13 quotes from HENRY DAVID Thoreau that never fail to jolt me awake from my mundane existence

I admit, I'm a total junkie for the transcendentalists. They really speak to me. I can get lost in writings of Emerson, Whitman, and the subject of today's blog post, Thoreau, without even realizing any time has gone by at all. Not quite sure what it is about them, but there's something in their words that just yanks at my soul and demands that I pay attention.

Anyway . . . without further ado . . . .

13 Thoreau quotes that truly smack me in the face every time I read them

  • 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 wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.
  • Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.
  • Never look back unless you’re planning to go that way.
  • The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
  • Be yourself––not your idea of what you think somebody else's idea of yourself should be.
  • Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.
  • It is never too late to give up your prejudices.
  • Things do not change; we change.
  • Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.
  • Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.
  • Not all who wander are lost.

  • It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. What are you industrious about?

  • What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.


{insert mic drop here}


Which of these quotes hit you the hardest? Why?

Please let me know in the comments below––I'd really love to hear your take on Thoreau.