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Inspirational quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson on success, love, life, self-reliance, nature and other things.

100 Great Quotes By Ralph Waldo Emerson That Will Give New Direction To Your Life

Quick Facts

Famous As: American Lecturer, Philosopher, Essayist & Poet

Born On: May 25, 1803

Died On: April 27, 1882

Born In: U.S.

Died At Age: 78

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 19th 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.
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To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Always do what you are afraid to do.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is not the length of life, but the depth.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The earth laughs in flowers.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Make the most of yourself....for that is all there is of you.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A great man is always willing to be little.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only way to have a friend is to be one.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every artist was first an amateur.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

People do not seem to realise that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

To be great is to be misunderstood.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

You become what you think about all day long.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Envy is ignorance, Imitation is Suicide.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn

Ralph Waldo Emerson

When friendships are real, they are not glass threads or frost work, but the solidest things we can know.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is creative reading as well as creative writing.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing external to you has any power over you.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature and Books belong to the eyes that see them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let us be silent, that we may hear the whisper of God.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

In a library we are surrounded by many hundreds of dear friends imprisoned by an enchanter in paper and leathern boxes.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

People only see what they are prepared to see.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, Faith looks up

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

You are constantly invited to be what you are.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some books leave us free and some books make us free.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is a series of surprises and would not be worth taking or keeping if it were not.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love, and you shall be loved.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beauty without expression is boring.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are always getting ready to live but never living.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear always springs from ignorance.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The years teach much the days never know.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be good to your work, your word, and your friend.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Even in the mud and scum of things, something always, always sings.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every wall is a door.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A child is a curly, dimpled lunatic.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The wise man in the storm prays God not for safety from danger but for deliverance from fear.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and adore.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

We acquire the strength we have overcome.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.

Ralph Waldo Emerson