50 Eye-Opening Stoic Quotes On Happiness 


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Stoicism has always been fascinating to me. The word Stoicism, according to the Oxford Dictionary, means “the endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint.” 

But Stoicism, the school of thought, is much deeper than that. According to DailyStoic.com, Stoicism is “an ancient philosophy that was once one of the most popular civic disciplines in the West, practiced by the rich and the impoverished, the powerful and the struggling alike in the pursuit of the Good Life.”

Further, Stoicism “provides much needed strength, wisdom, and stamina for all of life’s challenges.”

If that’s the case, who wouldn’t want to learn about Stoicism? That’s why we’ve put together this post for the best stoic quotes on happiness.


This post is all about 50 Eye-Opening Stoic Quotes On Happiness. 

stoic quotes on happiness


When Was Stoic Philosophy, or Stoicism, Founded?

Zeno of Citium is known as the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy. He founded Stoicism around 304 BC (early 3rd century BC).


Who Are Some Well-known Stoic Philosophers?

Here are a few of the most popular Stoics in history.


Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Seneca for short) was a Roman philosopher that is estimated to have been born around 4 B.C.E. According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Seneca’s “Letters to Lucilius” is a very popular Stoicism read. 

In it, Seneca writes to “to articulate his philosophical position, to defend Stoicism against opponents, to portray a philosophical life, and much more”.

In 41, he was exiled because he was charged and convicted of committing adultery. He was exiled to Corsica. In 49, his exile ended and he was able to come back to Rome.

It was around this time that Seneca became a tutor and eventual friend to Nero, someone who would eventually become Roman emperor (Emperor Nero).

Unfortunately, according to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Seneca was named as an associate in the failed Pisonian Conspiracy to overthrow Nero, and in 65 C.E., Seneca was sentenced by Nero to commit suicide.”



Epictetus was born as a slave nearly 2,000 years ago in Hierapolis, a city in ancient Greece.

His owner gave him permission to study which is when he discovered Stoic philosophy. According to DailyStoic.com, he later obtained his freedom and went on to teach philosophy in Rome for almost 25 years. 

Later in life, he founded a philosophy school in Greece where he taught up until his death.

To learn more about the Stoic ideas of Epictetus, DailyStoic.com recommends reading “Enchiridion” which is “the perfect introduction to Epictetus as it is packed with short Stoic maxims and principles”.

Here it is on Amazon if you’d like to check it out:



Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Stoic philosopher and Roman Emperor from 161 until his death in 180.

According to DailyStoic.com, “The famous historian Edward Gibbon wrote that under Marcus, ‘the Roman Empire was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of wisdom and virtue’.”

Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote in a journal for himself, which is now known as “Meditations”.

According to Amazon, “Meditations” is “a series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written.”

The teachings within this book are still very relevant today.

Here it is on Amazon if you’d like to check it out:


Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday is an author, entrepreneur, writer and modern-day Stoic. He created the very successful blog DailyStoic.com, and has written at least 10 books with over 2 million copies sold.

Some of his most popular books include “The Obstacle Is the Way” and “Ego Is the Enemy”.

Here those books are on Amazon if you’d like to check them out:


The Obstacle Is The Way

ryan holiday


Ego Is The Enemy

ryan holiday


50 Stoic Quotes On Happiness

The following Stoic quotes by the most famous Stoics offer much wisdom and insight for life – all based on the Stoicism philosophy. These quotes will help you have peace of mind and live a happier life.


1. “True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so, wants nothing.” – Seneca

2. “Think progress, not perfection.” – Ryan Holiday

3. “Focus on the moment, not the monsters that may or may not be up ahead.” – Ryan Holiday 

4. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” (The Serenity Prayer) 

5. “To argue, to complain, or worse, to just give up, these are choices. Choices that more often than not, do nothing to get us across the finish line.” – Ryan Holiday

6. “Blessings and burdens are not mutually exclusive.” – Ryan Holiday

7. “Most of us are afraid of dying. But sometimes this fear begs the question: To protect what exactly? For a lot of people the answer is: hours of television, gossiping, gorging, wasting potential, reporting to a boring job, and on and on and on. Except, in the strictest sense, is this actually a life? Is this worth gripping so tightly and being afraid of losing? It doesn’t sound like it.” – Ryan Holiday

8. “It doesn’t matter who or how many come at you, you have to be you. Confidently. Authentically. Bravely.” – Ryan Holiday

9. “You don’t control the situation, but you control what you think about it.” – Ryan Holiday

10. “You don’t have to turn this into something. It doesn’t have to upset you.” – Marcus Aurelius

11. “Each day provides its own gifts.” – Marcus Aurelius

12. “I cannot escape death, but at least I can escape the fear of it.” – Marcus Aurelius

13. “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” – Seneca

14. “You want to live but do you know how to live? You are scared of dying and tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different from being dead?” – Seneca 

15. “The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” – Seneca

16. “He suffers more than necessary, who suffers before it is necessary.” – Seneca

17. “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” – Seneca


More Stoicism Quotes About Happiness


18. “If what you have seems insufficient to you, then though you possess the world, you will yet be miserable.” – Seneca

19. “Learn how to feel joy.” – Seneca

20. “Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions — not outside.” – Marcus Aurelius

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

22. “It is impossible that happiness, and yearning for what is not present, should ever be united.” – Epictetus

23. “It is more fitting for a man to laugh at life than to lament over it.” – Seneca

24. “Life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear the future.” – Seneca

25. “God did not intend my happiness to rest with someone else.” – Marcus Aurelius

26. “What is the point of dragging up sufferings that are over, of being miserable now, because you were miserable then?” – Seneca

27. “The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius

28. “Whatever is to make us better and happy, God has placed either openly before us or close to us.” – Seneca

29. “Don’t seek for everything to happen as you wish it would, but rather wish that everything happens as it actually will -then your life will flow well.” – Epictetus

30. “A good character is the only guarantee of everlasting, carefree happiness.” – Seneca


being content equals happiness


31. “What upsets people is not things themselves, but their judgments about these things.” – Epictetus

32. “Happiness is found in doing, not merely possessing.” – Napoleon Hill

33. “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is already within yourself, your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius

34. “Contentment comes not so much from great wealth as from few wants.” – Epictetus

35. “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Laozi

36. “Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.” – Benjamin Franklin

37. “To bear trials with a calm mind robs misfortune of its strength and burden.” – Seneca

38. “Happiness is no other than soundness and perfection of mind.” – Marcus Aurelius

39. “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” – Epictetus

40. “The pleasure which we most rarely experience gives us greatest delight.” – Epictetus

41. “God has made all men to be happy.” – Epictetus

42. “Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.” – Seneca

43. “I am a happy camper so I guess I’m doing something right. Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” – Henry David Thoreau

44. “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.” – Marcus Aurelius


Daily Quotes That Are The Key to Happiness


45. “It does not matter what you bear, but how you bear it.” – Seneca

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

47. “Just keep in mind: the more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.” – Epictetus

48. “Many of the anxieties that harass you are superfluous… Expand into an ampler region, letting your thought sweep over the entire universe.” – Marcus Aurelius

49. “Does what’s happened keep you from acting with justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straightforwardness, and all other qualities that allow a person’s nature to fulfil itself? So remember this principle when something threatens to cause you pain: the thing itself was no misfortune at all; to endure it and prevail is great good fortune.” – Marcus Aurelius

50. “The obstacle is the way.” – Ryan Holiday


Final Thoughts

Stoicism philosophy is fascinating. As you can tell by these quotes, they really give great motivation for your own life, and encourage you to reach your potential.

It’s amazing to read these Stoic quotes on happiness that were created around 2,000 years ago, and see that they still apply to human beings today.

Reading between the lines of these stoic quotes on happiness, I’d say that a vast majority of them address the following Stoic beliefs:

  • Don’t take life for granted
  • Value the present moment
  • The power of the mind shouldn’t be underestimated and your thoughts can help you create a better life or an unhappy one
  • True happiness is having few wants and being content with what you have


What is your favorite Stoic quote?


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About Taylor

A few years after graduating college, Taylor made it her mission to become debt free. After paying off all $60k of debt, she began to blog about what she's really passionate about: personal development. Nowadays, Taylor blogs about the topics of Mindset, Money, Health, and Career for women.

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