Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was an American writer, essayist, and philosopher. He was one of the founders of the movement called Transcendentalism.  His philosophy is typically liberal, affirmative, vitalist and optimistic. We present you 101 memorable Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes that are truly inspirational:

  1. If you want to be great and successful, choose people who are great and successful and walk side by side with them.
  2. Always do what you are afraid to do.

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

  4. One can never truly savor success until first tasting adversity.

  5. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

  6. Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.

  7. It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.

  8. For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.

  9. Be good to your work, your word, and your friend.

  10. Vigor is contagious, and whatever makes us either think or feel strongly adds to our power and enlarges our field of action.

  11. In the highest civilization, the book is still the highest delight. He who has once known its satisfactions is provided with a resource against calamity

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

  13. You become what you think about all day long.

  14. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.

  15. Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy.

  16. Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.

  17. We acquire the strength we have overcome.

  18. The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil. It is not for you to choose what he shall know, what he shall do. It is chosen and foreordained and he only holds the key to his own secret.

  19. Every wall is a door.

  20. When you were born you were crying and everyone else was smiling. Live your life so at the end, your’re the one who is smiling and everyone else is crying.

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

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

  23. 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 you have lived well.

  24. People destined to meet will do so, apparently by chance, at precisely the right moment.

  25. All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.

  26. Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, Faith looks up.

  27. Successful is the person who has lived well, laughed often and loved much, who has gained the respect of children, who leaves the world better than they found it, who has never lacked appreciation for the earth’s beauty, who never fails to look for the best in others or give the best of themselves.

  28. Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.

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

  30. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.

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

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

  33. Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.

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

  35. It is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself.

  36. Fear always springs from ignorance.

  37. Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can offer with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation, but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession.

  38. We are always getting ready to live but never living.

  39. Some books leave us free and some books make us free.

  40. Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.

  41. When friendships are real, they are not glass threads or frost work, but the solidest things we can know.

  42. Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.

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

  44. Love, and you shall be loved.

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

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

  47. In order for one to learn the important lessons of life, one must first overcome a fear each day.

  48. 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.

  49. People only see what they are prepared to see.

  50. Every artist was first an amateur.

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

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

  53. 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.

  54. Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.

  55. Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force – that thoughts rule the world.

  56. We don’t grow old. When we cease to grow, we become old.

  57. What would be the use of immortality to a person who cannot use well a half an hour?

  58. When a man becomes a conformist, he is sacrificing the richness of independent thinking.

  59. Meet your failure nobly, and it will not differ from success.

  60. Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.

  61. Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.

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

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

  64. Nature and Books belong to the eyes that see them.

  65. The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.

  66. People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.

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

  68. 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.

  69. The first wealth is health.

  70. The measure of mental health is the disposition to find good everywhere.

  71. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

  72. Men succeed when they realize that their failures are the preparation for their victories.

  73. 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

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

  75. In a library we are surrounded by many hundreds of dear friends imprisoned by an enchanter in paper and leathern boxes.

  76. Within us is the soul of the whole, the wise silence, the universal beauty, the eternal One.

  77. Live well, learn plenty, laugh often, love much.

  78. Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.

  79. Research is not seeing what others do not see, it is seeing the same thing as other people and thinking what they do not.

  80. Self-trust is the first secret of success.

  81. Before we acquire great power we must acquire wisdom to use it well.

  82. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are shining parts, is the soul.

  83. Genius is saying what is in your heart, because it’s in everyone’s heart.

  84. If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.

  85. Every man in his lifetime needs to thank his faults.

  86. Money is of no value; it cannot spend itself. All depends on the skill of the spender.

  87. Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.

  88. A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud.

  89. If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.

  90. With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.

  91. Nature never hurries: atom by atom, little by little, she achieves her work. The lesson one learns from yachting or planting is the manners of Nature; patience with the delays of wind and sun, delays of the seasons, bad weather, excess or lack of water.

  92. Our knowledge is the amassed thought and experience of innumerable minds.

  93. Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn.

  94. Don’t choose the better person, choose the person who makes a better you.

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

  96. Little minds have little worries, big minds have no time for worries.

  97. Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.

  98. When there is no vision, people perish.

  99. An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.

  100. Knowledge is the antidote to fear,- Knowledge, Use, and Reason, with its higher aids.

  101. Don’t waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour’s duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it.

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