35+ Most Famous Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American poet, philosopher, and essayist during the 19th century. The Random Vibez gets you a compilation of top Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes, Sayings, Images to inspire you to get more success. These words of wisdom by Ralph Waldo Emerson encourage and motivate you.

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Inspirational Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes on Success

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

  2. “The ancestor of every action is a thought.”

  3. “When you strike at a king, you must kill him.”

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

  5. “The man who renounces himself, comes to himself.”

  6. “The greatest homage we can pay to truth is to use it.”

  7. “No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.”

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

  9. “Your goodness must have some edge to it — else it is none.”

  10. “The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.”

  11. “For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

  12. “The sublime is excited in me by the great stoical doctrine, obey thyself.”

  13. “In failing circumstances no one can be relied on to keep their integrity.”

  14. “As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way.”

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

  16. “So is cheerfulness, or a good temper, the more it is spent, the more remains.”

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

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

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

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

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

  22. “It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own.”

  23. “Character is higher than intellect.[…] A great soul will be strong to live, as well as strong to think.”

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

  25. “We must be as courteous to a man as we are to a picture, which we are willing to give the advantage of a good light.”

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

  27. “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.”

  28. “Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves, but deal in our privacy with the last honesty and truth.”

  29. “The imitator dooms himself to hopeless mediocrity. The inventor did it because it was natural to him, and so in him it has a charm.”

  30. “None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.”

  31. “Power ceases in the instant of repose; it resides in the moment of transition from a past to a new state, in the shooting of the gulf, in the darting to an aim.”

  32. “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.”

  33. “Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness.”

  34. “Success treads on every right step. For the instinct is sure, that prompts him to tell his brother what he thinks. He then learns, that in going down into the secrets of his own mind, he has descended into the secrets of all minds.”

Emerson Nature Quotes

  1. “The earth laughs in flowers.”

  2. “The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.”

  3. “The world globes itself in a drop of dew.”

  4. “Nature hates monopolies and exceptions.”

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

  6. “Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn.”

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

  8. “Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.”

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

  10. “The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship.”

  11. “The greatest wonder is that we can see these trees and not wonder more.”

  12. “It is one light which beams out of a thousand stars. It is one soul which animates all men.”

  13. “The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child.”

  14. “Everything in nature contains all the power of nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff.”

  15. “Let us draw a lesson from nature, which always works by short ways. When the fruit is ripe, it falls.”

  16. “The ancient precept, “Know thyself”, and the modern precept, “Study nature”, become at last one maxim.”

  17. “There is a property in the horizon which no man has but he whose eye can integrate all the parts, that is, the poet.”

  18. “To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing.”

  19. “Nature never wears a mean appearance. Neither does the wisest man extort her secret, and lose his curiosity by finding out all her perfection.”

  20. “But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and vulgar things.”

  21. “Nature never became a toy to a wise spirit. The flowers, the animals, the mountains, reflected the wisdom of his best hour, as much as they had delighted the simplicity of his childhood.”

  22. “If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown.”

  23. “The charming landscape which I saw this morning is indubitably made up of some 20 or 30 farms. Miller owns this field, Locke that, and Manning the woodland beyond. But none of them owns the landscape.”

  24. “If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.”

  25. “These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God to-day. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence.”

  26. “The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood. His intercourse with heaven and earth, becomes part of his daily food.”

  27. “The power of Nature predominates over the human will in all works of even the fine arts, in all that respects their material and external circumstances. Nature paints the best part of the picture, carves the best part of the statue, builds the best part of the house, and speaks the best part of the oration.”

Ralph Emerson Self reliance Quotes

  1. “Self-command is the main elegance.”

  2. “Self-trust is the first secret of success.”

  3. “If a man own land, the land owns him.”

  4. “Discontent is the want of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will.”

  5. “Self-reliance, the height and perfection of man, is reliance on God.”

  6. “A complete man should need no auxiliaries to his personal presence.”

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

  8. “We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents.”

  9. “On Henry David Thoreau: He chose to be rich by making his wants few, and supplying them himself.”

  10. “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.”

  11. “If the single man plant himself indomitably on his instincts, and there abide, the huge world will come round to him.”

  12. “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.”

  13. “We wish to be self-sustained. We do not quite forgive a giver. The hand that feeds us is in some danger of being bitten.”

  14. “Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing.”

  15. “None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.”

  16. “Do not yet see, that, if the single man plant himself indomitably on his instincts, and there abide, the huge world will come round to him.”

  17. “I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever only rejoices me, and the heart appoints.”

  18. “Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so.”

  19. “All our progress is an unfolding, like the vegetable bud. You have first an instinct, then an opinion,

    then a knowledge, as the plant has root, bud, and fruit.”


  20. “Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. It is vain to hurry it. By trusting it to the end it shall ripen into truth, and you shall know why you believe.”

  21. “Self-trust is the essence of heroism. […] It speaks the truth, and it is just, generous, hospitable, temperate, scornful of petty calculations, and scornful of being scorned.”

  22. “A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his.”

  23. “I have been writing and speaking what were once called novelties, for twenty five or thirty years, & have not now one disciple. Why? Not that what I said was not true; not that it has not found intelligent receivers but because it did not go from any wish in me to bring men to me, but to themselves.”

Ralph Emerson Quotes on Love

  1. “All mankind love a lover.”

  2. “Love and you shall be loved.”

  3. “The only gift is a portion of thyself.”

  4. “Without a rich heart, wealth is an ugly beggar.”

  5. “Truth is handsomer than the affectation of love.”

  6. “We must be our own before we can be another’s.”

  7. “The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry.”

  8. “The real and lasting victories are those of peace and not of war.”

  9. “Make yourself necessary to somebody. Do not make life hard to any.”

  10. “Don’t choose the better person, choose the person who makes a better you.”

  11. “The least defect of self-possession vitiates, in my judgment, the entire relation.”

  12. “Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.”

  13. “There can be no excess to love; none to knowledge; none to beauty, when these attributes are considered in the purest sense.”

  14. “There can never be deep peace between two spirits, never mutual respect until, in their dialogue, each stands for the whole world.”

  15. “Is not marriage an open question, when it is alleged, from the beginning of the world, that such as are in the institution wish to get out, and such as are out wish to get in?”

  16. “I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be the happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should.”

  17. “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.”

  18. “If you are true, but not in the same truth with me, cleave to your companions; I will seek my own. I do this not selfishly, but humbly and truly. It is alike your interest, and mine, and all men’s, however long we have dwelt in lies, to live in truth.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes About Thinking

  1. “The ancestor of every action is a thought.”

  2. “All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.”

  3. “Life consists of what man is thinking about all day.”

  4. “Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of our science.”

  5. “To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven.”

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

  7. “Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet.”

  8. “Stay at home in your mind. Don’t recite other people’s opinions.”

  9. “The Gods we worship write their names on our faces; be sure of that.”

  10. “The best effect of fine persons is felt after we have left their presence.”

  11. “Good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they be executed.”

  12. “Circles, like the soul, are never-ending and turn round and round without a stop.”

  13. “A good symbol is the best argument, and is a missionary to persuade thousands.”

  14. “What am I? And what is? Asks the human spirit with a curiosity new-kindled, but never to be quenched.”

  15. “When we have new perception, we shall gladly disburden the memory of its hoarded treasures as old rubbish.”

  16. “Things are pretty, graceful, rich, elegant, handsome, but, until they speak to the imagination, not yet beautiful.”

  17. “Do not say things. What you are stands over you the while, and thunders, so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.”

  18. “By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote. In fact, it is as difficult to appropriate the thoughts of others as it is to invent.”

  19. “Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; Unbelief, in denying them.”
  20. “Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams.”

  21. “The stars awaken a certain reverence, because though always present, they are inaccessible; but all natural objects make a kindred impression, when the mind is open to their influence.”

  22. “The purpose of life seems to be to acquaint a man with himself and whatever science or art or course of action he engages in reacts upon and illuminates the recesses of his own mind.”

  23. “What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness.”

  24. “We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we will speak our own minds… A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men.”

  25. “Every man alone is sincere. At the entrance of a second person, hypocrisy begins. We parry and fend the approach of our fellow-man by compliments, by gossip, by amusements, by affairs. We cover up our thought from him under a hundred folds.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes About Education

  1. “Skill to do comes of doing.”

  2. “Children are all foreigners.”

  3. “Men are what their mothers made them.”

  4. “There is no knowledge that is not power.”

  5. “Never read any book that is not a year old. ”

  6. “There is properly no history; only biography.”

  7. “Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.”

  8. “The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil.”

  9. “Some books leave us free and some books make us free.”

  10. “The man who can make hard things easy is the educator.”

  11. “Many times the reading of a book has made the future of a man.”

  12. “The intellect is vagabond, and our system of education fosters restlessness.”

  13. “Respect the child. Be not too much his parent. Trespass not on his solitude.”

  14. “There never was a child so lovely, but his mother was glad to get him asleep.”

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

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

  17. “Books are the best type of the influence of the past… The theory of books is noble.”

  18. “Literature is the effort of man to indemnify himself for the wrongs of his condition.”

  19. “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.”

  20. “The things taught in schools and colleges are not an education, but the means to an education.”

  21. “The measure of a master is his success in bringing all men round to his opinion twenty years later.”

  22. “Poetry teaches the enormous force of a few words, and, in proportion to the inspiration, checks loquacity.”

  23. “The search after the great men is the dream of youth, and the most serious occupation of manhood.”

  24. “We are too civil to books. For a few golden sentences we will turn over and actually read a volume of four or five hundred pages.”

  25. “Shall I tell you the secret of the true scholar? It is this: Every man I meet is my master in some point, and in that I learn of him.”

  26. “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.”

  27. “Books are the best of things, well used; abused, the worst. What is the right use? What is the end which all means go to effect? They are for nothing but to inspire.”

  28. “The college, which should be a place of delightful labour, is made odious and unhealthy, and the young men are tempted to frivolous amusements to rally their jaded spirits.”

  29. “The boy wishes to learn to skate, to coast, to catch a fish in the brook, to hit a mark with a snowball or a stone; and a boy a little older is just as well pleased to teach him these sciences.”

  30. “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.”

  31. “Respect the child. Wait and see the new product of Nature. Nature loves analogies, but not repetitions. Respect the child. Be not too much his parent. Trespass not on his solitude.”

  32. “We are students of words: we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation -rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing.”

  33. “See in college how we thwart the natural love of learning by leaving the natural method of teaching what each wishes to learn, and insisting that you shall learn what you have no taste or capacity for.”

  34. “Colleges… can only highly serve us, when they aim not to drill, but to create; when they gather from far every ray of various genius to their hospitable halls, and, by the concentrated fires, set the hearts of their youth on flame.”

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