Socrates is considered one of the greatest philosophers to ever live.
Socrates, a Greek philosopher, was highly acclaimed for being the founder of the western philosophy. He never actually made some writings about his teachings. The only way that we can view his works is through his well-known student, Plato. Socrates is a great believer of mind over body. He focuses more on epistemology. According to Socrates, the choices that we made are greatly influenced by our aspiration for happiness. In order to acquire wisdom, we must first know ourselves. These remarkable Socrates quotes contain important lessons that can help you succeed in your life.
A Bit About Socrates Quotes:
Socrates create a tremendous impact on Western philosophy. He was born in Athens, Greece probably around 470 BC. There is not enough information recorded about his life, except for the ones that come from his students, particularly, Plato. But based on his teachings, we can conclude that Socrates had a compelling personality and was an expert in philosophy. Thus, he left much wisdom behind for us in his Socrates quotes.
Socrates assumed that philosophy can be beneficial to the society. He wanted to create his own ethical system that focuses more on human reason. Socrates quotes are full of wisdom. We hope that by reading Socrates quotes, you will become wiser and will continue to pursue your dreams.
Who was Socrates?
Socrates was a genius Greek philosopher who set a new standard to the Western philosophy. He became a great inspiration to a lot of people. He is mostly admired for his teachings and his unique perspective on life and its surroundings.
His father was a sculptor while his mother was a midwife. Before Socrates became a philosopher, he was also a sculptor just like his father. He was married and had three children. Sadly, he did not care for them so much since he was busy teaching philosophy. Unfortunately, there are some people who are not pleased with his teachings. He was tried and executed at the age of 70. He was given a cup of poison hemlock which he bravely drank and apparently caused his death.
What is Socrates known for?
Socrates became famous for inventing the Socratic irony and the Socratic method, or elenchus. He was also the one who introduced the teaching practice of pedagogy. In this technique, the teacher will ask the student a question and makes sure that he can get a correct answer. Aside from the field of ethics, Socrates also made some contribution on the field epistemology and logic.
What can we glean from Socrates quotes?
There are a lot of things that we can learn from Socrates quotes. For instance, you should stop pretending that you know everything. The truth is you know nothing at all. Pretending that you are smart will deprive you of the chance to gain knowledge. True knowledge is to know yourself. You must look deeply into your soul. Don’t mind the people who always criticize you. Instead, try to gain more knowledge. Be kind to all the people. If there is someone who needs our help, then we should provide it to them.
Here Are The Most Influential Socrates Quotes of All Time
By knowing these famous Socrates quotes, we will always remember his wisdom. The lessons that you’ll learn from these Socrates quotes can help you live happily and successfully.
1. “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
This is one of the famous Socrates quotes that deals with knowledge. We should not stop learning. When we learn, we also grow. If you choose to stop learning, then it also means that you want to stop living. Those who feel angry and bitter with their lives are the ones who choose to stop learning. They simply give up. As a result, they are living a misery life filled with too much hostility. They blame everyone for their hardship.
There are two ways of learning. You can either learn from school or through experience. At school, you can learn several facts. However, you can also gain knowledge through experience. Learning does not stop at school. Actually, it is an endless adventure.
Socrates was right. If you accept that you don’t know everything and you still want to learn more, then you will become triumphant. The good thing is you will continue learning and growing at the same time. Having the mentality that you have the desire to learn and you decide to learn can improve your life. On the other hand, the lessons that you’ve learned from experience can make you feel humble. It’s because you were able to acquire your knowledge through your own efforts.
In these Socrates quotes, Socrates implies that there is no end in searching for knowledge. There is always something new that we can learn each day. After learning something new, it seems that there are more lessons to be learned. Life is an adventure so enjoy it!
2. “Let him that would move the world first move himself.”
What does this quote really mean? The word “move” used in this saying could mean “change.” If you want to change the world, then you should start the change within yourself. Sometimes those who want to change the world would desire that the changes can be beneficial to them. Socrates taught us that the change should start in ourselves. We should strive to become a better person. Then, we can proceed in helping to change to world by becoming an effective leader. In order to do this, we should lead by example.
Is it really important that somebody will lead us? A few people can be considered as self-starters. However, most of us require a leader. There are different types of leaders. There are leaders who use violence while there are also peaceful leaders. Mohandas Gandhi and Mother Theresa are great examples of peaceful leaders. They have done significant changes to the world without resorting to violence. Another important thing to consider is if the leader is working towards his own advancement or for the advancement of the people.
Take some time to dream. What are the things that you want to change in this world? Now that you have a goal, the next step is to determine what kind of leader you would be. Try to break down your goal into smaller ones. Can you change the world all by yourself? Probably not! However, if you can find other people who have the same mindset as yours, then all of you could work together towards the same objective.
3. “Be as you wish to seem.”
Socrates believed that most people are not showing who they really are in the public. Among the Socrates quotes, this one is so simple. If you are a righteous person, then you should act righteously. Conversely, if you will act righteously, then you will become righteous. Socrates felt that most people are pretending to be somebody else in the public. If you want people to believe you, then you should live as an honest person. For some people this might be hard but not for those who have integrity.
Remind yourself that you should act like the person that you want to be. It sound pretty easy, right? The first thing that you need to do is to determine how you want others to see you. After asking this question to yourself, you can move forward and become the person that you want to be.
This strategy is quite effective since it can help you especially when you are unsure about some things in your life. Change for the better. Change is good if you are doing it for yourself. Take some time to imagine the person that you want to be. Do not be the person that other people would want you to be. Be the person that you truly want to be deep inside you. This is just like following a role model. However, the role model here is none other than you. When you do this, then you can become happy and wonderful things will come your way.
4. “Virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue comes money and every other good of man, public as well as private.”
The key to wisdom is knowing yourself. In the Socratic interpretation, it is considered as knowing what you believe. In Plato’s Apology, Socrates explained that in order to achieve happiness, you must be able to determine what true value is, and acting upon it. Persons who have a bad attitude might look happy, but actually they are not even if they are so wealthy. On the other hand, good persons can certainly achieve happiness and most likely money as well. Knowing yourself and enjoying the world is more efficient and directly changing the world to your advantage.
For instance, a furious person who pushes everyone on the subway can also influence others to do the same. However, a smiling person who offers his seat on the bus will likely experience happiness. The furious person has no idea how his behavior affects a lot of people. According to Socrates, if you do not examine your life carefully, then most likely it’s not worth living. Is it possible to have a decent life without self-examination? Absolutely not! Examining yourself and your way of living is the only way that you can achieve happiness in your life. A happiness that cannot be taken away from you.
Socrates asserts that we should ask ourselves some questions in order to know what we actually believe. Try to convince yourself on something that you disagree. Ask yourself some questions which you don’t want to talk or think about. If it becoming too much, then it implies something about what we think and believe.
5. “Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.”
What does this quote actually means? We all have different experiences. Some people write them down so that it can be useful to others. Perhaps they will provide all the details in a book. There are those who write about how they were able to achieve something. On the other hand, there are also others who write about their failure in attempting to do something. In any case, it seems like we are relying on these persons. It would be great if we can choose books written by those who have succeeded in their fields. Sometimes we can quickly learn through the experience of other people.
So, why is it important that we should have self-improvement? Self-improvement is actually an essential part of our life. If you cease learning, then it also means that you discontinue improving. As a result, you are refusing to live your life to the fullest. In order to keep on improving, you must try to read. You can read real books or you can read books on the internet. The most important thing is you should look for people who excel in their field. In this way, you can learn how they became successful and you can imitate it. At the same time, you can also avoid their failures.
Where can you apply these lessons in your life? We all have challenges in our life. Every time you met an obstruction in your life, try to look at it in a different way. Every obstacle is unique, consequently, it also needs a unique solution.
6. “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.”
If you keep on thinking about the things that you don’t have, then most likely you will end up feeling something is always lacking. Feeling deficient can be very disappointing. It seems that you are always longing for something. If you are always feeling this way, then you will never feel happy. The worse thing is it will become a habit. You’ll keep on wanting for more and it will never stop. Whenever you’ve already got something that you want, it can make you happy, but only for a short time. Soon after, you will become interested on something else that you don’t have. It seems like a never-ending wild goose chase.
If only you could focus more on the things that you have instead of wanting for something that you don’t have. You should feel grateful on the things that you have right now and try to enjoy them. These things are genuine. Stop longing for something that isn’t there. The real wisdom is knowing yourself. True power lies in becoming the master of yourself. You know who you are and what you want. You will be genuinely powerful by knowing how powerful you really are.
The only way to obtain happiness is stop thinking on what your life should look like. Accept the life that you have right now and celebrate it. You should stop spending more time in thinking about the things that you don’t have. By doing this, you will always feel that there is something lacking. Hence, you will never feel happy since you are not contented.
7. “Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live.”
Generally, this means that there are some people who only live just to eat and drink. They don’t have any other purpose in life. They’re just like animals, because this is what animals actually do. Animals only eat, drink, and sleep. Hence, they are worthless. On the other hand, there are others who only eat and drink so they can survive and accomplish the things that they want in life. Undoubtedly, they are the ones who have greater dreams. These people are more worthy.
This is one of the most important Socrates quotes that talks about leading a genuine life. In the past and even now, there are several people who simply exist. All they do is drink, eat, and sleep. They do this routine every day. The reality is, there is more to life. Now is the best time to go out and live your life to the fullest. You have an important mission in life which is not to waste your life.
Why don’t you examine your life today? Sadly, there are some people who refuse to use reason in implementing values into their lives. Hence, examining one’s life is extremely important, so why not examine yours today. Having an unexamined life is truly worthless.
Do you know how to examine your life? If not, then who should be the ones teaching us to do so. We can learn a lot from our parents as well as from our school. If we can learn from them, then our lives would have been different and much better.
8. “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”
In this quote, Socrates taught us to give more importance to quality rather than quantity. It’s better to have a simple life rather than having a complex one. A lot of people are having a busy life these days. They are rushing things and as a result they have not enjoyed their lives. But what really keeps us busy? Is there anything that we have accomplished? In our society today, we find that most people are trying to make a living. Most often, these people forgot to live the life that they want for themselves. And they are surprised how days and weeks run so fast. When holidays came, they will realize that it has been a year.
Sometimes when we think about the days and weeks that passed by, we forgot how we spent those days. It’s just another day taken away from the calendar. Why not change your fast paced lifestyle right now? Wouldn’t it be nice if we would spend our days without any disappointments? As much as possible try to slow things down. In this way, you can make the most of every moment.
Do you want a life full of happiness? Your first and most important priority in life should be your happiness. It sounds so simple, yet sometimes you never get the opportunity to do the things that can make you feel happy. It is essential that you must learn to love yourself. Try to allocate some time for yourself. You should permit yourself to grow by doing the things that you dreamed of. These Socrates quotes show the importance of being present.
9. “Our prayers should be for blessings in general, for God knows best what is good for us.”
In today’s world, turmoil is all around us. That is why, praying is a must for each one of us. We need to enrich our spirits so we can be sure that we are on the right track. We should listen to the voice of our conscience. Prayer is necessary if you want to obtain a happy, healthy, and satisfying life. If you put more devotion to your spiritual life, then you can become happier. If there is something that you want in life, then just pray for it. Just talk to God. Prayer is so powerful.
Sometimes when you see the outcome of your prayers, you will quickly assume that it is merely coincidence. The truth is it was made possible through your prayers. Thank the Creator for answering your prayers. Have faith in God and believe that you can accomplish your goals in life. When you pray, you should not pity yourself as if you were the victim. Instead, always repent and be thankful. Why are your prayers not answered? Well, it’s probably because they do not conform to the Creator’s plans or commandments.
Do you blame God for all the challenges in your life? Do you want God to remove your sufferings? If so, then it is not good since you are only implanting negativity in your mind. At the same time, it can result to an unhealthy lifestyle. Eliminate the negative thoughts in your mind when praying. Your thoughts can affect the thoughts of other people whether it’s positive or negative. Socrates quotes show us this, particularly during trying times.
10. “To find yourself, think for yourself.”
Socrates quotes express that idea that it is significant that you should learn how to control your mind. If not, then somebody else will do it for you. Why is it that some people do not think for themselves? There are some people who just rely on somebody to tell them what to think. They do not question anything, they just do what they are told to do.
If you keep on relying on the thoughts of others, then most likely you are just imitating that person. You are not being honest to yourself. The fact is, you are only repeating what others are doing. You are unique, not a duplicate of somebody else. Each of us have our own particular thoughts, ideas, and sentiments. Some people are afraid of expressing their own ideals because they feel that they are vulnerable. It is important that you must learn to express your thoughts honestly and truthfully.
Due to the evolution of internet, more and more people do not trust their instincts anymore. When it comes to making decisions, they just rely it on the internet. Sometimes you are not aware that you are being influenced by other people. Can you think for yourself?
You should not think that being influenced by outside sources is a bad influence. Or perhaps it gives you the wrong impression on things. Sometimes it is also important that we should consider the views of other people. Nevertheless, you also need to think for yourself and follow your inner self. If not, then you will become somebody else’s puppet. Take it from these Socrates quotes.
We Hope You Feel Motivated By These Socrates Quotes.
Socrates is believed to be one of the most prominent Greek philosophers during the early times. He was a great inspiration to everyone most especially to his students. Socrates quotes taught us that in order to become a good leader, you must possess great skills and virtue.
Did you love reading these Socrates quotes? Which one is your favorite? Please tell us in the comment section below. We’d love to hear it. If you were inspired by these Socrates quotes, then please feel free to share them!
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Tina Gray is a freelance journalist, theatre enthusiast and aspiring author. She has a passion for telling stories through various mediums and regularly writes for various online publications. Her short stories will soon be published in her first volume. Currently, she resides in the San Fernando Valley and is studying screenwriting.