The surest sign of wisdom is constant cheerfulness

Tags: quotes wisdom happiness

Quote by Michel de Montaigne, referenced from [1].

Why does constant cheerfulness show wisdom? Perhaps because the wise man accepts fate for what it is and therefore harbors no anxiety or sadness for what has passed or what is yet to come. This relates to the Stoic idea of welcoming Fate and being prepared for all ends.

The Stoics also teach that the wise man holds things loosely and has no fear of losing what does not truly belong to him, which is everything that is external to his own mind. The wise man also knows not to worry about things that are not in his control [2, 3].


  1. Towles, Amor. A Gentleman in Moscow. New York: Viking, 2016.
  2. Epictetus, and A. A. Long. How to Be Free: An Ancient Guide to the Stoic Life. Ancient Wisdom for Modern Readers. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2018.
  3. Covey, Stephen R. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013.