Emerson's Aphorisms: How To Live Your Life

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Aphorisms: How To Live Your Life An aphorism, by definition, is an observation that contains a general truth, or a concise statement of a scientific principle. In simpler terms, it is something a person can use to guide their own path in life. Everyone has their own path to follow, and any one person can create their own. Some aphorisms are easier to comprehend, like Benjamin Franklin’s, “Honesty is the best policy”, which is one that most people know and understand. Others, however, are not so easy to understand. These aphorisms, which tend to give the mind a little more work, are usually the most reliable. Transcendentalism is a topic that has a lot to do with aphorisms. Two of the most famous transcendentalists, Ralph Waldo Emerson and …show more content…

He believed that optimism and self-confidence were key factors in living a successful life. One of his most famous aphorisms is quite well known, “To be great is to be misunderstood” (Emerson 366). This quote is very inspirational to many, meaning that a person who does great things is not always understood by those who cannot do those great things. Sometimes people judge others for being different than them, having different views or beliefs, and they do not realize that what the misunderstood person is doing is so much greater than they can comprehend. Many can say they agree with Emerson’s aphorism, because everyone wants to be great and misunderstood. This inspires many people, including myself, to pursue their dreams and to ignore what others think about them, in turn boosting their own self-confidence, which is something that Emerson would …show more content…

Thoreau’s life was full of independent spirit. He tried to live by his own values, rather than society’s, which he considered materialistic. He wanted to be different, like most transcendentalists do. In one of his most famous works called Walden, he comes up with an amazing and inspirational aphorism, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer” (Thoreau 390). This aphorism is similar to one of Emerson’s most famous, but also gives a whole new perspective to the idea that everyone is different and everyone can accomplish their own goals independently. Personally, I believe that this is one of the most inspirational quotes of all, because it spoke to me very strongly. Remembering that you will not always be at the same pace as everyone else in life can sometimes be difficult, but it is something that everyone needs to think about. This aphorism can also remind a person to listen for their own drummer, especially if they have not found a purpose for their life yet. Hearing this quote for the first time compelled me to seek out my purpose and to begin to work towards my goals to eventually become

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