Henry David Thoreau (born 12 July 1817, Concord, Massachusetts, United States – died 6 May 1862, Concord, Massachusetts, United States) was an American philosopher, transcendentalist, essayist, poet, and naturalist. He is best known for his book Walden (1854), a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay “Civil Disobedience” (originally published in 1849 as “Resistance to Civil Government”), an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. The question is not what you look at, but what you see. Things do not change; we change. Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
Simplify your life. Don't waste the years struggling for things that are unimportant. Don't burden yourself with possessions. Keep your needs and wants simple and enjoy what you have. Don't destroy your peace of mind by looking back, worrying about the past. Live in the present. Simplify!
Henry David Thoreau Dreams are the touchstones of our characters. What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us. You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this. 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. 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. Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them. Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations. Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something. Be yourself - not your idea of what you think somebody else's idea of yourself should be. Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live. This world is but a canvas to our imagination. The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes. I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion. The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder. I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. All good things are wild and free. Goodness is the only investment that never fails. 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. I make myself rich by making my wants few. What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. For an impenetrable shield, stand inside yourself. Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth. Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. Not all who wander are lost. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor. Every oak tree started out as a couple of nuts who stood their ground. Think for yourself, or others will think for you without thinking of you. Every man is the builder of a temple called his body. A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.
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 indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.
Henry David Thoreau Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake. Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new. Maturity is when all of your mirrors turn into windows. The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run. If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment. Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves. What is once well done is done forever. Wealth is the ability to fully experience life. What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on? Never look back unless you are planning to go that way. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. Men are born to succeed, not to fail. The universe is wider than our views of it. I was not designed to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest. As if you could kill time without injuring eternity. There is no remedy for love but to love more. It is better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are… than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise. If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it. Only that traveling is good which reveals to me the value of home and enables me to enjoy it better. If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. It is never too late to give up our prejudices. Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around. Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads. An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. It’s not worth our while to let our imperfections disturb us always. When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.