Fortitude & Resilience; 10 Stoic Quotes
10 Stoic quotes, from the great philosophers, to aid you in fortitude & resilience
Based on Ryan Holiday’s bestseller, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living.
The centred focus for the month of September was fortitude & resilience.
Fortitude & Resilience
Fortitude is the act of having great courage during times of pain or adversity.
Fortitude is not letting anything tear you down — you display courage and perseverance no matter what.
Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulty or adversity.
Everyone will be plagued by difficulty at one point or another — it is unavoidable.
However, resilience enables you to bounce back and return to strength.
Throughout the month of September, Ryan Holiday outlines key principles behind fortitude & resilience and how to achieve those two virtues.
I. A Hard Winter Training
“We must undergo a hard winter training and not rush into things for which we haven’t prepared.”
— EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 1.2.32
II. What Would Less Look Like
“Let us get used to dining out without the crowds, to being a slave to fewer slaves, to getting clothes only for their real purpose, and to living in more modest quarters.”
— SENECA, ON TRANQUILITY OF MIND, 9.3b
III. Focus On What Is Yours Alone
“Remember, then, if you deem what is by nature slavish to be free, and what is not your own to be yours, you will be shackled and miserable, blaming both gods and other people. But if you deem as your own only what is yours, and what belongs to others as truly not yours, then no one will ever be able to coerce or to stop you, you will find no one to blame or accuse, you will do nothing against your will, you will have no enemy, no one will harm you, because no harm can affect you.”
— EPICTETUS, ENCHIRIDION, 1.3
IV. A Different Way To Pray
“Try praying differently, and see what happens: Instead of asking for ‘a way to sleep with her,’ try asking for ‘a way to stop desiring to sleep with her.’ Instead of ‘a way to get rid of him,’ try asking for ‘a way to not crave his demise.’ Instead of ‘a way to not lose my child,’ try asking for ‘a way to lose my fear of it.’”
— MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 9.40.(6)
V. Anyone Can Get Lucky, Not Everyone Can Persevere
“Success comes to the lowly and to the poorly talented, but the special characteristic of a great person is to triumph over the disasters and panics of human life.”
— SENECA, ON PROVIDENCE, 4.1
VI. Flexibility Of The Will
“Remember that to change your mind and to follow someone’s correction are consistent with a free will. For the action is yours alone — to fulfill its purpose in keeping with your impulse and judgment, and yes, with your intelligence.”
— MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.16
VII. No Pain No Gain
“Difficulties show a person’s character. So when a challenge confronts you, remember that God is matching you with a younger sparring partner, as would a physical trainer. Why? Becoming an Olympian takes sweat! I think no one has a better challenge than yours, if only you would use it like an athlete would that younger sparring partner.”
— EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 1.24.1–2
VIII. Dealing With Pain
“Whenever you suffer pain, keep in mind that it’s nothing to be ashamed of and that it can’t degrade your guiding intelligence, nor keep it from acting rationally and for the common good. And in most cases you should be helped by the saying of Epicurus, that pain is never unbearable or unending, so you can remember these limits and not add to them in your imagination. Remember too that many common annoyances are pain in disguise, such as sleepiness, fever and loss of appetite. When they start to get you down, tell yourself you are giving in to pain.”
— MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 7.64
IX. You Can’t Touch Me
“If you lay violent hands on me, you’ll have my body, but my mind will remain with Stilpo.”
— ZENO, QUOTED IN DIOGENES LAERTIUS, LIVES OF THE EMINENT PHILOSOPHERS, 7.1.24
X. What Time Off Is For
“Leisure without study is death — a tomb for the living person.”
SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 82.4