marcus Aurelius

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


A picture of Saint Peter's Basilica.
Saint Peter’s Basilica


26. “Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.” – Marcus Aurelius

27. “Neither worse then or better is a thing made by being praised.” – Marcus Aurelius

28. “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.” – Marcus Aurelius

29. “Will any man despise me? Let him see to it. But I will see to it that I may not be found doing or saying anything that deserves to be despised.” – Marcus Aurelius

30. “Whatever time you choose is the right time. Not late, not early.” – Marcus Aurelius

31. “To be like the rock that the waves keep crashing over. It stands unmoved and the raging of the sea falls still around it.” – Marcus Aurelius

32. “Do not be wise in words – be wise in deeds.” – Marcus Aurelius

33. “Kindness is invincible.” – Marcus Aurelius

34. “It is in your own power to maintain the beauty of your soul, or to be a decent human being.” – Marcus Aurelius

35. “God give me patience, to reconcile with what I am not able to change. Give me strength to change what I can. And give me wisdom to distinguish one from another.” – Marcus Aurelius

36. “The opinion of 10,000 men is of no value if none of them know anything about the subject.” – Marcus Aurelius

37. “No matter how good a life you lead, you won’t please everyone. Someone will be glad to see you go.” – Marcus Aurelius

38. “Nothing happens to any man that he is not formed by nature to bear.” – Marcus Aurelius


A beautiful view of Rome, who Marcus Aurelius ruled, about 2,000 years ago.
Rome, Italy


39. “Pride is a master of deception: when you think you’re occupied in the weightiest business, that’s when he has you in his spell.” – Marcus Aurelius

40. “The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.” – Marcus Aurelius

41. “Dream big dreams; only big dreams have the power to move mens souls…” – Marcus Aurelius

42. “How much time he saves who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks.” – Marcus Aurelius

43. “There’s nothing more insufferable than people who boast about their own humility.” – Marcus Aurelius

44. “If unwilling to rise in the morning, say to thyself, ‘I awake to do the work of a man.’” – Marcus Aurelius

45. “If you’re honest and straightforward and mean well, it should show in your eyes. It should be unmistakable.” – Marcus Aurelius

46. “No matter what anyone says or does, my task is to be good.” – Marcus Aurelius

47. “In a sense, people are our proper occupation. Our job is to do them good and put up with them.” – Marcus Aurelius

48. “What we do now echoes in eternity.” – Marcus Aurelius

49. “Self reliance, always. And cheerfulness.” – Marcus Aurelius

50. “Do external things distract you? Then make time for yourself to learn something worthwhile; stop letting yourself be pulled in all directions.” – Marcus Aurelius


More Marcus Aurelius Quotes On Leadership


51. “Give thyself time to learn something new and good, and cease to be whirled around.” – Marcus Aurelius

52. “A man when he has done a good act, does not call out for others to come and see, but he goes on to another act, as a vine goes on to produce again the grapes in season.” – Marcus Aurelius

53. “Goodness—what defines a good person. Keep to it in everything you do.” – Marcus Aurelius

54. “It is quite possible to be a good man without anyone realizing it.” – Marcus Aurelius

55. “To feel affection for people even when they make mistakes is uniquely human. You can do it, if you simply recognize: that they’re human too, that they act out of ignorance, against their will, and that you’ll both be dead before long” – Marcus Aurelius

56. “Use the setback to practice other virtues.” – Marcus Aurelius

57. “A key point to bear in mind: The value of attentiveness varies in proportion to its object. You’re better off not giving the small things more time than they deserve.” – Marcus Aurelius

58. “Anywhere you can lead your life, you can lead a good one.” – Marcus Aurelius

59. “Everywhere, at each moment, you have the option: to accept this event with humility, to treat this person as he should be treated, to approach this thought with care, so that nothing irrational creeps in.” – Marcus Aurelius

60. “Remember, nothing belongs to you but your flesh and blood—and nothing else is under your control.” – Marcus Aurelius

61. “Everywhere, at each moment, you have the option: to accept this event with humility [will]; to treat this person as he should be treated [action]; to approach this thought with care, so that nothing irrational creeps in [perception].” – Marcus Aurelius

62. “Learn to ask of all actions, “Why are they doing that?” Starting with your own.” – Marcus Aurelius


The Spanish Steps of Rome
The Spanish Steps


63. “Work done with anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self surrender.” – Marcus Aurelius

64. “Receive without conceit, release without struggle.” – Marcus Aurelius

65. “Practice even what seems impossible.” – Marcus Aurelius

66. “Stick to what’s in front of you – idea, action, utterance.” – Marcus Aurelius

67. “The truly fortunate person has created his own good fortune through good habits of the soul, good intentions, and good actions.” – Marcus Aurelius

68. “Let no act be done without a purpose.” – Marcus Aurelius

69. “If you don’t have a consistent goal in life, you can’t live it in a consistent way.” – Marcus Aurelius

70. “We shrink from change; yet is there anything that can come into being without it?” – Marcus Aurelius

71. “Be like the cliff against which the waves continually break; but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it.” – Marcus Aurelius

72. “Your character is simply the sum of your thoughts over time.” – Marcus Aurelius

73. “People exist for one another. You can instruct or endure them.” – Marcus Aurelius

74. “What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius

75. “On every occasion a man should ask himself, Is this one of the unnecessary things?”- Marcus Aurelius


A picture of The Colosseum.
The Colosseum


Even More Marcus Aurelius Quotes On Leadership


76. “There is nothing new: all things are both familiar and short-lived.” – Marcus Aurelius

77. “Because most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquility.” – Marcus Aurelius

78. “Perfection of character: to live your last day, every day, without frenzy, or sloth, or pretense.” – Marcus Aurelius

79. “Yes, you can—if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered, irritable.” – Marcus Aurelius

80. “Fire feeds on obstacles.” – Marcus Aurelius

81. “That kindness is invincible, provided it’s sincere- not ironic or an act. What can even the most vicious person do if you keep treating him with kindness and gently set him straight.” – Marcus Aurelius

82. “The only thing that isn’t worthless: to live this life out truthfully and rightly. And be patient with those who don’t.” – Marcus Aurelius

83. “It’s normal to feel pain in your hands and feet, if you’re using your feet as feet and your hands as hands. And for a human being to feel stress is normal – if he’s living a normal life. And if it’s normal, how can it be bad?” – Marcus Aurelius

84. “Don’t imagine that something is good for you if, in pursuing it, you must break a promise, harm anyone else, lose self-respect, act hypocritically, or hide in shame.” – Marcus Aurelius

85. “What does it matter to you if they say x about you, or think y?” – Marcus Aurelius

86. “That which isn’t good for the hive, isn’t good for the bee.” – Marcus Aurelius

87. “To be feared is to fear: no one has been able to strike terror into others and at the same time enjoy peace of mind himself.” – Marcus Aurelius

88. “A real man doesn’t give way to anger and discontent, and such a person has strength, courage, and endurance — unlike the angry and complaining. The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

89. “You don’t have to turn this into something. It doesn’t have to upset you. Things can’t shape our decisions by themselves.” – Marcus Aurelius

90. “Stay calm and serene regardless of what life throws at you.” – Marcus Aurelius

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

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


The Pantheon in Rome, where Marcus Aurelius was an Emperor.
The Pantheon


93. “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

94. “Let not your mind run on what you lack as much as on what you have already.” – Marcus Aurelius

95. “It’s silly to try to escape other people’s faults. They are inescapable. Just try to escape your own.” – Marcus Aurelius

96. “A man’s true delight is to do the things he was made for.” Marcus Aurelius

97. “The best answer to anger is silence.” – Marcus Aurelius

98. “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”. – Marcus Aurelius

99. “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact, Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” – Marcus Aurelius

100. “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.” – Marcus Aurelius

101. “When someone is properly grounded in life, they shouldn’t have to look outside themselves for approval.” – Marcus Aurelius

102. “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.” – Marcus Aurelius

103. “Begin – to begin is half the work, let half still remain; again begin this, and thou wilt have finished.” – Marcus Aurelius

104. “I’m going to be meeting with people today who talk too much – people who are selfish, egotistical, ungrateful. But I won’t be surprised or disturbed, for I can’t imagine a world without such people.” – Marcus Aurelius

105.  “Receive wealth or prosperity without arrogance; and be ready to let it go.” – Marcus Aurelius

106. “Every living organism is fulfilled when it follows the right path for its own nature.” – Marcus Aurelius


What is your favorite Marcus Aurelius leadership quote? I was able to visit Rome, Italy not too long ago, and it is beautiful. The rich history that it has makes it even more amazing!


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