87+ EXCLUSIVE Henry David Thoreau Quotes To Enrich Your Life

Henry David Thoreau was an American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, and historian. He was a complex man of many talents who worked hard to shape his craft and his life.

His master work, Walden, he declared his love of nature, simplicity, and independence. He also became known for his beliefs in “Transcendentalism” and “Civil Disobedience” (also known as “Resistance to Civil Government”). His work has influenced the American Civil Rights Movement and inspired many leaders.

Deep Henry David Thoreau quotes will help you see life through different eyes, and take action on your dreams.

If you’re searching for powerful life quotes to share with the people you love or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of Gandhi’s quotes, best sayings by Maya Angelou and famous Mark Twain quotes.

Best Henry David Thoreau Quotes

I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad. Henry David Thoreau

I learned this, at least, by my experiment that 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. Henry David Thoreau

The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. Henry David Thoreau

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

How can any man be weak who dares to be at all? 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. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms. 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

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

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

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

I can alter my life by altering my attitude. He who would have nothing to do with thorns must never attempt to gather flowers. Henry David Thoreau

Dreams are the touchstones of our characters. Henry David Thoreau

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

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things. Henry David Thoreau

That 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. Henry David Thoreau

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. Henry David Thoreau

None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm. Henry David Thoreau

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. Henry David Thoreau

To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity and trust. 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

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

Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations. Henry David Thoreau

I believe that water is the only drink for the wise man. Henry David Thoreau

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. Henry David Thoreau

I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. Henry David Thoreau

The animal merely makes a bed, which he warms with his body in a sheltered place; but man, having discovered fire, boxes up some air in a spacious apartment, and warms that, instead of robbing himself, makes that his bed, in which he can move about divested of more cumbrous clothing, maintain a kind of summer in the midst of winter, and by means of windows even admit the light and with a lamp lengthen out the day. Henry David Thoreau

Be yourself  not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be. Henry David Thoreau

All good things are wild and free. Henry David Thoreau

I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes. Henry David Thoreau

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 he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

Every man is a builder of a temple called his body. Henry David Thoreau

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately. 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

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

Most of the luxuries, and many of the so called comforts of life, are not only indispensable but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. Henry David Thoreau

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

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 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. Henry David Thoreau

Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all. Henry David Thoreau

In wilderness is the preservation of the world. 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

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

Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. Henry David Thoreau

I love Nature partly because she is not man, but a retreat from him. None of his institutions control or pervade her. There a different kind of right prevails. In her midst, I can be glad with an entire gladness. 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

Nature refuses to sympathize with our sorrow. She seems not to have provided for, but by a thousand contrivances against it. Henry David Thoreau

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity. Henry David Thoreau

When we walk, we naturally go to the fields and woods  what would become of us, if we walked only in a garden or a mall? Henry David Thoreau

Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes. Henry David Thoreau

I have a room all to myself; it is nature.Henry David Thoreau

I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest. Henry David Thoreau

Grow wild according to thy nature. Enjoy the land but own it not. Henry David Thoreau

Things do not change; we change. Henry David Thoreau

If this world were all man, I could not stretch myself, I should lose all hope. He is constraint, she is freedom to me. He makes me wish for another world. She makes me content with this. Henry David Thoreau

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

For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be what is once well done is done forever. Henry David Thoreau

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. Henry David Thoreau

The rich man is always sold to the institution which makes him rich. Henry David Thoreau

Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations. Henry David Thoreau

I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest. Henry David Thoreau

If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment. Henry David Thoreau

A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority. Henry David Thoreau

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone. Henry David Thoreau

O for a man who is a man, and, as my neighbor says, has a bone in his back which you cannot pass your hand through! Henry David Thoreau

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

A lawyer’s truth is not truth. It is consistency, or consistent expediency. Henry David Thoreau

All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be. Henry David Thoreau

A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. 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

It is after all with men, and not with parchment, that I quarrel. 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

Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn. Henry David Thoreau

What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on? Henry David Thoreau

Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame. Henry David Thoreau

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

Till we have loved we have not imagined the heights of love. Henry David Thoreau

This world is but canvas to our imaginations. Henry David Thoreau

I love you not as something private and personal, which is my own, but as something universal and worthy of love, which I have found. Henry David Thoreau

Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star. Henry David Thoreau

Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it. Henry David Thoreau

It is never too late to give up your prejudices. Henry David Thoreau

There is only one path to heaven. On Earth, we call it love. Henry David Thoreau

How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book. Henry David Thoreau

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