I’m not an aspiring Stoic, but I like some of the aphorisms from the Meditations Marcus Aurelius put down (they were not for publication, but are now in many editions and on Brainy Quote). I associate Stoics with extremism, but I can take a little Stoicism from a pampered Emperor who doesn’t endorse acceptance of misery from experience. They are simply brave words, to be used under moderate hardship and not abused when the status quo is unacceptable.
“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.”
“Anything in any way beautiful derives its beauty from itself and asks nothing beyond itself. Praise is no part of it, for nothing is made worse or better by praise.”
“Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also.”
“Be content to seem what you really are.”
“Here is the rule to remember in the future, when anything tempts you to be bitter: not, ‘This is a misfortune’ but ‘To bear this worthily is good fortune.’”
“We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.”
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”