If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.
The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood.
Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. Let him regard no good as solid but that which is in his nature, and which must grow out of him as long as he exists.
Don’t waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour’s duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it. The goods of fortune may come and go like summer leaves; let him scatter them on every wind as the momentary signs of his infinite productiveness. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. (Self-Reliance and Other Essays)Insist on yourself; never imitate.
Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. Masses are rude, lame, unmade, pernicious in their demands and influence, and need not to be flattered, but to be schooled. If you would correct my false view of facts, — hold up to me the same facts in the true order of thought, and I cannot go back from the new conviction.
Be neither chided nor flattered out of your position of perpetual inquiry.
Neither dogmatise yourself, nor accept another’s dogmatism.
When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.
To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs.