35-Life-Lessons-to-Learn-from-Henry-David-Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau was one of America’s most famous writers. As a philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian, Thoreau spoke about the idea of discovering and living a more simple life, affirming that “A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”  But that’s not the only thing he spoke about. Below you have 35 of the many life-changing lessons you can learn from this brilliant, wise and amazing man. 

Enjoy 🙂

1. However mean your life is, meet it and live it.

“However mean your life is, meet it and live it: do not shun it and call it hard names. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts. God will see that you do want society.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

2. Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.

“Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

3. What is once well done is done forever.

“What is once well done is done forever.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

4. You were born to succeed, not to fail.

“Men are born to succeed, not to fail.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

5. Not until you are lost do you begin to understand yourself.

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

6. You can’t sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

7. If you can’t keep pace with your companions, perhaps it is because you hear a different drummer.

“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.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

8. The language of friendship is not words but meanings.

“The language of friendship is not words but meanings.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

9. Rather than love, than money, than fame, seek truth.

“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

10. No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof.

“No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true today may turn out to be falsehood tomorrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields.” 

11. While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them.

“While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them. It has created palaces, but it was not so easy to create noblemen and kings.” 

12. Most of the so-called comforts of life are positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.

“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.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

13. Men have become the tools of their tools.

“Men have become the tools of their tools.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

14. Nothing wrong with having your head in the clouds.

“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.” 

15. Heaven is under your feet as well as over your head.

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

16. It is not enough to be busy. The question is: What are we busy about?

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

17. Think over and over the kind of thoughts you wish to dominate your life.

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

18. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.

“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

19. Men have a respect for scholarship and learning greatly out of proportion to the use they commonly serve.

“Men have a respect for scholarship and learning greatly out of proportion to the use they commonly serve.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

20. Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.

“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“What is called genius is the abundance of life and health.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

21. True friends are kind to one another’s dreams.

“Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

22. There is one consolation in being sick.

“There is one consolation in being sick; and that is the possibility that you may recover to a better state than you were ever in before.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

23. Goodness is the only investment that never fails.

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

24. Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life.

“Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

25. Truths and roses have thorns about them.

“Truths and roses have thorns about them.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

26. You must learn to reawaken and keep yourself awake.

“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

27. The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness.

“The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

28. Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.

“Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

29. True friendship does not depend on darkness and ignorance.

“True friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

30. There is no remedy for love but to love more.

“There is no remedy for love but to love more.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

31. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled.

“Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business.”

32. You are the builder of a temple called your body.

“Every man is the builder of a temple called his body.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

33. Know that you are alone in the world.

“In what concerns you much, do not think that you have companions: know that you are alone in the world.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

34. The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.

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

35. All good things are wild and free.

“All good things are wild and free.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

~love, Luminita💫

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

Comments

Luminita D. Saviuc

Luminita, the Founder of PurposeFairy, is an enthusiastic student of the arts, psychology, and spirituality. Her acclaimed blog post, 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy , was shared by over 1.3 million people on Facebook. Later on, it became the heart of her book, 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy., book that was published by Penguin Random House. For more details check out the 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy Book Page.

read more

1 Comment

  • Rose Rose

    12, April 2016 at 4:09 am

    awesome

shares