42 Inspiring Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Henry David Thoreau was an American poet, philosopher, naturalist, development critic, surveyor, and historian born in Concord, Massachusetts.

His books, articles and poetry amounted to more than 20 volumes with his most famous book known as “Walden”, where his shared his wisdom on simple living.

He was also mentored by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the famous American essayist and philosopher.

His quotes will inspire you to live a quality life in a simple way and to motivate you to make your dreams a reality.

“Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live.”

“Men are born to succeed, not to fail.”

“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”

“Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.”

“Be yourself – not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.”

“To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.”

“The only people who ever get anyplace interesting are the people who get lost.”

“All good things are cheap: all bad are very dear.”

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”

“One farmer says to me, ‘You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make bones with;’ and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying his system with the raw material of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plow along in spite of every obstacle.”

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.”

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”

“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”

“It often happens that a man develops a deeper love and friendship with his pet cat or dog than he does with most of the other humans in his life.”

“Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.”

“Dreams are the touchstones of our characters.”

“Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.”

“Enthusiasm is a supernatural serenity.”

“The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.”

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”

“The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”

“Things do not change, we do.”

“Never look back – unless you’re planning to go that way.”

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.”

“If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.”

“Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.”

“Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.”

“When it’s time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived.”

“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.”

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”

“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

“Simplify your life. Don’t waste the years struggling for things that are unimportant. Don’t burden yourself with possessions. Keep your needs and wants simple and enjoy what you have. Don’t destroy your peace of mind by looking back, worrying about the past. Live in the present. Simplify!”

“All good things are wild and free.”

“What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”

“Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.”

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