Self-control is a cornerstone of Stoic philosophy, and Epictetus, one of the most influential Stoic thinkers, has offered invaluable insights into mastering this virtue. In a world brimming with distractions and challenges, Epictetus's teachings on self-control provide guidance on how to maintain focus, composure, and resilience. This post delves into 10 essential Stoic quotes by Epictetus that encapsulate the essence of self-control and how it can transform our lives.
Top 10 Stoic Quotes on Self Control by Epictetus
1. "No man is free who is not master of himself."
Epictetus reminds us that true freedom comes from within, through self-mastery and control.
2. "We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."
This quote teaches the importance of being a good listener, an essential aspect of self-control.
3. "Curb your desire—don’t set your heart on so many things and you will get what you need."
Epictetus advises moderation in desires to achieve true fulfillment and peace.
4. “First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”
This powerful statement emphasizes aligning actions with personal values, a key to self-control.
5. "It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters."
A fundamental Stoic principle highlighting the importance of response over circumstance.
6. “Only the educated are free.”
Epictetus views education as a pathway to freedom through informed self-control and decision-making.
7. "If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid."
A call to embrace personal growth and learning, despite others' opinions, showcasing the strength of self-control in personal development.
8. “Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.”
Epictetus urges us to practice what we preach, demonstrating self-control through actions rather than words.
9. “The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.”
He emphasizes the importance of surrounding ourselves with positive influences, a proactive form of self-control.
10. "Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control."
This quote encapsulates the Stoic view of focusing on what we can control as the essence of freedom and self-control.
If you'd like to put Epictetus' Stoic wisdom into practice in your life, start journaling with stoic today.
Epictetus's teachings provide timeless wisdom on the art of self-control. By internalizing and practicing these principles, we can cultivate a stronger sense of self-discipline, leading to a more focused, balanced, and fulfilling life. Embracing these Stoic quotes in our daily journey can guide us to master our responses, desires, and actions, aligning us closer to the ideals of Stoicism and personal mastery.