Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of the most quoted people in history. From blogs and social media profiles, you’ll certainly find many drawing inspiration from his words of wisdom.
Best Quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson
1. Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
2. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
3. A man is what he thinks about all day long.
4. Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.
5. Beware what you set your heart upon. For it surely shall be yours.
6. The characteristic of a genuine heroism is its persistency.
7. The first wealth is health.
8. Better to know a few things which are good and necessary than many things which are useless and mediocre.
9. To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
10. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
11. We walk alone in the world. Friends, such as we desire, are dreams and fables.
12. Don’t waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour’s duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it.
13. The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.
14. Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.
15. The wise man throws himself on the side of his assailants. It is more his interest than it is theirs to find his weak point.
16. A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates when he becomes a conformist.
17. Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world.
18. Courage charms us, because it indicates that a man loves an idea better than all things in the world, that he is thinking neither of his bed, nor his dinner, nor his money, but will venture all to put in act the invisible thought of his mind.
19. Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.
20. The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.
21. Life is a succession of lessons, which must be lived to be understood.
22. The less government we have, the better — the fewer laws, and the less confided power.
23. Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.
24. Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing.
25. The great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
26. 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.
27. All our progress is an unfolding, like the vegetable bud. You have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge, as the plant has root, bud, and fruit.
28. What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
29. When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.
30. Success treads on every right step. For the instinct is sure, that prompts him to tell his brother what he thinks. He then learns, that in going down into the secrets of his own mind, he has descended into the secrets of all minds.
31. I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.
32. So much of our time is spent in preparation, so much in routine, and so much in retrospect, that the amount of each person’s genius is confined to a very few hours.
33. Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.
34. When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart.
35. Health is the first muse, and sleep is the condition to produce it.
36. Public opinion, I am sorry to say, will bear a great deal of nonsense. There is scarcely any absurdity so gross, whether in religion, politics, science or manners, which it will not bear.
37. Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail
38. It is one light which beams out of a thousand stars. It is one soul which animates all men.
39. Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.
40. People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
41. Our minds travel when our bodies are forced to stay at home.
42. Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.
43. Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.
44. Solitude, the safeguard of mediocrity, is to genius the stern friend.
45. For every thing you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something else.
46. Everything in nature contains all the power of nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff.
47. If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and adore.
48. Do not be too timid and squeamish about your reactions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
49. The phrase ‘to know the world,’ or to travel, is synonymous with all men’s ideas of advantage and superiority. No doubt, to a man of sense, travel offers advantages.
50. Make yourself necessary to somebody. Do not make life hard to any.
51. Nature never became a toy to a wise spirit. The flowers, the animals, the mountains, reflected the wisdom of his best hour, as much as they had delighted the simplicity of his childhood.
52. Don’t choose the better person, choose the person who makes a better you.
53. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.
54. Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
55. The real and lasting victories are those of peace and not of war.
56. God will not have his work made manifest by cowards. Always, always, always, always, always do what you are afraid to do. Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.
57. Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.
58. Every artist was first an amateur.
59. If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.