Title: The Daily Stoic Authors: Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman Category:#books Number of Highlights: 35 Date: 2022-07-17 Last Highlighted: 2022-07-12


Epictetus is reminding you that serenity and stability are results of your choices and judgment, not your environment. If you seek to avoid all disruptions to tranquility—other people, external events, stress—you will never be successful. Your problems will follow you wherever you run and hide. But if you seek to avoid the harmful and disruptive judgments that cause those problems, then you will be stable and steady wherever you happen to be. (329)


“Keep this thought at the ready at daybreak, and through the day and night—there is only one path to happiness, and that is in giving up all outside of your sphere of choice, regarding nothing else as your possession, surrendering all else to God and Fortune.” —EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 4.4.39 (334)

“We control our reasoned choice and all acts that depend on that moral will. What’s not under our control are the body and any of its parts, our possessions, parents, siblings, children, or country—anything with which we might associate.” —EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 1.22.10 (347)

“Pass through this brief patch of time in harmony with nature, and come to your final resting place gracefully, just as a ripened olive might drop, praising the earth that nourished it and grateful to the tree that gave it growth.” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 4.48.2 (420)

“A podium and a prison is each a place, one high and the other low, but in either place your freedom of choice can be maintained if you so wish.” —EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 2.6.25 (436)

“Your principles can’t be extinguished unless you snuff out the thoughts that feed them, for it’s continually in your power to reignite new ones… . It’s possible to start living again! See things anew as you once did—that is how to restart life!” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 7.2 (450)

“Ask yourself the following first thing in the morning: What am I lacking in attaining freedom from passion? What for tranquility? What am I? A mere body, estate-holder, or reputation? None of these things. What, then? A rational being. What then is demanded of me? Meditate on your actions. How did I steer away from serenity? What did I do that was unfriendly, unsocial, or uncaring? What did I fail to do in all these things?” —EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 4.6.34–35 (463)

“I will keep constant watch over myself and—most usefully—will put each day up for review. For this is what makes us evil—that none of us looks back upon our own lives. We reflect upon only that which we are about to do. And yet our plans for the future descend from the past.” —SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 83.2 (482)

What bad habit did I curb today? How am I better? Were my actions just? How can I improve? (489)


“From Rusticus … I learned to read carefully and not be satisfied with a rough understanding of the whole, and not to agree too quickly with those who have a lot to say about something.” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 1.7.3 (514)

The more things we desire and the more we have to do to earn or attain those achievements, the less we actually enjoy our lives—and the less free we are. (547)


“Erase the false impressions from your mind by constantly saying to yourself, I have it in my soul to keep out any evil, desire or any kind of disturbance—instead, seeing the true nature of things, I will give them only their due. Always remember this power that nature gave you.” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.29 (550)

The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, (639)


Every time you get upset, a little bit of life leaves the body. Are these really the things on which you want to spend that priceless resource? Don’t be afraid to make a change—a big one. (802)


it is a great failing “to see yourself as more than you are.” (1061)


“No slavery is more disgraceful,” he quipped, “than one which is self-imposed.” (1092)


As Epictetus put it, “It is impossible for a person to begin to learn what he thinks he already knows.” (1235)


There’s a saying—attributed to Bil Keane, the cartoonist—worth remembering: “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” (1250)


You are not your body and hair-style, but your capacity for choosing well. If your choices are beautiful, so too will you be.” —EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 3.1.39b–40a (1267)

hypolêpsis, which means “taking up”—of (1287)

The diseases of the rational soul are long-standing and hardened vices, such as greed and ambition—they have put the soul in a straitjacket and have begun to be permanent evils inside it. To put it briefly, this sickness is an unrelenting distortion of judgment, so things that are only mildly desirable are vigorously sought after.” —SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 75.11 (1350)

… freedom isn’t secured by filling up on your heart’s desire but by removing your desire.” —EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 4.1.175 (1381)

Why then are we offended? Why do we complain? This is what we’re here for.” —SENECA, ON PROVIDENCE, 5.7b–8 (2334)

We cry to God Almighty, how can we escape this agony? Fool, don’t you have hands? Or could it be God forgot to give you a pair? Sit and pray your nose doesn’t run! Or, rather just wipe your nose and stop seeking a scapegoat.” —EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 2.16.13 (2345)

Publilius Syrus reminds us with an epigram, “Rivers are easiest to cross at their source.” (2409)


“If you find something very difficult to achieve yourself, don’t imagine it impossible—for anything possible and proper for another person can be achieved as easily by you.” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 6.19 (2414)

How much more harmful are the consequences of anger and grief than the circumstances that aroused them in us!” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 11.18.8 T (2425)

Every event has two handles—one by which it can be carried, and one by which it can’t. If your brother does you wrong, don’t grab it by his wronging, because this is the handle incapable of lifting it. Instead, use the other—that he is your brother, that you were raised together, and then you will have hold of the handle that carries.” —EPICTETUS, ENCHIRIDION, 43 (2472)

“To the youngster talking nonsense Zeno said, ‘The reason why we have two ears and only one mouth is so we might listen more and talk less.’” —DIOGENES LAERTIUS, LIVES OF EMINENT PHILOSOPHERS, 7.1.23 (2489)

Don’t let your reflection on the whole sweep of life crush you. Don’t fill your mind with all the bad things that might still happen. Stay focused on the present situation and ask yourself why it’s so unbearable and can’t be survived.” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.36 (2537)

We should take wandering outdoor walks, so that the mind might be nourished and refreshed by the open air and deep breathing.” —SENECA, ON TRANQUILITY OF MIND, 17.8 (2565)

As Nietzsche would later say: “It is only ideas gained from walking that have any worth.” (2573)


Philosophy calls for simple living, but not for penance—it’s quite possible to be simple without being crude.” —SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 5.5 (2664)

The goodness inside you is like a small flame, and you are its keeper. It’s your job, today and every day, to make sure that it has enough fuel, that it doesn’t get obstructed or snuffed out. (2755)