words of wisdom: henry david thoreau

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Sometimes I wonder if this whole “follow your dreams” stuff is just a load of crap. Usually when I’m tired or burnt out or in a bad mood. Am I too optimistic? Too impractical? Should I focus on how to make money and simply survive instead of the lofty visions I have for myself and for my family? I know I’m not alone. I know you know how I feel. I know that some days are heavier than others.

So, I pout. I shed the proverbial tear on my pillow. Finally, I resign myself to sleep and usually I greet the next day with a renewed sense of hope.

Today, I look outside of myself for that hope. To someone wiser, perhaps stronger and more educated. Wikipedia describes him as an author, poet, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, philosopher, and leading transcendentalist. How it is possible to be this many things in one lifetime, I do not know.

Henry David Thoreau must have been a busy man. And he was a dreamer. Now, let us remember the wisdom he left behind.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.

I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.

There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.

Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul.

Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.

~ Henry David Thoreau

I feel better. And certain that I do not want to go to the grave with the song still in me. I will sing, I will go confidently in the direction of my dreams, and I will live the life I have imagined.

Not only for myself. For my children, for my children’s children, and for all of the future generations of the world. I am determined to leave this earth a little better than I found it.

But first, I need some sleep.

How do you pull yourself out of a bad mood? Do you find anybody particularly inspiring, whether it be an author, a friend or a child?


  1. Lack of sleep does terrible things, physically and emotionally. Without enough sleep I am discouraged and my dreams and plans overwhelm me. Try to remember that right now your energies and time are being spent on motherhood. One day your child(ren) will be more independent.


  2. mostly i try to sing loud… and when it rains… i stand in the rain letting it fall all over my face.. it helps me a lot… to reflect on the things that i can control rather than the ones that are out of my control…. all the best to you


  3. Sometimes a good night’s sleep is really what it takes. And, a lot of times, it’s setting everything else aside and just playing with my kids without worry or distraction….which is actually really hard to do. Hope today is a much better day. Thanks for the reflections, love Thoreau.


  4. Honestly, it takes deliberate effort at the right kind of self talk. No miracle is going to happen to snap you out of it.

    What I always do is begin to write everything I had always truly deeply hoped for and look to see if I”ve gotten that. At the top of my list, always, I begin with children.


    Next, a good man.


    Next, my health.

    And it goes on…very soon I see how unbelievably lucky and blessed I am to have all these things. All of them.


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