3 Stoic Ideas from Marcus Aurelius’ Book Meditations

That Can Make You Happier, Wiser, More Resilient and Virtuous

Selim Uysal
3 min readJan 28, 2022


Photo by Giammarco on Unsplash

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

— Marcus Aurelius

Stoicism is a philosophy designed to make us more resilient, happier, more virtuous, and wiser and as a result, better people, better parents, and better professionals.

I have been reading on Stoicism for the last few years, especially after Ryan Holiday’s book Daily Stoic, published in 2016. Recently I was reading the Meditations from Marcus Aurelius, a Roman emperor from 161 to 180 A.D., who practiced Stoicism and wrote about his own Stoic practice in his journals.

Below I’ve put together 3 key takeaways that you can apply in your life and benefit from Stoic philosophy.

1. Train Your Perceptions

“You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Our perception influences all we experience, so why give that power to other people or situations?

Training your perception to mastery not only puts the quality of your life into your hands, or in this case, your head, but it also helps you attain your goals.

2. View Obstacles as Opportunities

Just as nature takes every obstacle, every impediment, and works around it — turns it to its purposes, incorporates it into itself — so, too, a rational being can turn each setback into raw material and use it to achieve its goal.”

— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Aurelius and the Stoics knew that obstacles weren’t bad at all, that they were actually opportunities to create success and become better in the process. Be, as Aurelius says, like nature, in the way that it uses everything, both good and bad, to reach its purpose.

Every day we encounter situations that can be interpreted as either a hindrance or a way to practice virtue.

Continue reminding yourself that you are the narrator of your story, that how you interpret what you’re facing is up to you.



Selim Uysal

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦Dad & Husband, 🩹Humanitarian Professional, 📚 Lifelong Learner. I share my learnings on personal growth and productivity. newsletter.selimuysal.net