Timeless Wisdom

Stay tuned for quotes, theories, and ideas from some of the world’s foremost thinkers — concepts that have stood the test of time.

Featuring selections from:

  • The Stoics
  • Buddhism
  • Native American folklore
  • Deep thinkers
  • Historical figures

Timeless wisdom from early history

  • Heraclitus — “Everything changes” (c. 500 BC)

Timeless wisdom from the Stoics

Epictetus (50 – 135 AD)

  • “Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: some things are within our control, and some things are not.”
  • “When something happens, the only thing in your power is your attitude towards it; you can either accept it or resent it.”
  • “We always have a choice about the contents and character of our inner lives.”
  • “Desire and aversion, though powerful, are but habits. And we can train ourselves to have better habits.”
  • “Practice saying to everything that appears unpleasant: ‘You are just an appearance and by no means what you appear to be.'”
  • “Harmonizing your will with nature should be your utmost ideal.”
  • “Circumstances do not rise to meet our expectations. Events happen as they do. People behave as they are. Embrace what you actually get.”
  • “Things and people are not what we wish them to be or what they seem to be. They are what they are.”
  • “Small-minded people habitually reproach others for their own misfortunes.”
  • “The trials we endure can and should introduce us to our strengths.” (similar to the concept of “turning poison into medicine” in Buddhism)
  • “Take great care with what you have while the world lets you have it.”
  • “Be suspicious if you appear to others as someone special. Be on your guard against a false sense of self-importance.”
  • “You may well have to forego wealth and power if you want to assure the attainment of happiness and freedom.”

Timeless wisdom from historical figures

James Madison

  • “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

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