100 Great Quotes By Ralph Waldo Emerson That Will Give New Direction To Your Life
American Lecturer, Philosopher, Essayist & Poet
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Ralph Waldo Emerson was a linchpin of the American Romantic Movement. An essayist, lecturer and poet, Emerson led the transcendentalist movement of the 19
th century and gave American literature its new highs. He was a champion of individualism and a critic of the countervailing pressures of the society. Interestingly, Emerson too was bowed down by the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries but he soon drifted away from it, formulating the philosophy of transcendentalism. Interestingly, much of Emerson’s works today are actually revised version of his lectures. He has to his credit more than 1500 public lectures and a dozen of published essays. His first two collections of essays, ‘Essays: First Series’ and ‘Essays: Second Series’ represent the core of his thinking. They include some of his well-known works such as ‘Self-Reliance’, ‘The Over-Soul’, ‘The Poet’ and ‘Experience’ and ‘Nature’. Emerson’s philosophies and beliefs can also be seen in his quotes that touch various aspects of life and living. They are inspirational and motivating and give a new outlook to things and situation. Go through this section and brief yourself with some of the quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness. It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them. What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Always do what you are afraid to do. Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air. What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say. When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me. Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet. All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true. It is not the length of life, but the depth. The earth laughs in flowers. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it. Make the most of yourself....for that is all there is of you. Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads. Be silly. Be honest. Be kind. A great man is always willing to be little. Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. The only way to have a friend is to be one. Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not. Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be. Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect. A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer. Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life. Every artist was first an amateur. People do not seem to realise that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character. To be great is to be misunderstood. You become what you think about all day long. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine. Envy is ignorance,
Imitation is Suicide. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn When friendships are real, they are not glass threads or frost work, but the solidest things we can know. Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. It is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself. The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions. Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood. Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis. There is creative reading as well as creative writing. Nothing external to you has any power over you. In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him. Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much. Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. I hate quotations. Tell me what you know. Nature and Books belong to the eyes that see them. The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common. That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed but that our power to do has increased. Let us be silent, that we may hear the whisper of God. The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it. In a library we are surrounded by many hundreds of dear friends imprisoned by an enchanter in paper and leathern boxes. Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy. For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else. People only see what they are prepared to see. Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain. Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, Faith looks up A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles. You are constantly invited to be what you are. Some books leave us free and some books make us free. He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser, sees newly every time he looks at the object beloved, drawing from it with his eyes and his mind those virtues which it possesses. Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes. Life is a series of surprises and would not be worth taking or keeping if it were not. Love, and you shall be loved. Beauty without expression is boring. Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can offer with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation, but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession. We are always getting ready to live but never living. You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity. None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone. Friendship, like the immortality of the soul, is too good to be believed. When friendships are real, they are not glass threads or frost work but the solidest things we know. Fear always springs
from ignorance. When you were born you were crying and everyone else was smiling. Live your life so at the end, your're the one who is smiling and everyone else is crying. The years teach much the days never know. Be good to your work, your word, and your friend. Even in the mud and scum of things, something always, always sings. The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil. It is not for you to choose what he shall know, what he shall do. It is chosen and foreordained and he only holds the key to his own secret. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. A child is a curly, dimpled lunatic. The wise man in the storm prays God not for safety from danger but for deliverance from fear. For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends. If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and adore.
We acquire the strength we have overcome.
Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.
What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.
In the highest civilization, the book is still the highest delight. He who has once known its satisfactions is provided with a resource against calamity. Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.