What is “Amor Fati”?

Amor fati is a very important phrase when it comes to Stoic teachings. We will examine the meaning of this phrase and why it is connected to Stoic thought.

Amor fati is a Latin phrase that means “love of fate” or “love of one’s fate”. Amor fati describes an attitude in which one accepts every situation as fated to happen. Everything, including suffering, loss, joy, love and so on, are fated to happen. Amor fati is a phrase that nurtures a positive attitude to these events and leads us towards acceptance.

“It is man’s duty to live in conformity with the divine will, and this means, firstly, bringing his life into line with ‘nature’s laws’, and secondly, resigning himself completely and uncomplainingly to whatever fate may send him. Only by living thus, and not setting too high a value on things which can at any moment be taken away from him, can he discover that true, unshakeable peace and contentment to which ambition, luxury and above all avarice are among the greatest obstacles.”


It is important to note that Stoics didn’t necessarily use this phrase; however, the meaning behind amor fati is closely linked to Stoic beliefs regarding fate, and so we will discuss the two in correlation.

The Deterministic Universe

Stoics believed that the universe is deterministic, meaning that every event is destined to happen due to the eternal nature of cause of effect. However, this determinism is not purely mechanical or blind, because the one who puts the world into motion and who passes the laws of nature is God, or at least, the Stoics’ idea of God. 

You can understand the Stoics’ notion of the universe as a big, growing organism, where everything is connected in many ways. Matter is connected by the bonds of godly intervention, which orchestrates the redistribution of matter. This means that no matter how much you struggle and resist, certain events will happen and you can’t affect them in any way. The law of nature is within us and above us, and no man’s hand can intervene. Therefore, events that are fated to happen will happen. 

Amor Fati – Stoic Attitude

Since fate is not within our reach of control, Stoics claim that it should be not resisted or denied, but loved. Epictetus is explicit on this matter: 

“Do not seek for things to happen the way you want them to; rather, wish that what happens happen the way it happens: then you will be happy.”


You don’t have to believe in fate to recognize that life is full of unexpected surprises. Our reaction to these events, and our actions after it, measure the quality of our character. Fate often brings us many struggles, and these ultimately put our character to the test. The weak of mind will break, but the strong will stand firm. Due to their perception of fate, Stoic philosophers were always able to stand firm with an accepting and smiling face. The growth of one’s character becomes increasingly visible as obstacles are overcome. 

“A blazing fire makes flame and brightness out of everything that is thrown into it.”

Marcus Aurelius

Those who do not surrender to fate ultimately suffer more, because they are forsaking their reason, which is the only tool we have to deal with fate. Our minds should be synchronized with our own nature, meaning that one ought to listen to what reason is telling them in order to achieve peace and happiness.  

“It’s the great soul that surrenders itself to fate, but a puny degenerate thing that struggles.”


Those who are unwilling to love fate end up suffering, as they perceive the world with a strong emotional view. They can’t accept what is happening to them or what may happen to them and, consequently, they feel abandoned and lost. They are unaware of their greater connection to the world and that is their true tragedy. 

 “The fates lead the willing, and drag the unwilling.”