100 Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes to Inspire True Self-Reliance

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who advocated individualism in the early to mid 1800.

His most important essays were Essays: First Series published in 1841 and Essays: Second Series published in 1844. These works represent the core of Emerson’s thinking and genius.

Some Quotes We Love

Here’s a list our favorite Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes that encapsulate his wisdom and resonate with our highest principles here at Grand Habit.

“People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every artist was first an amateur.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Win as if you were used to it, lose as if you enjoyed it for a change.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thought Provoking and Profound Quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson by Category

Dive into the mind of Ralph Waldo Emerson with this list of quotes on success, beauty, nature, people, and life.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes on Success

“We are rich only through what we give, and poor only through what we refuse.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“There is creative reading as well as creative writing.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A good indignation brings out all one’s powers.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The first wealth is health.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A man’s growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The years teach much which the days never know.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every burned book enlightens the world.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“One must be an inventor to read well. There is then creative reading as well as creative writing.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We aim above the mark to hit the mark.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Knowledge is knowing that we cannot know.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Manners require time, and nothing is more vulgar than haste.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The sum of wisdom is that time is never lost that is devoted to work.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes on Beauty

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Beauty is an outward gift, which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“As we grow old, the beauty steals inward.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Beauty without expression is boring.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes on Nature

“The earth laughs in flowers.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Fate is nothing but the deeds committed in a prior state of existence.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“There is a tendency for things to right themselves.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We gain the strength of the temptation we resist.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Science does not know its debt to imagination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes on People

“A man is what he thinks about all day long.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The revelation of thought takes men out of servitude into freedom.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Can anything be so elegant as to have few wants, and to serve them one’s self?” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We must be our own before we can be another’s.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A man is usually more careful of his money than he is of his principles.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“People with great gifts are easy to find, but symmetrical and balanced ones never.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“People that seem so glorious are all show; underneath they are like everyone else.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is one of the beautiful compensations in this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes on Life

“Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“As soon as there is life there is danger.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood. All is riddle, and the key to a riddle is another riddle.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is not length of life, but depth of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We are always getting ready to live but never living.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

More Quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson

“There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We have listened too long to the courtly Muses of Europe.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The fox has many tricks. The hedgehog has but one. But that is the best of all.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“God enters by a private door into every individual.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Hitch your wagon to a star.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Some books leave us free and some books make us free.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Truth is the property of no individual but is the treasure of all men.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The desire of gold is not for gold. It is for the means of freedom and benefit.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every actual State is corrupt. Good men must not obey laws too well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Getting old is a fascinating thing. The older you get, the older you want to get.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“All mankind love a lover.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Doing well is the result of doing good. That’s what capitalism is all about.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We are a puny and fickle folk. Avarice, hesitation, and following are our diseases.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“In the morning a man walks with his whole body; in the evening, only with his legs.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Make yourself necessary to somebody.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The age of a woman doesn’t mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Use what language you will, you can never say anything but what you are.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I hate the giving of the hand unless the whole man accompanies it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Steve

Steve

Steve is a self-proclaimed writer and the founder of Grand Habit. A blog where he shares practical advice on self-awareness, personal transformation, solopreneurship, and productivity.

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