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 repetitive 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
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
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
Seeking please is a perilous trap
Character matters more than reputation
All advantages have their price
Make the will of nature your own
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
Speak only with good purpose
Be careful about the company you keep
Avoid casual sex
Don’t defend your reputations or intentions
Conduct yourself with dignity
Emulate worthy role models
Excercise discretion when conversing
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
Mistreatment 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 invincible? 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 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.