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7 Contemplative Quotes from Henry David Thoreau That Are Thought Provoking ...

By Chelsie

Henry David Thoreau was a contemplative man who was also a brilliant writer, which is why the quotes from Henry David Thoreau are so thought provoking. Thoreau lived from 1817 to 1862, and he is most known for his two year stay on Walden Pond, from which he wrote his famous Walden. At Walden he lived a very simple life, which was something he felt everyone would benefit from. Thoreau said many wise words, and the world is fortunate the quotes from Henry David Thoreau have endured.

1 Reaching Your Goals

Reaching Your GoalsOne of the many thought provoking quotes from Henry David Thoreau is, “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” It is very easy to be so focused on the goal you are reaching for that you lose sight of the big picture. Thoreau eloquently points out that by achieving your goals you become a new version of yourself. While the goal itself is important, who you are is even more important.

2 Value

ValueThoreau was known for his simplicity and disregard for material goods, which is evident through his words that, “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” This is an incredibly profound statement. Often, price is thought of in terms of money. However, think of the amount of time you spend working for your money. When you purchase something, you really are purchasing it with the time you spent earning your money. This certainly changes the value of things!


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3 Stay Present

Stay PresentHow much time do you spend reminiscing about the past or contemplating the future? The truth is, the past can’t be changed and you don’t have any control over the future. Thoreau recognized this and emphasized, “What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.” Who you are now and what is happening in your life in this moment is what is important.

4 Thorns

ThornsThoreau wisely declared, “Truths and roses have thorns about them.” Sometimes the truth can be painful, but the beautiful thing about the truth is it can make you a better person. The truth can help you become a rose. Everyone needs to hear the truth so they may become the best version of themselves.

5 Take a Leap

Take a LeapTaking a leap of faith is a common expression, but Thoreau expressed this thought much clearer when he stressed, “We must walk consciously only part of the way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.” Making a change or taking the final step toward a goal can be scary. Instead of focusing on the negative you have to believe in yourself on make the leap.

6 Live Your Beliefs

Live Your BeliefsPracticing what you believe in is not always easy, especially if what you believe is different from your peers or family members. Yet, it is critical that everyone lives an authentic life. Thoreau knew how important it is to live authentically, which is why he stated, “Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.”

7 Simplicity

SimplicityThoreau led an extremely simple and basic life, and he thoroughly believed in the importance of simplicity. This is evident in his assertion that, “Our life is frittered away by detail…simplify, simplify.” Clutter in your life, whether it is material clutter or spiritual clutter, can weigh you down. To lift the weight, follow Thoreau’s advice and “simplify, simplify.”

Thoreau had many words of wisdom, all of which are thought provoking. His words make you examine life in a new way. They also open up your eyes to what is important, which is why his quotes have such an impact on people. Which of Thoreau’s quotes had impact on you?


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