Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American philosopher, essayist, and poet who was born on May 25, 1803, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the son of a Unitarian minister and was raised in a religious and intellectual household. He attended Harvard College, where he studied a variety of subjects, including philosophy, literature, and languages. After graduation, he began a career as a schoolteacher, but he soon left that profession to pursue a career in writing and public speaking.
Emerson became one of the most influential figures in American intellectual life in the 19th century. He was a leading member of the Transcendentalist movement, which emphasized the importance of individualism, self-reliance, and the unity of all things in nature. His essays, such as “Self-Reliance” and “Nature,” have become classics of American literature, and his speeches and lectures were widely popular in his day.
Emerson was also a passionate advocate for social reform and was active in the abolitionist movement. He believed that the individual had a responsibility to work for the betterment of society as a whole.
Emerson died on April 27, 1882, in Concord, Massachusetts, at the age of 78. He was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, and his grave remains a popular pilgrimage site for admirers of his work. Emerson’s legacy as a thinker and writer continues to inspire generations of readers and writers.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
The only way to have a friend is to be one.
The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.
The only gift is a portion of thyself.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
We become what we think about all day long.
Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.
The only true gift is a portion of yourself.
Life is a journey, not a destination.
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 lived well.
Hitch your wagon to a star.
To be great is to be misunderstood.
The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear.
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
Success is not the destination, it is the journey.
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
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.
The earth laughs in flowers.
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
It is not the length of life, but the depth.
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.
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.
Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.
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.
The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.