The phrase “Amor fati” comes from a concept deeply rooted in Stoic philosophy and has been made popular through the great German philosopher Fredrich Nietzsche’s philosophy of acceptance; it’s a Latin word that roughly translates to “love of fate” or “love of one’s fate.”

The idea is one that’s used to describe a state of mind that allows you and I to accept, and even embrace, everything that happens around us in our pursuit of a good life.

Practitioners of Amor Fati argue that it isn’t enough to simply bear what life throws our way; instead, we should try to embrace and even cherish both the highs and the more difficult situations and lows we find ourselves in.

The beauty of the practice lies in its simplicity: to love whatever life, or fate, throws at us. This perspective encourages us to look at every moment with positivity, gratitude, and acceptance.

This shift in mindset really can lessen how much resistance, suffering, resentment, and frustration we feel to the things around us not going our way.

I love this concept, so today I’m going to go through a practical approach to Amor Fati to help you find out if it’s something that you can use in your day-to-day life as part of a Stoic practice or simply add to your mental toolkit as a helpful way to shift your mindset towards something more positive.

Amor Fati Infographic

Amor Fati and Stoicism:

We can use Stoic principles and philosophy to help explain in more detail.

According to the ancient Stoics, the universe has a rational order. Stoic philosophers like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus have given us books, essays, and letters filled with practical lessons and practices. Wisdom that remains as relevant today as it was back in ancient Greece and Rome.

They believed that everything happens as a result of the natural, rational, and changing state of the universe. Therefore, when we accept fate, we align ourselves with the universe’s natural order (one of the core principles of Stoic philosophy).

Conversely, when we resist or feel bitterness, anger, or frustration towards the world around us, external events, difficult times, and past events, we are resisting the very nature of the universe we find ourselves in.

“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.”

Marcus Aurelius

This form of acceptance is not about passively surrendering to everything around us. It’s more about recognising that there are limits to what we can control, learning to accept what we can’t, and focusing on what we can.

That is, we cannot control the world around us, only our response to it.

Stoicism also teaches us that virtue is the only good and vice is the only evil. It is in our response to life that we can demonstrate our own good by acting with virtue and avoiding vice.

So, if virtue is the only good and vice is the only bad, and these two things only come from people, the changing state of the universe must be neutral.

It is neither good nor bad because it cannot act with either. This concept can help free us from destructive thoughts that events are “bad” or “evil”, or the beliefs that the world is out to get us.

When we can do this regularly, we can find acceptance more easily.

This concept of Amor Fair is also often associated with the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. He used the term to outline the idea that one should not only accept but embrace the events that occur in life, trusting that everything contributes to our growth and overall strength.

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PaRT 1: A deeper Meaning To Amor Fati?

I think we can all appreciate that life is full of events and circumstances that are beyond the reach of our control; they will happen no matter how much effort we put into trying to stop them.

However, as the Stoic philosopher Epictetus once said, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

How we respond to these circumstances ultimately shapes our character, our wellbeing, and our overall experience of life.

Epictetus explains in his description of the Dichotomy of Control that we can either accept the things in life that are outside our control and, through acceptance, limit their power over our peace of mind, or we resist them and waste our time and energy on these things that will not change no matter how much we struggle and suffer.

Amor Fati can help us with this kind of acceptance.

Stoicism is a philosophy that promotes the development of our character and inner virtues as a means to achieve tranquility and freedom from suffering. To that end, the ancient Stoics believed that by learning when to accept and when to act, we get closer to living a life of peace, resilience, and general wellbeing.

This can be split into two:

  1. Learn to accept what we cannot control (the external world, other people, time, etc)
  2. Learn to take responsibility for what we can control (our thoughts, beliefs, and actions)

Stoic Dichotomy of Control Infographic

Amor Fati specifically helps us to accept the areas of our lives outside of our control, both the good and the bad, without resistance or resentment.

It’s important to note again that this principle is not about passivity or resignation, but rather about developing a proactive mindset that looks to focus on where we can be effective and helps us avoid wasting our time, energy, and wellbeing on the things we can do nothing about.

Amor Fati is the practice of accepting and embracing everything that has happened, is happening, and is yet to happen. It is the understanding that the nature of the universe is change and that without change, we would not exist, our relationships would not exist, and we wouldn’t laugh, cry, love, create, or grow.

Without change (and change is largely outside our control), we would not experience any of this.

Whether change is good, bad, enjoyment, suffering, or loss, it is necessary. Billions of years of constant change, variation, mutation, and development have brought us to where we are right now.

You wouldn’t be reading this right now if it weren’t for every event that has come before you. In that way, we can learn to love fate.

Marcus Aurelius put it like this:

“Frightened of change? But what can exist without it? What’s closer to nature’s heart? Can you take a hot bath and leave the firewood as it was? Eat food without transforming it? Can any vital process take place without something being changed?

Can’t you see? It’s just the same with you—and just as vital to nature.” 

Marcus Aurelius

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pART 2: Amor Fati and How We Can Use It:

Viktor Frankl was a Jewish psychotherapist who lived during World War 2. During the war, he was sent to various concentration camps, including Auschwitz.

Frankl survived the horrors of that war and wrote a book called Man’s Search for Meaning (which I recommend you read). He had a very simple philosophy that he credited with helping him survive the hardship and adversity of the Nazi concentration camps:

“You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.”

That is how we use concepts of philosophy. Not to exert more control over the world, but to take responsibility for how we view it and respond to it. Making a conscious decision to change our perceptions for the better.

With this in mind, here are four specific ways to use Amor Fati in our own day-to-day lives:

1. mindfulness and self-awareness

Our hectic schedules and constant exposure to external stimuli can cause us to lose touch with who we are, our values, and our goals for what we want from life.

Practicing mindfulness and self-awareness can help us take a more stoic approach to life and become more attuned to our thoughts, emotions, and reactions.

When we observe our experiences without judgment, we can identify patterns of resistance and negative thinking, allowing us to more effectively apply the principle of Amor Fati and see where it’s most needed.

If we can replace resistance with acceptance, we can lessen how much the external world can impact our peace of mind.

2. Developing a growth mindset

A growth mindset, as opposed to a fixed mindset, involves looking at life with the belief that we can develop our character over time and learn from our experiences.

Who we are is not a fixed and unchangeable thing.

If we don’t like how we respond to things right now, we are more than capable of shifting who we are to respond more constructively to things in the future.

When we encounter setbacks or challenges, a growth mindset can help us view these events as opportunities to learn, adapt, and grow.

If we can first learn to accept the situation we’re in (using principles like Amor Fati), we can quickly move past the stage of resistance and into the stage of growth.

3. The pRactice of journaling

Journaling has been used for thousands of years as a tool for processing our thoughts, emotions, and reactions to things.

A regular writing practice that’s used to reflect on the day, life events, or the day ahead can tell us a lot about our current mental state, and we can get a deeper insight into our self-talk, our beliefs, and our values and identify any areas where we may be resisting the natural flow of life.

Journaling can also help us track our progress. We can look back at earlier entries and find out how our mindset has shifted over time.

The Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote:

“When the light has been removed and my wife has fallen silent, I examine my entire day and go back over what I’ve done and said, hiding nothing from myself, passing nothing by.”

4. patience and perseverance

Building a mindset that uses ideas like Amor Fati is not an overnight transformation. The development of character is a slow, gradual, and lifelong process.

With these kinds of things, ones that form over years and decades, it pays to be patient and perseverant in our journey. Setbacks and moments of resistance are both natural and inevitable. We are humans, not machines.

If we can stay committed to our personal growth and consistently apply the principles we find valuable, we can become happier and more resilient people.

With Amor Fati, this means changing how we perceive what has happened to us or is happening to us. Have we struggled? Good. What opportunity did that provide us to grow?

Have we experienced loss? How did that teach us to appreciate what we have and not take things for granted?

Did we lose our job? What doors did that open that may have remained closed?

This may seem overly optimistic, but when these events have already happened, we get no benefit from walking around with negativity. Negativity won’t change the past; however, optimism can improve how we live right now.

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pART 3: The Origins of Amor Fati

Amor fati is often credited to the Stoics.

The slave philosopher Epictetus talked about similar concepts. The Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius wrote about fate in his journal Meditations, and later philosophers such as Nietzsche explicitly use the term Amor Fati in their writings. Nietzsche writes:

“My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendacity in the face of what is necessary—but love it.”

Here Nietzsche is saying that we should not hide from fate, we should not conceal it, nor should we wish it to be different. It is what it will be, not what we wish it will be. We should accept it. However, more than just acceptance, we should love our fate and embrace it.

“For nothing is self-sufficient, neither in us ourselves nor in things; and if our soul has trembled with happiness and sounded like a harp string just once, all eternity was needed to produce this one event—and in this single moment of affirmation all eternity was called good, redeemed, justified, and affirmed.”

Here Nietszche is saying that when we are happy, the entire world and all of history was necessary to lead up to that moment of happiness. Without that history, you would not be here, and you would not have felt that happiness.

So if you resist, hate, or complain about fate, you are resisting the conditions that have given you life, and experience. Like a set of dominoes knocking one another over. The first domino is needed for the last to fall. In the same way, all of the conditions of the past were needed for you to be here right now.

The author, Robert Greene writes:

“Through Nietzsche, I discovered amor fati. I just fell in love with the concept because the power that you can have in life of accepting your fate is so immense that it’s almost hard to fathom. You feel that everything happens for a purpose, and that it is up to you to make this purpose something positive and active.”

While I don’t believe that everything happens for a “reason”, I do think Greene has a good point. We need to accept fate, harness it, and use it to make something positive. Resistance to things that have already happened is simply a source of unnecessary suffering.

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pART 4: Complaining Is the Enemy Amor Fati

Human emotion is a complex thing, and complaining may seem like a natural outlet for expressing dissatisfaction or frustration.

However, while this habit may seem harmless, it can have some negative consequences for our mental health.

When we understand the impact that complaining has on the way we view the world and we explore alternative approaches to the less desirable things around us, we can develop a mindset that is more inclined to be resilient.

The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.
– Marcus Aurelius

Complaining can be detrimental to our mental health for several reasons.

Firstly, it reinforces negative patterns of thought, which can contribute to a pessimistic outlook on life. Over time, this focus on the negative can increase feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression as our minds become trapped in a vicious cycle of negativity.

Secondly, complaining can create in us a victim mentality, eroding our sense of agency and control.

This mindset can leave us feeling powerless and overwhelmed, undermining our ability to effectively cope with life’s challenges.

Lastly, complaining can strain relationships, as the negativity we express can create a toxic environment that repels others, leaving us feeling isolated and unsupported.

How Can We Shift Our Mind Towards Amor Fati?

So, what can we do as an alternative to complaining? Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Reframe Your Perspective: Instead of focusing on the negatives of a situation, try to reframe it in a more positive light. Consider the lessons that can be learned, the potential for growth, or the hidden opportunities that may be present.

  2. Cultivate Gratitude: Make a conscious effort to appreciate the positive aspects of your life, even amidst adversity.

  3. Practice Acceptance: Recognize that some circumstances are beyond your control and learn to accept them without resistance.

Fate and complaining become linked when we find ourselves complaining about the natural unraveling of events around us, events outside the reach of our control.

These days, more modern authors write about fate in a similar way. For example, Robert Greene has written:

“stop wishing for something else to happen, for a different fate. That is to live a false life.”  

Whenever we find ourselves wishing for something else, it prevents us from accepting the world for what it is, finding a way forward, and acting upon it.

Be careful about complaining, winging it, and wishing for things to be different. They anchor us to negativity and prevent us from doing anything.

To end, I’ll leave you with a quote from the French philosopher Albert Camus:

“a will to live without rejecting anything of life, which is the virtue I honour most in this world.”

Don’t reject anything. Next time you find yourself standing in the rain. Don’t get annoyed that you’re wet, focus on how it feels and enjoy it. We don’t get too many years of experience, so we might as well love what we can.


We’ve seen that there is much of life that’s outside our control.

Whether its the actions of other people, the economy, the passing of time, the weather, or our own past, no amount of effort or stress on our part will change the uncontrollable.

If we resist these things, we inevitably cause ourselves unnecessary stress.

Amor Fati Reminder

Instead, we can learn an attitude of acceptance and to love the comings and goings of the world around us, or fate. We can do this through the Stoic principle of amor fati.

Through amor fati, we turn resistance into acceptance, stress into peace of mind, and we limit the time and energy we put into what we can’t change and focus it where we can.

All of this leads to a happier, more resilient, and more deliberate life.

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  1. I have difficulty the concept about not just accepting your fate but loving it. I immediately think about loving to know I have terminal cancer or a loved one has been tragically killed. How can you love that!!! I do understand accepting fate because "life happens" it is a package deal ….but LOVING tragic happenings?? I do not get that.

    1. It’s the practice of loving fate in general, not just ours. Everything that has happened before us has allowed us to exist. Without the things of the past we might not be here, we wouldn’t have the ability to experience any of this. Amor Fati is the practice of accepting life for what it is, and being grateful for it, despite its hardships (which can be a great catalyst for growth).

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