Ralph Waldo Emerson

Birth: May 25, 1803 - Death April 27, 1882
Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.

He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser, sees newly every time he looks at the object beloved, drawing from it with his eyes and his mind those virtues which it possesses.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love, and you shall be loved.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, Faith looks up

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is a series of surprises and would not be worth taking or keeping if it were not.

Imitation is suicide.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

What can we see, read, acquire, but ourselves. Take the book, my friend, and read your eyes out, you will never find there what I find.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.

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

Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.

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.

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

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

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

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

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

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

You become what you think about all day long.

Envy is ignorance, Imitation is Suicide.

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.

There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.

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