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I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,
by Henry David Thoreau

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.
- Henry David Thoreau

Related topics: Wisdom Nature Deep Self Adventure Lesson Purpose

Could a greater miracle take place
than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?
- Henry David Thoreau

Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked,
in which you can walk with love and reverence.
- Henry David Thoreau

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
- Henry David Thoreau

 

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
- Henry David Thoreau

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation
and go to the grave with the song still in them.
- Henry David Thoreau

Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl:
it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling.
- Henry David Thoreau

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Dreams are the touchstones of our character.
- Henry David Thoreau

The heart is forever inexperienced.
- Henry David Thoreau

What is called genius is the
abundance of life and health.
- Henry David Thoreau

Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new.
- Henry David Thoreau

How could youths better learn to live
than by at once trying the experiment of living?
- Henry David Thoreau

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself,
than be crowded on a velvet cushion.
- Henry David Thoreau

The greatest compliment that was ever paid me
was when one asked me what I thought,
and attended to my answer.
- Henry David Thoreau

There is danger that we lose sight of
what our friend is absolutely,
while considering what she is to us alone.
- Henry David Thoreau

Every generation laughs at the old fashions,
but follows religiously the new.
- Henry David Thoreau

I have a great deal of company in the house,
especially in the morning when nobody calls.
- Henry David Thoreau

May we so love as never to have occasion
to repent of our love!
- Henry David Thoreau

Do what you love.
Know your own bone;
gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it,
and gnaw it still.
- Henry David Thoreau

Live your life, do your work, then take your hat.
- Henry David Thoreau

This world is but a canvas to our imagination.
- Henry David Thoreau

Front yards are not made to walk in, but, at most, through,
and you could go in the back way.
- Henry David Thoreau

The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend.
- Henry David Thoreau

There is no remedy for love but to love more.
- Henry David Thoreau

Ignorance and bungling with love
are better than wisdom and skill without.
- Henry David Thoreau

Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify.
- Henry David Thoreau

Not until we are lost
do we begin to understand ourselves.
- Henry David Thoreau

The man who is dissatisfied with himself, what can he do?
- Henry David Thoreau

The language of Friendship is not words, but meanings.
It is an intelligence above language.
- Henry David Thoreau

Friends... they cherish one another's hopes.
They are kind to one another's dreams.
- Henry David Thoreau

We know but a few men, a great many coats and breeches.
- Henry David Thoreau

There are certain pursuits which,
if not wholly poetic and true,
do at least suggest a nobler and finer
relation to nature than we know.
The keeping of bees, for instance.
- Henry David Thoreau

What old people say you cannot do,
you try and find that you can.
Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new.
- Henry David Thoreau

There are moments when all anxiety
and stated toil are becalmed
in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.
- Henry David Thoreau

It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants.
The question is: What are we busy about?
- Henry David Thoreau

Be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you,
opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.
- Henry David Thoreau

As you simplify your life,
the laws of the universe will be simpler;
solitude will not be solitude,
poverty will not be poverty,
nor weakness weakness.
- Henry David Thoreau

Only he is successful in his business who makes that pursuit
which affords him the highest pleasure sustain him.
- Henry David Thoreau

It's not what you look at that matters,
it's what you see.
- Henry David Thoreau

We should distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.
- Henry David Thoreau

In wilderness is the preservation of the world.
- Henry David Thoreau

Aim above morality.
Be not simply good,
be good for something.
- Henry David Thoreau

The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest.
- Henry David Thoreau

Live the life you've dreamed.
- Henry David Thoreau

I have found that hollow,
which even I had relied on for solid.
- Henry David Thoreau

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
Live the life you have imagined.
- Henry David Thoreau

Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations.
For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live.
- Henry David Thoreau

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
- Henry David Thoreau

We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal,
and then leap in the dark to our success.
- Henry David Thoreau

The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools,
but the gentle touches of air and water
working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.
- Henry David Thoreau

Nature puts no question and answers none which we mortals ask.
She has long ago taken her resolution.
- 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

That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest.
- Henry David Thoreau

Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity;
so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.
- Henry David Thoreau

In my afternoon walk I would fain forget
all my morning occupations and my obligations to society.
- Henry David Thoreau

It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
- Henry David Thoreau

The universe is wider than our views of it.
- Henry David Thoreau

Where there is an observatory and a telescope,
we expect that any eyes will see new worlds at once.
- Henry David Thoreau

An unclean person is universally a slothful one.
- Henry David Thoreau

Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.
- Henry David Thoreau

If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right.
Men will believe what they see.
- Henry David Thoreau

Simplify, simplify.
- 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

If it is surely the means to the highest end we know,
can any work be humble or disgusting?
Will it not rather be elevating as a ladder,
the means by which we are translated?
- Henry David Thoreau

Things do not change; we change.
- Henry David Thoreau

Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.
- 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 foundations under them.
- Henry David Thoreau

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.
- Henry David Thoreau

Success usually comes to those
who are too busy to be looking for it.
- Henry David Thoreau

To a philosopher all news,
as it is called, is gossip,
and they who edit and read it
are old women over their tea.
- Henry David Thoreau

The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend.
I have no wealth to bestow on him.
If he knows that I am happy in loving him, he will want no other reward.
Is not friendship divine in this?
- Henry David Thoreau


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