Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

I really, really love Emerson.  I could easily make this page 5 times longer.  One of these days, I will.  BUT TO BE HONEST, I REALIZE THAT THIS PAGE COULD BE A LOT BETTER!!

I had paid a friend years ago to write out some popular Emerson quotes for me, and while SOME of these are good, a lot of them are very cliche, boring, overused, and basic.  I’m actually a little embarrassed.  I guess I just slapped these up here & never looked back.  Dang.  I’ll start collecting some of the better, deep & esoteric thoughts that Emerson is known for…..  -Shawn, Oct 17th, 2018

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

Be not the slave of your own past – plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.

Be yourself; no base imitator of another, but your best self. There is something which you can do better than another. Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that. Do the things at which you are great, not what you were never made for.

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.

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

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

Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.

Every artist was first an amateur.

Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.

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

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.

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

He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.

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

Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

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

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

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

Life consists of what a man is thinking all day.

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

Make yourself necessary to somebody.

Men achieve a certain greatness unawares, when working to another aim.

No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.

Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

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

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

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.

People only see what they are prepared to see.

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

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.

The ancestor of every action is a thought.

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

You become what you think about all day long.

There’s a lot more of these Emerson quotes I need to go through and post here.  Which ones did you like the most?

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  1. Reply

    I love Ralph Waldo Emerson and you have picked some of his best quotes. Very nice. Thanks!

    • Girish
    • November 30, 2010

    Thanks for the boosting tonic for acheving the desirable goals.
    please keep mailing me

    • Nora Thurman
    • August 1, 2019

    You become what you think about all day..; Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.

    Those are great ty for sharing!!💙💯

    1. Reply

      You’re welcome, Nora!

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