In the search for wisdom in life, one can often find it difficult to have so many philosophical schools, wise thoughts and quotations, approaches, even religions. However, there are philosophies and teachings that are worth considering that would help you understand the world around us.

One does not need to profess one philosophy without getting to know another, just as one philosophy does not need to be used for all occasions. On the contrary, perhaps in certain situations it is better to be Stoic, while in other situations Taoism will have a much more beneficial effect.

Let us look at a few philosophies that have endowed and developed the world of thought with their invaluable wisdom, and as we read the following lines, let us not forget that philosophy literally means “love of wisdom.”


Stoicism has a rich history, originally called “Zenoism” after Zeno of Citium, an ancient philosopher about whom little is known. A student of the philosopher Parmenides (Parmenides’ teacher was Aminius, who is considered a Pythagorean), fragments of his work “On Nature” are quoted by later philosophers, as the main line is that the senses can deceive man in his judgment, as Aristotle almost completely later wanted to disprove his work.

Zeno’s ideas were directly inspired by the Cynics (ancient philosophers who criticized social norms and values; hence the “cynic”), who were led by Antisthenes (a follower of Socrates), and later Cleanthes inherited and developed Stoicism. In that time, Diogenes of Babylon, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius (and others) supported philosophy, each developing and practicing it. It is believed that even the followers of Alexander the Great were from this school.

Wisdom of Marcus Aurelius (12 quotes):

~ “Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation of life.”

~ “Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too.”

~ “Everything that happens, happens as it should, and if you observe carefully, you will find this to be so.”

~ “The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.”

~ “Life is neither good or evil, but only a place for good and evil.”

~ “Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.”

~ “To the wise, life is a problem; to the fool, a solution.”

~ “To understand the true quality of people, you must look into their minds, and examine their pursuits and eversions.”

~ “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.”

~ “To live happily is an inward power of the soul.”

~ “The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.”

~ “The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away.”

Wisdom of Seneca (13 quotes):

~ “It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.”

~ “Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.”

~ “If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you’re needing is not to be in a different place but to be a different person.”

~ “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

~ “If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.”

~ “All cruelty springs from weakness.”

~ “There is no easy way from the earth to the stars.”

~ “Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.”

~ “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.”

~ “It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.”

~ “The life we receive is not short but we make it so, we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.”

~ “The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.”

~ “He who is brave – is free.”

~ “No man was ever wise by chance.”


The Tao/Dao teaching provides a different view of reality – the action of inaction. Although it may be simplistic, it is by no means a useless philosophy. On the contrary, in the fast-paced and super-dynamic daily life and crises, Taoism can help us much more than we can give it credit.

A system of combined philosophical concepts originated in the 6th century BC, the main idea being the path of harmony (translated as Tao / Dao meaning “path”), and the recognition of the so-called “Three Treasures”: compassion, moderation and modesty. At its center is always mentioned the name Lao Tzu, who is considered the founder of the philosophical movement, and according to some versions, a teacher of Buddha and Confucius.

Wisdom from “Tao Te Ching” (16 quotes):

~ “He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty.”

~ “He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.”

~ “He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.”

~ “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”

~ “Man’s enemies are not demons, but human beings like himself.”

~ “Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.”

~ “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”

~ “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

~ “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

~ “Great acts are made up of small deeds.”

~ “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”

~ “To lead people, walk behind them.”

~ “The sage does not hoard. The more he helps others, the more he benefits himself, The more he gives to others, the more he gets himself. The Way of Heaven does one good but never does one harm. The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete.”

~ “He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much.”

~ “People in their handlings of affairs often fail when they are about to succeed. If one remains as careful at the end as he was at the beginning, there will be no failure.”

~ “Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.”


Founder of a secret society, mathematical genius and wise philosopher, Pythagoras is remembered over the years for his sharp mind and insight, as well as the mysticism of the secret society, which also led his followers, who called themselves “Pythagoreans”.

What you can accept from Pythagoras’ legacy is to be combative, to be balanced in stressful situations (at work and at home), to think about how to reach decisions, but not in anger; always strive to get to know each other in order to be better in deeds, words and actions; to train your will (for example, you have too many tasks at work and your bosses press you, stay calm, look for solutions and do it with a clear conscience).

Here are some quotes that shape the evolution of philosophy, and can help you even in the modern world:

Wisdom of Pythagoras (16 quotes):

~  “Be silent or let thy words be worth more than silence.”

~ “No one is free who has not obtained the empire of himself. No man is free who cannot command himself.”

~ “Do not say a little in many words, but a great deal in a few!”

~ “In anger we should refrain both from speech and action.”

~ “The oldest, shortest words: ‘yes’ and ‘no’, are those which require the most thought.”

~ “A man is never as big as when he is on his knees to help a child.”

~ “Let no one persuade you by word or deed to do or say whatever is not best for you.”

~ “Silence is better than unmeaning words.”

~ “Do not chase after happiness, it is always in you.”

~ “Whatever they think of you, do what you think is fair.”

~ “Be equally indifferent to blame and praise.”

~ “You should make great things, not promising great things.”

~ “Choose rather to be strong of soul than strong of body.”

~ “Practice justice in word and deed, and do not get in the habit of acting thoughtlessly about anything.”

~ “Wisdom thoroughly learned will never be forgotten.”

~ “Above all things, respect yourself.”

Modern Philosophy

There is no specific movement from modern philosophy to be distinguished as like Ancient philosophy or Eastern as Stoicism or Taoism, so I will present the brightest names of the “new age” (Renaissance and pre-industrial period). Extremely interesting period of the revival of thought (after the Middle Ages), Enlightenment and science, complementing each other in a new time of human search. While in the Middle Ages philosophy was transformed into religious interpretation, questions of faith and theological controversy, in the Renaissance, thinkers returned to the ancient notion, combining it with the then modern advanced scientific revival.

The philosophy of the new age is divided into two branches: early-modern and late-modern philosophy. Early philosophy dates back to the 16th to 18th centuries, although some scholars still argue for its earlier origins (a narrower 17th-18th century beginning with Rene Descartes). The great names that marked this period were Rene Descartes, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Blaise Pascal, Voltaire, Isaac Newton and Immanuel Kant.

Late modern philosophy overlaps with the early year of 1781 with the publication of Kant’s ‘Critik der reinen Vernunft’. For the most part developed by German idealist philosophers with the main line of view that the world is rational and can be known (unlike medieval thought, when God is at the center, and that the world is mystic).

Wisdom by Immanuel Kant (11 quotes):

~ “Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play.”

~ “In law a man is quilty when he violets the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so.”

~ “Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me.”

~ “Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.”

~ “Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness.”

~ “To be is to do.”

~ “If man makes himself a worm he must not complain when he is trodden on.”

~ “He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”

~ “Immaturity is the incapacity to use one’s intelligence without the guidance of another.”

~ “Ingratitude is the essence of vileness.”

~ “Even philosophers will praise war as ennobling mankind, forgetting the Greek who said: ‘War is bad in that it begets more evil than it kills.’

Wisdom of Friedrich Nietzsche (14 quotes):

~ “Without music, life would be a mistake.”

~ “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”

~ “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

~ “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”

~ “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

~ “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.”

~ “Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”

~ “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

~ “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”

~ “The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.”

~ “No one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone.”

~ “The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”

~ “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings — always darker, emptier and simpler.”

~ “Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood.”


Confucius was influenced by Taoism and, in particular Lao Tzu, thus creating his own philosophy named after him: Confucianism. Interestingly, the Chinese people have practiced Confucianism for 2,500 years because of their extremely in-depth and insightful advice and essence for family, tradition, demeanor, and nobility.

Wisdom of Confucius (12 quotes):

~ “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

~ “What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.”

~ “In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.”

~ “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”

~ “When anger rises, think of the consequences.”

~ “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals; adjust the action steps.”

~ “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

~ “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation, there is sure to be failure.”

~ “Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.”

~ “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

~ “The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.”

~ “Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?”