Seneca on Virtue

“Never to wrong others takes one a long way towards peace of mind…A guilty person sometimes has the luck to escape detection, but never to feel sure of it.”

~ Seneca

Cato The Younger on Silence

“I begin to speak only when I’m certain what I’ll say isn’t better left unsaid.”

~ Cato the Younger

Epictetus on Perseverance

“Progress is not achieved by luck or accident, but by working on yourself daily.”

~ Epictetus

Epictetus on Approval

“If you are ever tempted to look for outside approval, realize that you have compromised your integrity. If you need a witness, be your own.”

~ Epictetus

Marcus Aurelius on Anger

“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Epictetus on Learning

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

~ Epictetus

Marcus Aurelius on Help

“Don’t be ashamed to need help. Like a soldier storming a wall, you have a mission to accomplish. And if you’ve been wounded and you need a comrade to pull you up? So what?”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Seneca on Contentment

“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

Marcus Aurelius on Obstacles

“Our actions may be impeded … but there can be no impeding our intentions or our dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting.”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius on Harm

“It can ruin your life only if it ruins your character. Otherwise it cannot harm you — inside or out.”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Seneca on Desire

“You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire.”

~ Seneca

George Eliot on Time

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

~ George Eliot

Seamus Heaney on Life

“Whoever remains
For long here in this earthly life
Will enjoy and endure more than enough.”

~ Beowulf / Translation Seamus Heaney

Seneca on Time

“Hold every hour in your grasp. Lay hold of today’s task, and you will not need to depend so much upon tomorrow’s. While we are postponing, life speeds by.”

~ Seneca

Seneca on Happiness

“The human condition is a good one in that no one is unhappy except by his own fault.”

~ Seneca

Marcus Aurelius on Tranquility

“The tranquility that comes when you stop caring what they say. Or think, or do. Only what you do.”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Epictetus on Character

Circumstances don’t make the man, they only reveal him to himself.

~ Epictetus

Cato The Elder on Gossip

“We cannot control the evil tongues of others; but a good life enables us to disregard them.”

~ Cato the Elder

Seamus Heaney on Justice

“History says, Don’t hope On this side of the grave, But then, once in a lifetime The longed-for tidal wave Of justice can rise up And hope and history rhyme. . . Believe that a farther shore Is reachable from here. Believe in miracles And cures and healing wells.”

~ Seamus Heaney

Mary Oliver on Creativity

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”

~ Mary Oliver

Aristotle on Wisdom

“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.”

~ Aristotle

Seamus Heaney on Action

“Anyone with gumption and a sharp mind will take the measure of two things: what’s said and what’s done.”

~ Seamus Heaney

Marcus Aurelius on Virtue

“The only thing that isn’t worthless: to live this life out truthfully and rightly. And be patient with those who don’t.”

~ Marcus Aurelius