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101 Thought-Provoking Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

Last Updated: December 30, 2023 by Quote.cc Team

Ralph Waldo Emerson, a central figure in American literature and philosophy, was born on May 25, 1803, in Boston, Massachusetts. Known as the leader of the transcendentalist movement, Emerson championed individualism and was a critic of the countervailing pressures of society. He is celebrated for his essays, lectures, and poems, which deeply influenced American thought and culture.

Emerson’s philosophy emphasized the inherent goodness of both people and nature, advocating a profound spiritual connection with the natural world and the supremacy of individual intuition over traditional doctrine. His most notable works include “Nature,” “Self-Reliance,” and “The American Scholar,” which articulate his ideas on personal freedom, self-improvement, and the importance of a direct relationship with nature.

Throughout his career, Emerson’s writings reflected a unique blend of spirituality, idealism, and pragmatic wisdom. His influence extended to contemporaries like Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman and continues to resonate in modern philosophical and literary circles. Emerson’s legacy is that of a thinker who sought to forge a distinctly American intellectual identity, emphasizing optimism, freedom, and the potential for human growth.

In this blog post, We’ve shared 101 Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes on success, self-reliance, life, nature, happiness, death, and friendship, and explained a few of them.

101 Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – 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

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

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The earth laughs in flowers.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” – 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

“To be great is to be misunderstood.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Always do what you are afraid to do.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work, one finishes nothing.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Self-trust is the first secret of success.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every artist was first an amateur.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Money often costs too much.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is not the length of life, but the depth of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nothing external to you has any power over you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Each man has his own vocation; his talent is his call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A great man is always willing to be little.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The only true gift is a portion of yourself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Men are what their mothers made them.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every sweet has its sour; every evil its good.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every wall is a door.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Knowledge is knowing that we cannot know.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The ancestor of every action is a thought.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We are always getting ready to live but never living.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The first wealth is health.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“No man ever prayed heartily without learning something.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We gain the strength of the temptation we resist.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We must be our own before we can be another’s.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What you are afraid to do is a clear indicator of the next thing you need to do.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The fox has many tricks. The hedgehog has but one. But that is the best of all.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every reform was once a private opinion.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Do the thing and you will have the power.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The best effect of fine persons is felt after we have left their presence.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The greatest homage we can pay to truth is to use it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Hitch your wagon to a star.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The only gift is a portion of thyself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Art is the path of the creator to his work.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A man is what he thinks about all day long.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Skill to do comes of doing.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Patience and fortitude conquer all things.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.” – 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

“A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Our chief want in life is somebody who shall make us do what we can.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The years teach much which the days never know.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Give all to love; obey thy heart.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The sum of wisdom is that time is never lost that is devoted to work.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The wise man in the storm prays God, not for safety from danger, but deliverance from fear.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Insist on yourself; never imitate.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is not the length of life, but depth of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Prayer that craves a particular commodity, anything less than all good, is vicious.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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