Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes on Life, Self-Reliance & Nature

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who became one of the most influential figures of the 19th century American literary and philosophical movement known as Transcendentalism. He is often regarded as one of America’s greatest thinkers and writers.

Emerson was born on May 25, 1803, in Boston, Massachusetts. He attended Harvard College and later Harvard Divinity School, where he studied theology. However, he eventually left the ministry and pursued a career as a lecturer and writer.

One of his most famous essays is “Self-Reliance,” in which he promotes the idea that individuals should trust themselves and follow their own instincts rather than relying on the opinions of others. He believed that conformity stifled creativity and personal growth.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

Here are 50 best quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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

ralph waldo emerson quotes

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

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

4. “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”

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

ralph waldo emerson quotes from nature

6. “Life is a journey, not a destination.”

7. “The age of a woman doesn’t mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.”

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

9. “Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.”

10. “The only way to have a friend is to be one.”

ralph waldo emerson quotes friendship

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

12. “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.”

13. “The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck.”

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

15. “Hitch your wagon to a star.”

16. “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

17. “A man is what he thinks about all day long.”

18. “The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one.”

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

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

famous ralph waldo emerson quotes

21. “Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.”

22. “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.”

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

24. “To be great is to be misunderstood.”

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

ralph waldo emerson quotes path

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

27. “A great man is always willing to be little.”

28. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

29. “Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.”

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

ralph waldo emerson quotes about nature

31. “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”

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

33. “Every artist was first an amateur.”

34. “Character is higher than intellect.”

35. “Life is a progress, and not a station.”

ralph waldo emerson quotes about life

36. “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.”

37. “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children… to leave the world a better place… to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

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

39. “A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud.”

40. “Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.”

ralph waldo emerson quotes success

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

42. “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”

43. “Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.”

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

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

ralph waldo emerson quotes self-reliance

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

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

48. “Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool.”

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

50. “Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, faith looks up.”

self reliance ralph waldo emerson quotes

These quotes reflect Emerson’s emphasis on self-reliance, individualism, and the power of one’s own thoughts and actions. They also highlight his belief in the inherent greatness and potential within each individual. These quotes also encompass various themes, including self-reliance, personal growth, perseverance, friendship, and the pursuit of one’s purpose in life. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words continue to inspire and provide valuable insights to readers around the world.

Related Articles

Leave a comment