Endeavor to Live the Life You Have Imagined (Thoreau Quote)

Endeavor to Live the Life You Have Imagined (Thoreau Quote)

Thoreau quote

“ …I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one.  It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves. I had not lived there a week before my feet wore a path from my door to the pond-side; and though it is five or six years since I trod it, it is still quite distinct.  It is true, I fear that others may have fallen into it, and so helped to keep it open.  The surface of the earth is soft and pressible by feet of men; and so with the paths which the mind travels.  How worn and dusty, then, must be the highways of the world, how deep the ruts of tradition and conformity!  I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and take on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains.  I do not wish to go below now.

I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.  He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.  In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.  If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.  Now put the foundations under them.”


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Kate 4 years ago

    Oooh great quote! Thanks for posting it Polly. Very timely, wise and visionary.

  2. Deborah Dunne 4 years ago

    Thank you for sharing that Polly. Much to think about.

  3. FV 1 year ago

    Never get tired of reading these sentences. They apply to any generation.
    Thank you for your courage to blog and to share.

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