7 Amazing Life Lessons from Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American philosopher, lecturer, essayist, and poet. He’s probably most known for leading the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. His work has influenced nearly every generation of thinker, writer and poet since his time.

So without further adieu, today I want to talk about some of the profound life-lessons we can learn from Emerson. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

7 Amazing Life Lessons from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Lesson 1: Aim Above The Mark

“We aim above the mark to hit the mark.”

To hit the mark, it’s necessary to aim above the mark. If you want to do $100,000 in sales next year, create a plan that allows you to do $150,000. To hit the mark you have to aim higher!

Do you aim high when setting your goals? Things seldom go exactly as you plan them, aiming allows you to hit the target with the inevitable occurs.

Lesson 2: What You Always See, You Stop Seeing

“If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and stare.”

What you constantly see, you stop seeing! You forget the wonders of your spouse, the reliability of your car, the warmth of your home, because you experience them too often. This is just a reminder, to stop, and marvel and the things you wouldn’t want to live without.

Lesson 3: Conquer Daily

“He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.”

Life is a battlefield; to succeed you must “divide and conquer.” Conquer your fears daily; stretch yourself daily. Do something you don’t want to do, something you’re afraid of doing because you might get rejected or you might fail. Do that thing today, and then conquer another fear tomorrow. If you can create the habit of conquering your fear, you can move from the land of impossibilities to the land of possibilities.

Lesson 4: Work on Yourself

“The sum of wisdom is that time is never lost that is devoted to work.”

If there’s a secret to success, it’s work, but not just any work. I’m talking about working on yourself. Time spent working on yourself will yield you many dividends. Commit to work on yourself everyday, to become a little better, a little smarter, and in time the best version of you will be realized.

Lesson 5: Repair Your Character

“No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character.”

Your thoughts determine your feelings, your feelings determine your actions, and your actions determine your character. A defected character comes from defective thinking and can only be corrected via accurate thinking: Thinking that is in-line with where you want to go and who you want to be. Better circumstances won’t change a defected character; only “better” thinking can do that. If you don’t decide to think “better,” your way-of-thinking will eventually drag you down exposing your defected character.

Lesson 6: Think Bigger

“In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.”

You are only limited by what your heart can imagine. If you can imagine big things, if you can somehow stretch your mind to see the impossible, if you can catch a glimpse of what could be, then you can go there. You must believe in what’s never been done before, you must believe that you can do what’s never been done before; you must be committed to realizing the impossible. If you can see it, you can have it.

Lesson 7: Make Yourself Necessary

“Make yourself necessary to somebody.”

If you didn’t learn anything from this article, please take this final point. Make yourself necessary! Not just to somebody, but to a host of people. When you work on yourself, and grow yourself, and spend years sharpening your skills, you will become valuable; you will become necessary to somebody.

Thank you for reading and be sure to pass this article along!

Mr. Self Development is an author who teaches a motivational and practical guide to success. Please visit him at Mr. Self Development.com.

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Related Articles:

How To Increase Self Discipline

How To Motivate Yourself


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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