Category: Inspirational Quotes

Do Not Go Where The Path May Lead

Do not go where the path may lead
photo © chesterF | Fotolia

“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was an American poet and essayist. He was also a lecturer and gave over 1500 lectures across the USA. A great philosopher, he stated that his central teaching was “the infinitude of the private man.”

In his earlier years he was a religious man, serving as a pastor – however in later life his thoughts turned more philosophical.

He is now considered one of the foremost American writers of the 19th century. Nicknamed the “Concord Sage”, he became famous for his ability to inspire and influence. The quote we have chosen is a famous one – and refers to the path as a metaphor for the “inner world” of the thinker. Emerson, essentially, is encouraging us to think for ourselves and to apply our own reason. He also makes a portrayal here of the pioneering spirit and the “great adventure”, indicating that those who forge ahead are those who will make the greatest achievements.

Some of Emerson’s thinking is troublesome to our modern outlook – for example he was a supporter of war, writing: “Wars, fires, plagues, break up immovable routine, clear the ground of rotten races and dens of distemper, and open a fair field to new men.”

It is his positive aphorisms however that are best known. The pioneering spirit is embedded deeply into American culture. Most of Emerson’s life was lived before the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1871. We take transportation for granted in these days – but back in the early 19th century, traveling across the USA was a serious adventure and reaching the West coast an achievement in itself.

Dont Wait – The Time Will Never Be Just Right

Dont wait
graphic © eminentlyquotable.com

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” — Napoleon

Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821) was a famous French military and political leader who became the first Emperor of France in 1804. He is considered one of the greatest military commanders in history and the many snappy quotes he has left us reveal the intensity of his focus. Although many of his memorable sayings refer to the affairs of the battlefield, they can just as easily be applied as maxims to everyday life.

Napoleon’s vision was grand, if perhaps megalomaniacal – and he is considered by many to be a “flawed genius”. Conquest was his game – and at the peak of his career he had won the great majority of his 60 battles and controlled much of continental Europe. His military campaigns and strategies are still studied to this day – however it is worth noting that his defeat at Waterloo in 1815 was total, and his people turned against him, forcing him into exile.

This quote speaks for itself, essentially stating that fortune favors the one who seizes the moment. And so often it is so true. We hesitate “because we want to move when the timing is perfect” but this in itself suggests weakness. Instead, he believed it better simply to begin – and then rise to the occasion.

The quote is thus really a statement on avoidance strategies – subconscious “excuses” the mind makes to delay the feared moment of action. Deciding that the time is NOW and taking action appropriately will cut through all that mental chatter. Allons y!

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