Epictetus: Art Of Living: Happiness Can Only Be Found Within

Often times we take the quote “Happiness Can Only Be Found Within” as a cliché, but it is brought up in discussion of how to live a good life and philosophical discussion.

I think Epictetus’ Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue on Happiness and Effectiveness lays it down in a simple and eloquent manner. It elucidates why happiness can only be found within.

What I like about it, is that it’s short and to the point. Merely by condensing the chapter titles you can get the gist of it. I prefer this as opposed to Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations which is good, but I believe that brevity and potency are more powerful and important than the reptiitive nature of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations.

I have “emboldened” some of my favorites and added links to related posts I’ve made.

Know What You Can Control and what you can’t

Stick to your own business

Recognize appearances for what they really are

Desire demands it own attainment

See things for what they are

Harmonize your actions with the way life is

Events don’t hurt us, but our views of them can

No Shame, No Blame

Create your own merit

Focus on your main duty

Accept events as they occur

Your will is always within your power

Make full use of what happens to you

Care for what you happen to have

The good life is the life of inner serenity

Disregard what doesn’t concern you

Conform your wishes to reality

Approach life as a banquet

Avoid adopting other peoples negative views

Act well the part that is given to you

Everything happens for a good reason

Happines can only be found within

No one can hurt you

Spirtual progress is made through death and calamity

Implant in yourself the ideals you ought to cherish

The pursuit of wisdom attracts critics

Seeking please is a perilous trap

Character matters more than reputation

All advantages have their price

Make the will of nature your own

Self-mastery is our true aim

Treasure your mind, cherish your reason, hold to your purpose

Consider what comes first, then what follows, and then act

Our duties are revealed by our relations with on another

The essence of faithfulness

Events are impersonal and indifferent

Never suppress a generous impulse

Clearly define the purpose you want to be

Speak only with good purpose

Avoid most popular entertainment

Be careful about the company you keep

Take care of your body

Avoid casual sex

Don’t defend your reputations or intentions

Conduct yourself with dignity

Emulate worthy role models

Excercise discretion when conversing

Prefer enduring satisfation to immediate gratification

Take a stand

Courtesy and logic each have their place

Self-mastery depends on self-honesty

Safe guard your reason

Observe proper proportion and moderation

Inner excellence matters more than outer appearance

Care about your mind more than your body

Mistreamtent comes from false impressions

Everything has two handles

Clear thinking is vital

Call things by their right names

Wisdom is revealed through action, not talk

Live simply for your own sake

Living wisdom is more important than knowing about it

Practicing principles matters more than proving them

Start living your ideals

Here is a complete excerpt of one of the principles:

Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control. We cannot have a light heart if our minds are woeful cauldron of fear and ambition

Do you wish to be invicible? Then don’t enter into combat with what you have real control over. Your happiness depends on three things, all of which are within your power:

Your will,

Your ideas concerning the events in which you are involved,

And the use you make of your ideas.

Authentic happiness is always independent of external conditions. 

Vigilantly practice indifference to external conditions. Your happiness can only be found within.




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Thank you. Have a great week!

Until next time.

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