A Manual For Living

by Epictetus

Troy Shu
Troy Shu
Updated at: February 23, 2024
 3 min read
A Manual For Living
A Manual For Living

Want to read ebooks, websites, and other text 3X faster?

From a SwiftRead user:
Feels like I just discovered the equivalent of fire but for reading text. WOW, WOW, WOW. A must have for me, forever.

What are the big ideas?

  1. We have control over our thoughts, actions, and choices, which ultimately shape our lives.
  2. True peace comes from accepting events as they happen, without trying to control them, and acknowledging that some things are beyond our control.
  3. Our feelings are influenced more by how we judge and interpret events rather than the events themselves. Blaming others for our feelings is a result of our judgments.
  4. When facing challenges, it's essential to turn inward and assess our abilities to deal with them. Building inner strength and resilience is within our power.
  5. Acting within our capabilities and not trying to exceed them is important for success and avoiding self-disgrace.


We Control Our Thoughts and Actions, Which Shape Our Lives

  • In our power are thought, impulse, will to get and will to avoid, and, in a word, everything which is our own doing.
  • “You are but an impression, and not at all what you seem to be.”
  • When anything happens to you, always remember to turn to yourself and ask what faculty you have to deal with it.
  • Exercise yourself in what lies in your power.

Finding Peace Comes from Accepting Things We Can't Change

  • “Ask not that events should happen as you will, but let your will be that events should happen as they do, and you shall have peace.”
  • “Never say of anything, ‘I lost it,’ but say, ‘I gave it back.’”
  • “Remember that you are an actor in a play, and the Playwright chooses the manner of it.”

Our Feelings Are Influenced by How We Think About What Happens to Us

  • What disturbs men’s minds is not events but their judgments on events.
  • Don’t blame others for hindering or disturbing or distressing you; blame your own judgments.
  • “Remember that foul words or blows in themselves are no outrage, but your judgment that they are so.”
  • “No one shall harm you, without your consent; you will only be harmed, when you think you are harmed.”
  • “When you imagine some pleasure, beware that it does not carry you away.”
  • “When you do a thing because you have determined that it ought to be done, never avoid being seen doing it.”
  • “If you try to act a part beyond your powers, you not only disgrace yourself in it, but you neglect the part which you could have filled with success.”


  1. How do my thoughts and choices affect my life?
  2. What can I do to handle things that happen to me better?
  3. Can accepting things I can't change make me feel more at peace?
  4. How does the way I think about things change how I feel about them?
  5. Do I get upset because of what others do, or because of how I think about it?
  6. How can I avoid getting carried away by my desires or thoughts?

Read Next

📢 Have a suggestion? Reach out here