That courage is most to be relied on which reflects long, and moves slowly, and carries out what has been settled deliberately.
Seneca's Dialogues, book iii, chap, xi, sec. 8.
What is noble? A soul brave and steadfast under adversity; not only indifferent, but hostile, to dissipation — neither seeking nor flying danger; knowing how to make Fortune, instead of waiting for her; meeting all her changes calmly, and being never overcome either by her tempests or by her splendors.
Man does not value or despise any place as the cause of his happiness or unhappiness, but he makes the whole matter depend upon himself and considers himself a citizen of the city of God which is made up of men and gods.
Musonius Rufus, Lecture ix
Now, since, in general, toil and hardship are a necessity for all men, both for those who seek the better ends and for those who seek the worse, it is preposterous that those who are pursuing the better are not much more eager in their efforts than those for whom there is small hope of reward for all their pains... Shall we not be ready to endure hardship for the sake of complete happiness? For surely there is no other end in becoming good than to become happy and to live happily for the remainder of our lives.
To distinguish between good and bad, advantageous and disadvantageous, helpful and harmful is the part of none other than the philosopher, who constantly occupies himself with this very question, how not to be ignorant of any of these things, and has made it his art to understand what conduces to a man's happiness or unhappiness.
Nothing would be said to be living according to nature but what by its actions manifests the excellence peculiar to its own nature. For the nature of each guides it to its own excellence; consequently it is not reasonable to suppose that when man lives a life of pleasure that he lives according to nature, but rather when he lives a life of virtue. Then, indeed, it is that he is justly praised and takes pride in himself and is optimistic and courageous, characteristics upon which cheerfulness and serene joy necessarily follow.
Of the things that exist, God has put some in our control, others not in our control. In our control he has put the noblest and most excellent part by reason of which He is Himself happy, the power of using our impressions. For when this is correctly used, it means serenity, cheerfulness, constancy; it also means justice and law and self-control and virtue as a whole. But all other things He has not put in our control. Therefore we ought to become of like mind with God and, dividing things in like manner, we ought in every way to lay claim to the things that are in our control, but what is not in our control we ought to entrust to the universe and gladly yield to it whether it asks for our children, our country, our body, or anything whatsoever.
Of what use is your reading, if it does not give you peace.
Epictetus' Discourses, book iv, chap, iv, sec. 4
Not only ambition and avarice, but even desire of ease, of quiet, of travel, or of learning, may make us base, and take away our liberty.
Epictetus' Discourses, book iv, chap, iv, sec. 1
Wherever I go, it will be well with me, as it has been here, and on account not of the place, but of the principles which I shall carry away with me. They are all my property, and they will be all I shall need, wherever I may be.
Epictetus' Discourses, book iv, chap, vii, sec. 14
Where there is contentment there is no poverty. It is not he who has little, but he who desires more, that is poor.
Seneca's Epistles, ii, sec. 6
Soldiers have gone without everything, and eaten roots and things we may not name, in order that some one else may reign over them; and can any man hesitate about enduring poverty, that he may set free his soul?
Seneca's Epistles, xvii, sec. 7
Which had you rather give up — yourself, or some of your troubles?
Nothing is so honorable as a great soul; but that soul is not great which can be shaken by either fear or grief.
Seneca's De Clementia, book ii, chap, v, sec. 4;
The wise man will always know how to help the suffering. But sorrow prevents us from making distinctions, finding out what is useful, avoiding what is dangerous, and deciding what is just ; and, therefore, he will not himself yield to sorrow. He will do everything that could be done by the sympathetic, but he will do it calmly and cheerfully.
Seneca's De Clementia, book ii, chap, vi, sec. I.
What is noble? To be able to bear adversity contentedly, taking whatever happens, as if we had wished for it ; as, indeed, we should have done, since all things happen by the will of God. To weep or complain is to rebel.
Seneca's Naturalium Quaestionum, book iii, praef., sec. 12.
He who is not mad with avarice or sensuality, the destroyers of all things, knows that there is no real evil in poverty. She will not harm him who despises superfluities, and she will do good to him who covets them, for she will heal him against his will.
Seneca's Dialogues, book xii, chap, x, secs, 1 and 3
A very little can satisfy our necessities, but nothing our desires.
Seneca's Dialogues, book xii, chap, x, sec. 11
He who longs to wear gold and purple is poor, not by fortune's fault, but by his own.