171 Best Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes On Life, Success

Ralph Waldo Emerson inspirational quotes on success will teach you a lot about life.

Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803, was an American essayist, philosopher, and poet. Went by his middle name Waldo, in the mid-19th century, Emerson led the transcendentalist movement.

Emerson has seen many difficulties throughout his life but he continuous to shine despite all the struggles he had faced. Losing his father at the age of 8, Waldo was raised by and close to his mother until she too passed away.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes About Life

Born in Boston, Emerson started his formal schooling at Boston Latin School and showed incredible talent that he started attending Harvard at the young age of 14. With his studies, he took outside jobs such as waiter and an occasional teacher working with his Uncle in order to pay his bills.

After completing his graduation at Harvard, Emerson assisted his brother in a school for young women. Sadly, he lost his two brothers due to tuberculosis.

Emerson married his wife Ellen and the couple moved to Boston along with Emerson’s mother to take care of his already ill wife. Unfortunately, less than two years after that Ellen died, at the age of 20. Three young deaths in the family heavily affected Emerson. Emerson used to visit Ellen’s grave daily.

Even in a journal entry dated March 29, 1832, Emerson had written, “I visited Ellen’s tomb & opened the coffin”.

All of those events in his life and the support of Christians to slavery made him question the validity of the church. This made him resign from his pastorate and decided to travel to Europe.

Leaving Boston and traveling made him found all the answers to the questions following his wife’s death. Due to that he started to move away from religions and believed in science. Emerson moved to New York and started his career as a speaker, married to Lydia Jackson with whom he had three children.

Later Emerson put together all his philosophy of transcendentalism by anonymously publishing an essay called “Nature”. He quickly became an intellectual, befriended with other intellectuals like Henry David Thoreau whom he trained for years.

After publishing “Nature”, he continued to lecture. The American Scholar was one of his most popular lectures where he explained his philosophies of seeing the world. It was a controversial lecture but was well received.

Emerson published many books and essays including Self-Reliance. 16 volumes of his journals were published after Emerson’s death.

Emerson believed that a person must have the courage to look into his heart for spiritual guidance and should have faith in his intuitions. His work conveys the wisdom that men have the power to generate completely original insights and one can experience truth directly by nature.

Students look up to Emerson as a Transcendentalism and his work is regularly studied by many to this date. His work has influenced many other writers and thinkers. Emerson is still considered one of America’s most important intellectuals.

Here we are sharing a collection of inspirational Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes on success and life to share his wisdom.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

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

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work, one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“A great man is always willing to be little.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson Inspirational Quotes

“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To be great is to be misunderstood.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Dreams and beasts are two keys by which we find out the secret of our own nature. They are test objects.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What is the hardest thing in the world? To think.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

Ralph Waldo Emerson Famous Quotes

“When friendships are real, they are not glass threads or frost work, but the solidest things we can know.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You become what you think about all day long.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The ancestor of every action is a thought.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The last change in our point of view gives the whole world a pictorial air.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson Success Quotes

“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.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Self-trust is the first secret of success.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What you are comes to you.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If Love his moment overstay,
Hatred’s swift repulsions play.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson Nature Quotes

“Before we acquire great power we must acquire wisdom to use it well.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“How much of human life is lost in waiting.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The secret in education lies in respecting the student.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“People destined to meet will do so, apparently by chance, at precisely the right moment.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“One of the most beautiful compensations in life is that no person can help another without helping themselves.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Imagination is a very high sort of seeing.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Throw a stone into the stream and the ripples that propagate themselves are the beautiful type of all influence.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Happy will the house be in which the relationships are formed from character.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes About Life

“Little minds have little worries, big minds have no time for worries.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“We are by nature observers, and thereby learners. That is our permanent state.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I do not wish more external goods—neither possessions, nor honors, nor powers, nor persons. The gain is apparent; the tax is certain.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“What your heart thinks is great, is great. The soul’s emphasis is always right.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“Nature is reckless of the individual. When she has points to carry, she carries them.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson Self Reliance Quotes

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

“The antidote to this abuse of formal government, is, the influence of private character, the growth of the Individual.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Economy does not consist in saving the coal, but in using the time while it burns.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We cannot overstate our debt to the past, but the moment has the supreme claim.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Without a rich heart, wealth is an ugly beggar.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The objection to conforming to usages that have become dead to you is that it scatters your force. It loses your time and blurs the impression of your character.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A man who stands united with his thought conceives magnificently of himself.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes The Purpose Of Life

“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.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Good men must not obey the laws too well.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think…. 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.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“Wise men put their trust in ideas and not in circumstances.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“Men love to wonder; that is the seed of science.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson Love Quotes

“Concentration is the secret of strength in politics, in war, in trade, in short in all management of human affairs.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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

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

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

“He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The man who knows how will always have a job. The man who also knows why will always be his boss.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.” ― 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

“He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes On Kindness

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

“Do the thing and you will have the power.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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

“People only see what they are prepared to see.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The hero is not fed on sweets,
Daily his own heart he eats.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“Friendship, like the immortality of the soul, is too good to be believed.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.” ― 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

Best Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

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

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

“A man’s years should not be counted until he has something else to count.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“All is riddle and the key to a riddle is another riddle.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“All the good of nature is the soul’s, and may be had, if paid for in nature’s lawful coin, that is, by labor which the heart and the head allow.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The real and lasting victories are those of peace and not of war.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“For the world is not painted, or adorned, but is from the beginning beautiful; and God has not made some beautiful things, but Beauty is the creator of the universe.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes On Fear

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

“Knowledge is the antidote to fear.” ― 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Well, most men have bound their eyes with one or another handkerchief, and attached themselves to some one of these communities of opinion. This conformity makes them not false in a few particulars, authors of a few lies, but false in all particulars. Their every truth is not quite true. Their two is not the real two, their four not the real four; so that every word they say chagrins us, and we know not where to begin to set them right.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes To Be Yourself

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

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

“The reward of a thing well done is having done it.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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

“The condition of true naming, on the poet’s part, is his resigning himself to the divine aura which breathes through forms, and accompanying that.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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

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

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

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes To Laugh Often

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“In skating over thin ice, our safety is speed.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every man I meet is in some way my superior.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson Sayings

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

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

“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.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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

“When you have worn out shoes, the strength of the shoe leather has passed into the fiber of your body. I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminated only the eye of the man but shines into the eye and the heart of the child.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes On Friendship

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

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

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

“Build therefore your own world. As fast as you conform your life to the pure idea in your mind, that will unfold its great proportions.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“All my good is magnetic, and I educate, not by lessons, but by going about my business.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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

“The universal soul is the alone creator of the useful and the beautiful; therefore to make anything useful or beautiful, the individual must be submitted to the universal mind.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“Nature loves analogies, but not repetitions.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson Flower Quotes

“We call it the moral sentiment. As we are, so we do; and as we do, so it is done to us; we are the builders of our fortunes.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“The older you get, the older you want to get.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Character is higher than intellect.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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

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

“I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Did you get inspired by these Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes?

Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of the best intellects and writers to this date. Emerson’s work continues to influence many people. Even though his books and essay were published a century before, it is discussed and taught to young students in the modern age.

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an inspirational figure one can learn many things from. Despite the struggles and tragedies he has been through, Emerson was determined and drive to shine. He spent his life trying to find out the answers to life’s greatest questions that’s one of the reasons why Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quotes and works are considered timeless wisdom.

We hope you will also gain some timeless wisdom from these inspirational Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes on life.

Do share your thoughts with us in the comment section and tell us which one was your favorite Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes or if you want to ask any questions or have any query send them via Contact Us

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