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7 success lessons from Ralph Waldo Emerson


Noted American philosopher, lecturer, essayist, and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson led the Transcendentalist movement in the mid-19th century, publishing dozens of essays and conducting more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States. Emerson’s emphasis on individualism, freedom, and self-reliance provide plenty of life lessons ripe for application even today.

Dumb Little Man gathered up seven of Emerson’s most memorable snippets that offer handy lessons in success.

A sampling:

Start Small

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”

It’s okay to start small. What’s small today will one day be enormous, if you stay consistent. Don’t be concerned with your current size; be concerned with the direction that you’re traveling in. If you’re going in the right direction, you will eventually get to your goal. You will eventually become, what you were destined to become. At last your greatness will be revealed.

Keep Good Friends

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”

A large part of success is having good friends. A good friend is someone who you can be yourself with.

You don’t have to put on a show, and you don’t have to be smart for a good friend. In the words of Emerson, “you can afford to be stupid with them.” Recognize your good friends, mark them, they are a part of your success.

Thoughts Become Things

“A man is what he thinks about all day long.”

Anyone who has successfully changed a bad habit knows that right thinking is the foundation for change. This person knows that to the degree their thinking has changed is to the degree their desires have changed. Desires are birth from thoughts. What are you thinking about? Whatever it is, it is creating your life.

What you ponder you become! Thoughts of success will produce success, and thoughts of failure will perpetuate failure. To change your life you must change your thinking. Thoughts are the root of all change.

Full list of lessons at Dumb Little Man.

Tons of life tips and tricks.

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  • rey

    Emerson had it right on. Not only are you what you think about daily but you also attract what you put out. In business, love, spiritual. Teaching this concept to entrepreneurs online is vital the growth of our economy. For tips on doing it the right way swing over to my blog and comment on the content. I’d loved to keep the conversation going. http://nextlevelonlinemastery.com/