150 Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes on Success & Life

Ralph Waldo Emerson, born May 25, 1803, was an influential American poet, essayist and philosopher.

After studying at Harvard and a brief career in the ministry, he encountered European intellectuals like Thomas Carlyle that greatly influenced his philosophy.

As the primary proponent of Transcendentalism, he promoted individualism and challenged traditional thought.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Works such as “Nature,” “Self-Reliance,” and “Essays, First and Second Series” embody his philosophy.

Related: Haruki Murakami Quotes and Chuck Palahniuk Quotes.

Although criticized for rejecting the concept of evil, Emerson remained a crucial figure in American culture due to his steadfast belief in individual divine potential.

He died on April 27, 1882.

I have listed below some of the most popular quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Greatest Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

1. “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).


2. “Life is a journey, not a destination.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

3. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

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

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

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

7. “Every artist was first an amateur.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

8. “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

9. “Always do what you are afraid to do.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

10. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

11. “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).

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

13. “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).

14. “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).


15. “For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

16. “Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

17. “It is not the length of life, but the depth.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

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

19. “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).

20. “The earth laughs in flowers.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

21. “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).


22. “Self-trust is the first secret of success.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

23. “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

24. “A great man is always willing to be little.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

25. “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

26. “You become what you think about all day long.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

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

28. “Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

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

30. “God will not have his work made manifest by cowards.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

31. “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to leave the world a better place, to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

32. “Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

33. “God will not have his work made manifest by cowards. Always, always, always, always, always do what you are afraid to do. Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

34. “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

35. “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

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

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

38. “Its the not the destination, it’s the journey.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).


39. “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

40. “Do the thing and you will have the power.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

41. “That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed but that our power to do has increased.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

42. “Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

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

44. “People only see what they are prepared to see.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

45. “Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, Faith looks up.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

46. “All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

Top Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

47. “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).

48. “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

49. “To be great is to be misunderstood.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

50. “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).

51. “People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

52. “Wise men put their trust in ideas and not in circumstances.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

53. “The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

54. “When you were born you were crying and everyone else was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone else is crying.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).


55. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

56. “Beware what you set your heart upon. For it surely shall be yours.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

57. “Envy is ignorance, Imitation is Suicide.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

58. “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

59. “Be not the slave of your own past – plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

60. “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

61. “The things taught in schools and colleges are not an education, but the means to an education.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

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

63. “What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

64. “We are always getting ready to live but never living.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

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

66. “When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

67. “Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

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

69. “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

70. “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).

Famous Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

71. “Fear always springs from ignorance.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

72. “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

73. “Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

74. “Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

75. “Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

76. “Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

77. “What I need is someone who will make me do what I can.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

78. “Nature and Books belong to the eyes that see them.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

79. “It is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

80. “None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

81. “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

82. “Happy is the hearing man; unhappy the speaking man.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

83. “Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

84. “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

85. “The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

86. “Scatter joy!” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

87. “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).

88. “We acquire the strength we have overcome.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

89. “The first wealth is health.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

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

91. “Beauty without expression is boring.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

Short Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

92. “Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

93. “Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

94. “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

95. “All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

96. “If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and adore.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

97. “Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves, but deal in our privacy with the last honesty and truth.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

98. “A house is made with walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

99. “His heart was as great as the world, but there was no room in it to hold the memory of a wrong.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

100. “You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

101. “Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

102. “We aim above the mark to hit the mark.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

103. “The years teach much the days never know.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

104. “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

105. “The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

106. “He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser, sees newly every time he looks at the object beloved, drawing from it with his eyes and his mind those virtues which it possesses.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

107. “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

108. “When you strike at a king, you must kill him.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

109. “A child is a curly, dimpled lunatic.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

110. “Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

111. “All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

112. “Noblesse oblige; or, superior advantages bind you to larger generosity.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

Best Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

113. “Knowledge is when you learn something new everyday. Wisdom is when you let something go every day.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

114. “Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

115. “Live well, learn plenty, laugh often, love much.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

116. “Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

117. “The essence of greatness is the perception that virtue is enough.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

118. “In the highest civilization, the book is still the highest delight. He who has once known its satisfactions is provided with a resource against calamity.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

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

120. “Lose yourself in nature and find peace.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

121. “The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

122. “The world belongs to the energetic.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

123. “The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

124. “A man becomes what he thinks about most of the time.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

Great Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

125. “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends. We’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

126. “As to methods, there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

127. “If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

128. “The measure of mental health is the disposition to find good everywhere.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

129. “We gain the strength of the temptation we resist.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

130. “Truth, and goodness, and beauty, are but different faces of the same All.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

131. “All life is an experiment.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

132. “Friendship, like the immortality of the soul, is too good to be believed. When friendships are real, they are not glass threads or frost work but the solidest things we know.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

133. “The reward of a thing well done is having done it.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

134. “If I am the devil’s child, I will live then, by the devil.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

135. “Don’t choose the better person, choose the person who makes a better you.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

136. “How much of human life is lost in waiting.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

137. “Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

Inspiring Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

138. “Patience and fortitude conquer all things.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

139. “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).

140. “Without a rich heart, wealth is an ugly beggar.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

141. “If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

142. “Live, let live, and help live.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

143. “Every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man. His character determines the character of the organization.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

144. “The only thing that can grow is the thing you give energy to.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

145. “Be a gift and a benediction.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

146. “Don’t waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour’s duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

147. “Cultivate an attitude of gratitude, of giving and forgiving. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

148. “Self reliance, the height and perfection of man, is reliance on God.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

149. “It’s a luxury to be understood.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

150. “Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.” ~ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar