Seven Pearls of Wisdom from Epictetus


Now, who is Epictetus you may ask?

He was a Greek philosopher that lived about 1900 years ago. When he was young he was a slave in Rome but was later released and started to teach philosophy first in Rome and later on in Greece.

Epictetus was somewhat of a lonesome minimalist.

He lived with few possessions and by himself for a long time. He also seems to never have written anything, but luckily his thoughts were recorded by his pupil Arrian.

Here are seven excellent pearls of wisdom from Epictetus.

If you are going your own way, prepare for reactions.

“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.”

Plus…

You choose to be insulted.

“It is not he who reviles or strikes you who insults you, but your opinion that these things are insulting.”

Forget about what you think you know.

“It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows.”

Listen.

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

Appreciate what you have.

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”

Notice what is reflected.

“When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.”

Suffering is optional. And so is happiness.

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

“I must die. Must I then die lamenting? I must be put in chains. Must I then also lament? I must go into exile. Does any man then hinder me from going with smiles and cheerfulness and contentment?”

“It is not death or pain that is to be dreaded, but the fear of pain or death.”

Re-posted from The Positivity Blog http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2008/02/22/epictetus-top-7-timeless-pearls-of-wisdom/

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