30 Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes: Live Deeper, Not Longer


Looking to be inspired by what the world has to offer? These Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes could give you the encouragement you need today.

Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803. He attended Harvard College at age 14 and took jobs to pay for his university expenses. In his later life, he was ordained as a junior pastor for the Second Church, but his wife’s death caused him to doubt his beliefs.

This eventually led to him resigning from his post some years later. Deliberately moving away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, Emerson began conveying the philosophy of transcendentalism, evident in his 1836 essay “Nature“.

He then gave a speech entitled “The American Scholar“, which earned him further recognition and respect. In the 1840s, he released his first two collections of essays, Essays: First Series and Essays: Second Series. They consist of some of his most well-known works, including the essays “Self-Reliance“, “Circles“, “The Poet”, and “Experience”.

Emerson never wrote about fixed philosophical beliefs. Instead, he formulated ideas such as freedom and individuality. He expressed his thoughts about the soul of mankind and its relationship to the world. To this day, Emerson is considered one of the most important figures of the American romantic movement. Philosophers, writers, and poets that came after him had been influenced by his work.

Here are 30 Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes to make you see that your life’s depth matters more than its length.

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

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. – 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

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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

Also Read: Positive Inspirational Quotes about Life to Make You Fearless

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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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

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Also Read: 49 Most Famous Quotes About Life, Love, Happiness, and Friendship

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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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

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

Always do what you are afraid to do. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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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

Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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

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

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A great man is always willing to be little. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Also Read: 30 Dark Quotes: Finding the Light From Within

The earth laughs in flowers. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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

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

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The only way to have a friend is to be one. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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

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

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

To live life is to experience its highs and lows. Share these 30 Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes with your loved ones to celebrate life as we know it.

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