Seneca Stoic Quotes & Sayings

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SENECA: 4 BC-65 AD, Spanish-born Roman Statesman, philosopher

Life is neither a good nor an evil: it is a field for good and evil.

He who is brave is free.~Seneca
Life is never incomplete if it is an honorable one.At whatever point you leave life, if you leave it in the right way, it is whole.
Seneca Quotes
If you sit in judgment, investigate, if you sit in supreme power, sit in command.
A thousand approaches lie to open death.
The good things of prosperity are to be wished; but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.
Where the fear is, happiness is not.
We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers.
The final hour when we cease to exist does not itself bring death, it merely of itself completes the death-process.We reach death at that moment, but we have been a long time on the way.
What once were vices are manners now.
There is never a time when new distraction will not show up; we sow them, so several will grow from the same seed.
What is true belongs to me.
Seneca Quotes

Seneca Quotes on Life

Life is neither a good nor an evil: it is a field for good and evil .
Life is never incomplete if it is an honorable one.At whatever point you leave life, if you leave it in the right way, it is whole.
If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living.
He whose daily life has been a rounded whole, is easy in his mind.
Life is long if you know how to live it.
Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.
It is the bounty of nature that we live, but of philosophy, that we live well; which is, in truth, a greater benefit than life itself.
One who daily puts the finishing touches on his life is never in want of time.
It is more fitting for a man to laugh at life than to lament over it.~Seneca
Wisdom does not show itself so much in precept as in life -- in firmness of mind and a mastery of appetite.It teaches us to do as well as to talk; and to make our words and actions all of a color.~Seneca
This life is only a prelude to eternity.
While we are postponing life speeds by.
Precepts or maxims are of great weight; and a few useful ones on hand do more to produce a happy life than the volumes we can't find.~Seneca
As for old age, embrace and love it.It abounds with pleasure if you know how to use it.The gradually declining years are among the sweetest in a man's life, and I maintain that, even when they have reached the extreme limit, they have their pleasure still.~Seneca
You are scared of dying-and, tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different than being dead?
What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.
Life is warfare.~Seneca - Life and Living
A happy life is one which is in accordance with its own nature.~Seneca - Individuality
So live with men as if God saw you and speak to God, as if men heard you.~Seneca - Life and Living
I will govern my life and thoughts as if the whole world were to see the one and read the other, for what does it signify to make anything a secret to my neighbor, when to God, who is the searcher of our hearts, all our privacies are open? ~Seneca
It is more civilized to make fun of life than to bewail it
Most men ebb and flow in wretchedness between the fear of death and the hardship of life; they are unwilling to live, and yet they do not know how to die.~Seneca

Seneca Quotes on Love

Men love their country, not because it is great, but because it is their own.
Consult your friend on all things, especially on those which respect yourself.His counsel may then be useful where your own self-love might impair your judgment.
Those whom true love has held, it will go on holding.~Seneca - Love
Conversation has a kind of charm about it, an insinuating and insidious something that elicits secrets just like love or liquor.~Seneca - Conversation
Retirement without the love of letters is a living burial.
If you wish to be loved; Love! ~Seneca - Love
Friendship always benefits; love sometimes injures.~Seneca - Friends and Friendship

Seneca Quotes on Anger

Anger: an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.~Seneca - Anger
The deferring of anger is the best antidote to anger.~Seneca - Anger
Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.~Seneca - Hatred
Anger is like those ruins which smash themselves on what they fall.~Seneca - Anger
The greatest remedy for anger is delay.

Seneca Quotes on Fear

Where the fear is, happiness is not.
We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.~Seneca - Fear
In time we hate that which we often fear.
They lose the day in expectation of the night, and the night in fear of the dawn.
The greatest man is he who chooses the right with the most invincible resolution, who resists the sorest temptation from within and without; who bears the heaviest burdens cheerfully; who is calm in storms; and most fearless under menaces and frowns; whose reliance on truth, on virtue, and on God is most unfaltering.
A person's fears are lighter when the danger is at hand.~Seneca - Fear
He is a king who fears nothing, he is a king who desires nothing! ~Seneca - Kings
True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing.The great 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
It is folly to die of the fear of death.
Courage leads to heaven; fear leads to death.
Most men ebb and flow in wretchedness between the fear of death and the hardship of; they are unwilling to live, and yet they do not know how to die.

Seneca Quotes on Time

The final hour when we cease to exist does not itself bring death, it merely of itself completes the death-process.We reach death at that moment, but we have been a long time on the way.
There is never a time when new distraction will not show up; we sow them, so several will grow from the same seed.
We all sorely complain of the shortness of time, and yet have much more than we know what to do with.Our lives are either spent in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do.We are always complaining that our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end of them.~Seneca - Procrastination
Nothing is so contemptible as the sentiments of the mob.~Seneca - Masses
We should always allow some time to elapse, for time discloses the truth.
No one sets a value on time, all use it lavishly as if it cost nothing.
Time discovered truth.~Seneca - Time and Time Management
The greatest loss of time is delay and expectation, which depend upon the future.We let go the present, which we have in our power, and look forward to that which depends upon chance, and so relinquish a certainty for an uncertainty.~Seneca - Time and Time Management
In guarding their fortune men are often closefisted, yet, when it comes to the matter of wasting time, in the case of the one thing in which it is right to be miserly, they show themselves most prodigal.
I am often filled with wonder when I see some men demanding the time of others and those from whom they ask it most indulgent.Both of them fix their eyes on the object of the request for time, neither of them on the time itself; just as if what is asked were nothing, what is given, nothing.
In my own time there have been inventions of this sort, transparent windows tubes for diffusing warmth equally through all parts of a building short-hand, which has been carried to such a perfection that a writer can keep pace with the most rapid speaker.But the inventing of such things is drudgery for the lowest slaves; philosophy lies deeper.It is not her office to teach men how to use their hands.The object of her lessons is to form the soul.~Seneca - Invention and Inventor
It’s not that we have little time, but more that we waste a good deal of it.

Seneca Quotes on Death

Death is the wish of some, the relief of many, and the end of all.
A thousand approaches lie to open death.
Leisure without literature is death and burial alive.~Seneca - Literature
Mercy often inflicts death.
What madness it is for a man to starve himself to enrich his heir, and so turn a friend into an enemy! For his joy at your death will be proportioned to what you leave him.~Seneca - Service
A punishment to some, to some a gift, and to many a favor.~Seneca - Death and Dying

Seneca Quotes on Adversity

Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men.~Seneca - Adversity
Brave men rejoice in adversity, just as brave soldiers triumph in war.~Seneca - Adversity
The pressure of adversity does not affect the mind of the brave man.It is more powerful than external circumstances.~Seneca - Courage
The bravest sight in the world is to see a great man struggling against adversity.~Seneca - Adversity
No untroubled day has ever dawned for me.~Seneca - Adversity
The good things of prosperity are to be wished; but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.~Seneca - Adversity

Seneca Quotes on Luck

Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.
Luck never made a man wise.
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Motivational Quotes by Seneca

What is true belongs to me! ~Seneca - Truth
If one does not know to which port is sailing, no wind is favorable.
Dangerous is wrath concealed.Hatred proclaimed doth lose its chance of wreaking vengeance.
So enjoy present pleasures as to not mar those to come.~Seneca - Pleasure
There is a noble manner of being poor, and who does not know it will never be rich.~Seneca - Poverty and The Poor
Philosophy does not regard pedigree, she received Plato not as a noble, but she made him one.~Seneca - Philosophers and Philosophy
I shall never be ashamed of citing a bad author if the line is good.~Seneca - Quotations
Remove severe restraint and what will become of virtue? ~Seneca - Restraint
Fidelity purchased with money, money can destroy.~Seneca - Loyalty
Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.
If a man does not know what port he is steering for, no wind is favorable to him.~Seneca - Goals
Freedom is not being a slave to any circumstance, to any constraint, to any chance; it means compelling Fortune to enter the lists on equal terms.~Seneca - Freedom
But it is a pretty thing to see what money will do! ~Seneca - Money
When I think over what I have said, I envy dumb people.~Seneca - Speakers and Speaking
No evil is without its compensation.The less money, the less trouble; the less favor, the less envy.Even in those cases which put us out of wits, it is not the loss itself, but the estimate of the loss that troubles us.~Seneca - Evil
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.
Calamity is virtue's opportunity.~Seneca - Calamity
If sensuality were happiness, beasts were happier than men; but human felicity is lodged in the soul, not in the flesh.~Seneca - Sensuality
Let a man be never so ungrateful or inhuman, he shall never destroy the satisfaction of my having done a good office.
It is likely that some troubles will befall us; but it is not a present fact.How often has the unexpected happened! How often has the expected never come to pass!
A foolishness is inflicted with a hatred of itself.~Seneca - Fools and Foolishness
Crime when it succeeds is called virtue.~Seneca - Crime and Criminals
Wealth is the slave of a wise man.The master of a fool.
Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.
The pleasures of the palate deal with us like the Egyptian thieves, who strangle those whom they embrace.~Seneca - Glutton
Night brings our troubles to the light, rather than banishes them.
We never reflect how pleasant it is to ask for nothing.~Seneca - Ask
Throw me to the wolves and I will return, leading the pack.
It is the constant fault and inseparable evil quality of ambition, that it never looks behind it.~Seneca - Ambition
What difference does it make how much you have? What you do not have amounts to much more.~Seneca - Wealth
Why do people not confess vices? It is because they have not yet laid them aside.It is a waking person only who can tell their dreams.~Seneca - Vice
No evil propensity of the human heart is so powerful that it may mot be subdued by discipline.~Seneca - Discipline
The wish for healing has always been half of health.
Do everything as in the eye of another.~Seneca - Eyes
The first step in a person's salvation is knowledge of their sin.~Seneca - Salvation
All cruelty springs from weakness.
There is no delight in owning anything unshared.
Even if it is to be, what end do you serve by running to distress? ~Seneca - Expectation
If a man knows not what harbor he seeks, any wind is the right wind.~Seneca - Goals
Sovereignty over any foreign land is insecure.~Seneca - Empire
There are no greater wretches in the world than many of those whom people in general take to be happy.~Seneca - Appearance
Economy is too late when you are at the bottom of your purse.~Seneca - Economy and Economics
Success consecrates the most offensive crimes.~Seneca - Success
Whatever has overstepped its due bounds is always in a state of instability.~Seneca - Security
O how many noble deeds of women are lost in obscurity!
Do not ask for what you will wish you had not got.~Seneca - Prayer
The display of grief makes more demands than grief itself.How few men are sad in their own company.~Seneca - Grief
Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant.~Seneca - Fate
Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands.~Seneca - Courage
We suffer more in imagination than in reality.
Every man prefers belief to the exercise of judgment.
Injustice never rules forever.
It is another's fault if he be ungrateful, but it is mine if I do not give.To find one thankful man, I will oblige a great many that are not so.~Seneca - Gratitude
Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.
If thou art a man, admire those who attempt great things, even though they fail.~Seneca - Failure
For greed all nature is too little.
It is the failing of youth not to be able to restrain its own violence.~Seneca - Youth
If you live according to the dictates of nature, you will never be poor; if according to the notions of man, you will never be rich.~Seneca - Nature
No one is laughable who laughs at himself.~Seneca - Laughter
We often want one thing and pray for another, not telling the truth even to the gods.~Seneca - Prayer
A great fortune is a great slavery.
The approach of liberty makes even an old man brave.~Seneca - Liberty
He that does good to another does good also to himself.~Seneca - Cooperation
Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.
It is not the man who has too little that is poor, but the one who hankers after more.
There is no person so severely punished, as those who subject themselves to the whip of their own remorse.~Seneca - Punishment
The display of grief makes more demands than grief itself.How few men are sad in their own company.
It's the admirer and the watcher who provoke us to all the inanities we commit.~Seneca - Audiences
Slavery takes hold of few, but many take hold of slavery.~Seneca - Slavery
It is the sign of a great mind to dislike greatness, and prefer things in measure to things in excess.~Seneca - Moderation
Believe me, that was a happy age, before the days of architects, before the days of builders.~Seneca - Architecture
If you judge, investigate.
Too late is it to be on one’s guard, to exercise caution, when plunged in misfortune.
A quarrel is quickly settled when deserted by one party; there is no battle unless there be two.~Seneca - Conflict
As each day arises, welcome it as the very best day of all, and make it your own possession.We must seize what flees.
There are more people abusive to others than lie open to abuse themselves; but the humor goes round, and he that laughs at me to-day will have somebody to laugh at him to-morrow.
Modesty forbids what the law does not.~Seneca - Modesty
A well governed appetite is the greater part of liberty.~Seneca - Liberty
The mind that is anxious about future events is miserable.
Nothing becomes so offensive so quickly as grief.When fresh it finds someone to console it, but when it becomes chronic, it is ridiculed, and rightly.
The foremost art of kings is the ability to endure hatred.~Seneca - Kings
Happy the man who can endure the highest and the lowest fortune.He, who has endured such vicissitudes with equanimity, has deprived misfortune of its power.~Seneca - Contentment
It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.
You must live for another if you wish to live for yourself.~Seneca - Service
It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.
A large part of mankind is angry not with the sins, but with the sinners.~Seneca - Sin
Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.
The fates lead the willing, and drag the unwilling.
Fidelity purchased with money, money can destroy.
Whatever is well said by another, is mine.~Seneca - Imitation
The comfort of having a friend may be taken away, but not that of having had one.
It is the superfluous things for which men sweat.~Seneca - Futility
Drunkenness is nothing but voluntary madness.
Be not too hasty either with praise or blame; speak always as though you were giving evidence before the judgement-seat of the Gods.
Learn how to feel joy.
He who dreads hostility too much is unfit to rule.~Seneca - Leaders and Leadership
Authority founded on injustice is never of long duration.~Seneca - Power
Nothing is so bitter that a calm mind cannot find comfort in it.
Our plans miscarry because they have no aim.When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.~Seneca - Goals
Nothing is void of God, his work is everywhere his full of himself.~Seneca - God
Why do I not seek some real good; one which I could feel, not one which I could display? ~Seneca - Purpose
It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man and the security of a god.~Seneca - Greatness
Even journey has an end.
If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.
People pay the doctor for his trouble; for his kindness they still remain in his debt.
That is never too often repeated, which is never sufficiently learned.~Seneca - Learning
No one can be despised by another until he has learned to despise himself.~Seneca - Hatred
Disease is not of the body but of the place.~Seneca - Disease
He who is sorry for having sinned is almost innocent.
Whoever has nothing to hope, let him despair of nothing.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.
What were once vices are the fashion of the day.~Seneca - Vice
It makes a great deal of difference whether one wills not to sin or has not the knowledge to sin.~Seneca - Sin
He who repents of having sinned is almost innocent.~Seneca - Repentance
He who boasts of his descent, praises the deed of another.~Seneca - Ancestry
No possession is gratifying without a companion.
Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.
Things that were hard to bear are sweet to remember.~Seneca - Memory
All art is an imitation of nature.~Seneca - Arts and Artists
What was hard to suffer is sweet to remember.~Seneca - Suffering
If you would wish another to keep your secret, first keep it yourself.
To keep oneself safe does not mean to bury oneself.
To preserve the lives of citizens, is the greatest virtue in the father of his country.
That which is given with pride and ostentation is rather an ambition than a bounty.~Seneca - Ostentation
He is the most powerful who has himself, in his power.~Seneca - Power
Who can hope for nothing, should despair for nothing.~Seneca - Hope
Let tears flow of their own accord: their flowing is not inconsistent with inward peace and harmony.
It is quality rather than quantity that matters.
The acquisition of riches has been to many not an end to their miseries, but a change in them: The fault is not in the riches, but the disposition.~Seneca - Riches
There is nothing more despicable than an old man who has no other proof than his age to offer of his having lived long in the world.~Seneca - Age and Aging
The mind is never right but when it is at peace within itself.
Many shed tears merely for show, and have dry eyes when no one's around to observe them.~Seneca - Tears
Pain, scorned by yonder gout-ridden wretch, endured by yonder dyspeptic in the midst of his dainties, borne bravely by the girl in travail.Slight thou art, if I can bear thee, short thou art if I cannot bear thee! ~Seneca - Pain
Remember that pain has this most excellent quality.If prolonged it cannot be severe, and if severe it cannot be prolonged.~Seneca - Pain
May be is very well, but Must is the master.It is my duty to show justice without recompense.~Seneca - Justice
It is proof of a bad cause when it is applauded by the mob.
A man's as miserable as he thinks he is.
A great step towards independence is a good-humored stomach, one that is willing to endure rough treatment.
Until we have begun to go without them, we fail to realize how unnecessary many things are.We've been using them not because we needed them but because we had them.
You are your choices.
There's one blessing only, the source and cornerstone of beatitude -- confidence in self.~Seneca - Self-confidence
There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn, as in doing it.
Not he who has little, but he who wishes more, is poor.~Seneca - Poverty and The Poor
Other men's sins are before our eyes; our own are behind our backs.~Seneca - Self-knowledge
No action will be considered blameless, unless the will was so, for by the will the act was dictated.~Seneca - Will and Will Power
The worst evil of all is to leave the ranks of the living before one dies.
Fate rules the affairs of men, with no recognizable order.~Seneca - Fate
It is medicine, not scenery, for which a sick man must go searching.~Seneca - Medicine
Saving comes too late when you get to the bottom.
One crime has to be concealed by another.~Seneca - Crime and Criminals
See how many are better off than you are, but consider how many are worse.~Seneca - Gratitude
The first and greatest punishment of the sinner is the conscience of sin.~Seneca - Punishment
Fortune can take away riches, but not courage.~Seneca - Courage
Where the speech is corrupted, the mind is also.
Every guilty person is his own hangman.~Seneca - Punishment
No one is better born than another, unless they are born with better abilities and a more amiable disposition.~Seneca - Ancestry
There is nothing in the world so much admired as a man who knows how to bear unhappiness with courage.~Seneca - Courage
When an author is too meticulous about his style, you may presume that his mind is frivolous and his content flimsy.~Seneca - Writers and Writing
There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality.
It is often better not to see an insult than to avenge it.~Seneca - Insults
When one has lost a friend one's eyes should be neither dry nor streaming.Tears, yes, there should be, but not lamentation.
It goes far toward making a man faithful to let him understand that you think him so; and he that does but suspect I will deceive him, gives me a sort of right to do it.
Constant exposure to dangers will breed contempt for them.~Seneca - Danger
The mind should be allowed some relaxation, that it may return to its work all the better for the rest.
That moderation which nature prescribes, which limits our desires by resources restricted to our needs, has abandoned the field; it has now come to this -- that to want only what is enough is a sign both of boorishness and of utter destitution.~Seneca - Moderation
To be everywhere is to be nowhere.
It is part of the cure to wish to be cured.
Man gazes at the stars, but his feet are in the mud.
What should a wise person do when given a blow? Same as Cato when he was attacked; not fire up or revenge the insult., or even return the blow, but simply ignore it.~Seneca - Revenge
Success is not greedy, as people think, but insignificant.That is why it satisfies nobody.~Seneca - Success
Sadness usually results from one of the following causes either when a man does not succeed, or is ashamed of his success.
Those that are a friend to themselves are sure to be a friend to all.~Seneca - Friends and Friendship
The sun also shines on the wicked.~Seneca - Wickedness
No one can have all he wants, but a man can refrain from wanting what he has not, and cheerfully make the best of a bird in the hand.
Nothing is so wretched or foolish as to anticipate misfortunes.What madness is it to be expecting evil before it comes.~Seneca - Anticipation
A man who suffers before it is necessary, suffers more than is necessary.~Seneca - Suffering
The mind is a matter over every kind of fortune; itself acts in both ways, being the cause of its own happiness and misery.~Seneca - Mind
The voice of flattery affects us after it has ceased, just as after a concert men find some agreeable air ringing in their ears to the exclusion of all serious business.
Shame may restrain what law does not prohibit.
Be silent as to services you have rendered, but speak of favours you have received.
He has committed the crime who profits by it.~Seneca - Crime and Criminals
Whenever you hold a fellow creature in distress, remember that he is a man.~Seneca - Tolerance
When ever the speech is corrupted so is the mind.~Seneca - Speakers and Speaking
The road to learning by precept is long, but by example short and effective.~Seneca - Example
Those who boast of their decent, brag on what they owe to others.~Seneca - Ancestry
I never come back home with the same moral character I went out with; something or other becomes unsettled where I had achieved internal peace; some one or other of the things I had put to flight reappears on the scene.~Seneca - Morality
A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.~Seneca - Gifts
The courts of kings are full of people, but empty of friends.~Seneca - Politicians and Politics
To expect punishment is to suffer it; and to earn it is to expect it.

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