Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. I read him the first time in my English class in high school. I have recently started reading some of his essays and enjoying his brilliant thoughts. I share with you some of his quotes here. Send me some of your favourites.

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

“Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.”

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

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

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

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

“What can we see, read, acquire, but ourselves. Take the book, my friend, and read your eyes out, you will never find there what I find.”

“Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.”

“Common sense is as rare as genius.”

“Patience and fortitude conquer all things.”

“Nothing external to you has any power over you.”

“No change in circumstances can repair a defect of character.”

“Some people will tell you there is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.”

“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.”

“It is not the length of life, but the depth.”

“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.”

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”

“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. 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.”

“People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.”