Best Stoic Quotes On Control

Stoicism plays a crucial role in understanding how important it is to be aware of things which we can control and those we cannot control. This concept will transform your perception of adversity and will bring more peace to your life.

Ben Gruber

1/18/2024

A wise Stoic philosopher writing his journal about quotes on control
A wise Stoic philosopher writing his journal about quotes on control

The Power Of Control

Stoic philosophers like Marcus Aurelius or Seneca understood the urgency and the importance of mastering one's emotions. In our modern world, it's tougher to work with our feelings and emotions as we are surrounded by so many external things and events.

The magic formula is very simple yet so complicated to follow as it requires rigorous training and mental focus. We are often hit and controlled by external things which we cannot control and are out of our power, but we repeatedly allow external circumstances to shape our mood, happiness and sometimes even health.
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Stoic beliefs on control revolve around the notion that individuals have the power to control their thoughts, emotions, and actions. According to Stoic philosophy, true happiness and peace of mind can only be achieved by accepting and embracing what is within our control, while letting go of what is outside of our control.

Stoics emphasize the importance of developing inner strength and resilience, focusing on the present moment rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

They believe that by practicing self-discipline and cultivating a rational mindset, one can navigate through life's challenges with grace and equanimity. Stoicism teaches us to detach ourselves from external circumstances and instead find contentment and fulfilment from within, ultimately leading to a more balanced and harmonious existence.

What Things We Cannot Control?

For example, we cannot control what other people think and say about us, but many people pay more attention to the opinions of others than to theirs. This will negatively impact confidence as you start believing what others are saying about you.

The same as you can't control the weather, you can't control if the flight is delayed due to a bad one. You simply can't do anything about it. You can't control heavy traffic on the road, yet so many people are losing their calmness. You can't control other's people attitudes if they are not willing to change for the better. We can't control if someone doesn't like us, that's their business.

What Things We Can Control?

You have to realize that sometimes you don't control the situation, but you can control what you think about it and how you react to it.

We can control how hard we work and how much effort we put into any activity. We can control the words that are coming from our mouths. We control how to regulate our emotions and how we are affected by more stressful situations. We also control whether we are good or bad, whether we love wholeheartedly, whether we have a purpose in our life, whether we want to be honest, whether we exercise, whether we are living a healthy life and the list goes on.

Let's now delve into the best stoic quotes that will help you understand why it's crucial to focus rather on things we can control than on those we can't control.

Stoic Quotes On Control

"The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to controllable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own..." —Epictetus

"How many have laid waste to your life when you weren't aware of what you were losing, how much was wasted in pointless grief, foolish joy, greedy desire, and social amusements—how little of your own was left to you. You will realize you are dying before your time." —Seneca

"All you need are these: certainty of judgement in the present moment, action for the common good in the present moment, and an attitude of gratitude in the present moment for anything that comes your way." —Marcus Aurelius

"Let all your efforts be directed to something, let it keep that end in view. it's not the activity that disturbs people, but false conceptions of things that drive them mad." —Seneca

"The proper work of the mind is the exercise of choice, refusal, yearning, repulsion, preparation, purpose, and assent. What then can pollute and clog the mind's proper functioning? Nothing but its own corrupt decisions." —Epictetus

"We must give up many things to which we are addicted, considering them to be good. Otherwise, courage will vanish, which should continually test itself. The greatness of soul will be lost, which can't stand out unless it disdains as petty what the mob regards as desirable." —Seneca

"Some things are in our control, while others are not. We control our opinion, choice, desire, aversion, and, in a word, everything of our own doing. We don't control our body, property, reputation, position, and, in a word, everything not of our own doing. Even more, the things in our control are by nature free, unhindered, and unobstructed, while those not in our control are weak, slavish, can be hindered, and are not our own." —Epictetus

"For if a person shifts their caution to their own reasoned choices and the acts of those choices, they will at the same time gain the will to avoid, but if they shift their caution away from their own reasoned choices to thigns not under their control, seeking to avoid what is controlled by others, they will then be agigated, fearful, and unstable." —Epictetus

"Keep this thought at the ready at daybreak, abd 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

"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." —Marcus Aurelius

"Understand at last that you have something in you more powerful and divine than what causes the bodily passions and pulls you like a mere puppet. What thoughts now occupy my mind? Is it not fear, suspicion, desire, or something like that." —Marcus Aurelius

"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

"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

"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

"We have the power to hold no opinion about a thing and to not let it upset our state of mind—for things have no natural power to shape our judgements." —Marcus Aurelius

"Keep a constant guard over your perceptions, for it is no small thing you are protecting, but your respect, trustworthiness and steadiness, peace of mind, freedom from pain and fear, in a word your freedom. For what would you sell these things?" —Epictetus

"You shouldn't give circumstances the power to rouse anger, for they don't care at all." —Marcus Aurelius

"An important place to begin in philosophy is this: a clear perception of one's own ruling principle." —Epictetus

"These things don't go together. You must be a unified human being, either good or bad. You must diligently work either on your own reasoning or on things out of your control—take great care with the inside and not what's outside, which is to say, stand with the philosopher, or else with the mob!" —Epictetus

"Your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought, for the human spirit is colored by such impressions." —Marcus Aurelius

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