Quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 April 27, 1882) was a famous American essayist and one of America's most influential thinkers and writers. more

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

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; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.
Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.
Words are alive; cut them and they bleed.
The glory of friendship is not in the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is in the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.
The secret in education lies in respecting the student.
A man is a god in ruins.
Love and you shall be loved. All love is mathematically just, as much as the two sides of an algebraic equation.
There are three wants which never can be satisfied: that of the rich, who wants something more; that of the sick, who wants something different; and that of the traveler, who says, Anywhere but here.
Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events.
Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.
It is not length of life, but depth of life.
Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.
We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a belly-full of words and do not know a thing. The things taught in schools and colleges are not an education, but the means of education.
Respect the child. Be not too much his parent. Trespass not on his solitude.
For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something else.
Earth laughs in flowers.
Always do what you are afraid to do.
All that I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.
There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide.
Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.
How much of human life is lost in waiting.
Some books leave us free and some books make us free.
It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
A true friend is somebody who can make us do what we can.
A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud.
Can anybody remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?
Can anything be so elegant as to have few wants, and to serve them one's self?
We do not count a man's years until he has nothing else to count.
The moment we indulge our affections, the earth is metamorphosed, there is no winter and no night; all tragedies, all ennui s, vanish, all duties even.
Every great achievement is the victory of a flaming heart.
Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.
The eloquent man is he who is no eloquent speaker, but who is inwardly drunk with a certain belief.
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
Do the thing we fear, and the death of fear is certain.
Self-trust is the essence of heroism.
Nothing can bring you peace but yourself; nothing, but the triumph of principles.
You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
The eyes indicate the antiquity of the soul.
To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven.
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.
It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinions; it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
Conversation enriches the understanding; but solitude is the school of genius.
The only way to have a friend is to be one.
Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.
Do that which is assigned to you and you cannot hope too much or dare too much.
Self-command is the main discipline.
For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.
Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.
Music causes us to think eloquently.
It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
Accept your genius and say what you think.
To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men -- that is genius.