180+ Best Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Best Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Henry David Thoreau, a 19th-century American philosopher, essayist, and naturalist, is renowned for his profound insights into the human experience and his deep connection with nature.

His extensive body of work includes essays, journals, and books that continue to resonate with readers worldwide. Thoreau’s quotes, in particular, encapsulate his unique perspective on life, society, and the environment.

In this exploration of Henry David Thoreau quotes, we will delve into the wisdom and inspiration he has offered throughout the years, shedding light on his enduring influence on literature, philosophy, and the pursuit of a more deliberate, purposeful life.

Best Henry David Thoreau Quotes

QuotesAuthor
“Live the life you’ve imagined.”Henry David Thoreau
“Simplify, simplify.”Henry David Thoreau
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”Henry David Thoreau
“Our life is frittered away by detail.”Henry David Thoreau
“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”Henry David Thoreau
“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”Henry David Thoreau
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”Henry David Thoreau
“To be awake is to be alive.”Henry David Thoreau
“Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.”Henry David Thoreau
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life.”Henry David Thoreau
“It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.”Henry David Thoreau
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”Henry David Thoreau
“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”Henry David Thoreau
“In wilderness is the preservation of the world.”Henry David Thoreau
“I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear.”Henry David Thoreau
“All good things are wild and free.”Henry David Thoreau
“The universe is wider than our views of it.”Henry David Thoreau
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”Henry David Thoreau
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.”Henry David Thoreau
“Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so.”Henry David Thoreau
“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”Henry David Thoreau
“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”Henry David Thoreau
“What is once well done is done forever.”Henry David Thoreau
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”Henry David Thoreau
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”Henry David Thoreau
“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.”Henry David Thoreau
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”Henry David Thoreau
“Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.”Henry David Thoreau
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.”Henry David Thoreau
“All good things are wild and free.”Henry David Thoreau

Short Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • “Simplify, simplify.”
  • “Live the life you’ve imagined.”
  • “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
  • “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”
  • “To be awake is to be alive.”
  • “It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.”
  • “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
  • “Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”
  • “In wilderness is the preservation of the world.”
  • “All good things are wild and free.”
  • “The universe is wider than our views of it.”
  • “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
  • “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.”
  • “Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so.”
  • “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”
  • “What is once well done is done forever.”
  • “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
  • “This world is but a canvas to our imagination.”
  • “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
  • “Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.”
  • “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.”
  • “The bluebird carries the sky on his back.”
  • “Dreams are the touchstones of our character.”
  • “If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.”
  • “To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”
  • “It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”
  • “I have a room all to myself; it is nature.”
  • “I believe in the forest, and in the meadow, and in the night in which the corn grows.”
  • “This world is but a canvas to our imagination.”
  • “Be yourself—not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.”

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Henry David Thoreau Quotes For Nature

  • “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”
  • “Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.”
  • “I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.”
  • “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
  • “An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”
  • “Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”
  • “In the woods, we return to reason and faith.”
  • “I believe in the forest, and in the meadow, and in the night in which the corn grows.”
  • “Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.”
  • “Nature is our most beautiful mother.”
  • “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life.”
  • “The bluebird carries the sky on his back.”
  • “The world is but a canvas to our imagination.”
  • “All good things are wild and free.”
  • “We need the tonic of wildness… At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable.”
  • “The best thing a man can do for his culture when he is rich is to endeavor to carry out those schemes which he entertained when he was poor.”
  • “It is not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
  • “I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.”
  • “The world is big, and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”
  • “This curious world we inhabit is more wonderful than convenient; more beautiful than it is useful; it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used.”
  • “By my intimacy with nature I find myself withdrawn from man. My interest in the sun and the moon, in the morning and the evening, compels me to solitude.”
  • “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
  • “Let the gentle bush dig its root deep and spread itself upward to split the boulder.”
  • “The earth has music for those who listen.”
  • “Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.”
  • “To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before and which shall never be seen again.”
  • “It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.”
  • “Each contact with nature is a new invitation to a journey, a new challenge to the traveler. Road and path are demands.”
  • “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
  • “To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”

Henry David Thoreau Quotes For Success

  • “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”
  • “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
  • “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.”
  • “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
  • “To be awake is to be alive.”
  • “Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so.”
  • “What is once well done is done forever.”
  • “It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.”
  • “Our life is frittered away by detail.”
  • “To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”
  • “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
  • “Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.”
  • “The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.”
  • “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
  • “I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.”
  • “Success is doing what you love and being able to give it back to others.”
  • “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”
  • “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
  • “The greatest success is successful self-acceptance.”
  • “Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.”
  • “The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going.”
  • “In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high.”
  • “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.”
  • “In the confrontations with reality, the true self is revealed.”
  • “Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.”
  • “The true success is the person who invented himself.”
  • “Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”
  • “The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”
  • “There is no remedy for love but to love more.”
  • “Success is not in the getting, but in the giving.”

Henry David Thoreau Quotes About Life

  • “Live the life you’ve imagined.”
  • “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life.”
  • “What is called genius is the abundance of life and health.”
  • “In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.”
  • “This world is but a canvas to our imagination.”
  • “To be awake is to be alive.”
  • “All good things are wild and free.”
  • “Our life is frittered away by detail.”
  • “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
  • “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
  • “It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.”
  • “Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.”
  • “The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”
  • “Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.”
  • “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”
  • “The truest sayings are paradoxical.”
  • “In wilderness is the preservation of the world.”
  • “It is life near the bone where it is sweetest.”
  • “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
  • “Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.”
  • “It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.”
  • “This curious world we inhabit is more wonderful than convenient; more beautiful than it is useful; it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used.”
  • “There is no remedy for love but to love more.”
  • “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
  • “The true success is the person who invented himself.”
  • “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”
  • “The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going.”
  • “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”
  • “It takes two to speak the truth: one to speak and another to hear.”
  • “The greatest success is successful self-acceptance.”

Inspiring Nature Quotes by Henry David Thoreau

  • “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”
  • “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
  • “Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.”
  • “I believe in the forest, and in the meadow, and in the night in which the corn grows.”
  • “The world is big, and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”
  • “The bluebird carries the sky on his back.”
  • “I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.”
  • “Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.”
  • “An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”
  • “Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”
  • “All good things are wild and free.”
  • “To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”
  • “I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.”
  • “There is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.”
  • “The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.”
  • “The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.”
  • “The universe is wider than our views of it.”
  • “The best thing a man can do for his culture when he is rich is to endeavor to carry out those schemes which he entertained when he was poor.”
  • “I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.”
  • “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”
  • “Nature is our most beautiful mother.”
  • “In the wilderness, we return to reason and faith.”
  • “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
  • “To be awake is to be alive.”
  • “It is not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
  • “It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.”
  • “It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do.”
  • “The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going.”
  • “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”
  • “Let the gentle bush dig its root deep and spread itself upward to split the boulder.”

Conclusion

Henry David Thoreau’s quotes continue to resonate with people around the world, offering timeless wisdom and profound insights into various aspects of life, nature, and success.

Thoreau’s words reflect his deep connection with the natural world, his advocacy for living deliberately and authentically, and his perspective on success that emphasizes the inner journey and self-discovery. His quotes encourage us to simplify our lives, embrace the beauty of nature, and strive for a higher purpose.

They serve as a source of inspiration for those seeking a more meaningful and purposeful existence, reminding us to look within, appreciate the world around us, and live in harmony with both our inner selves and the environment.

Thoreau’s enduring legacy lies in his ability to capture the essence of the human experience and the wonder of the natural world in words that continue to inspire and guide us today.

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