Ralph Emerson Quotes

“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.”

“Finish every 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.”

“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.”

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

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

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

“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.”

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

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

“The great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”

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

“Life is a journey, not a destination.”

“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.”

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

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

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

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

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”

“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.”

“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.”

“To be great is to be misunderstood.”

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

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

“The good news is that the moment you decide that what you know is more important than what you have been taught to believe, you will have shifted gears in your quest for abundance. Success comes from within, not from without.”

“You are constantly invited to be what you are.”

“Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.”

“The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.”

“We are always getting ready to live but never living.”

The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Modern Library Classics)

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