I finally read Self-Reliance — an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson that has been on my “To Read” list for too long.Tweet It!
Though at times a bit tough to chew, and at times rather preachy, I have to say I couldn’t put my highlighter down. The essay is full of thought-provoking lines that balance philosophical musings and poetic prose.
Here is a tiny selection of the highlights I added to my journal, as well as some brief margin notes:
“No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it.”
— Listen to your heart, connect with your consciousness. Live with integrity. Echoes of Shakespeare’s “... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
— Yes! Define what success means to you.
“Do that which is assigned to you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much.”
— Follow a traditional path (outlined by someone else), and you will have a traditional outcome.
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”
— Simple and succinct wisdom. Find peace within. Echoes of Stoicism, Viktor Frankl.
There are lots of other great lines that I didn’t have space to include here. If these resonated, I highly recommend reading or re-reading the original.
One of my favorite things about curating the Holstee Membership is that we get to explore works from great thinkers and bring lessons to our community. Become a member and support our work to surface the best insights on living fully and mindfully →
Start the day feeling grounded and inspired with our 30 day Reflections series.
Join thousands of people who have received the 30-day Reflections email series and enjoyed a daily moment to reflect, smile, and think about a life lived mindfully.
Free. Unsubscribe anytime.
“I’m in the midst of big life transitions at the moment, chasing book deals, relocating, taking risks, carving out a life that feels honest, so your emails have been a perfectly timed source of inspiration and reassurance.” Jo in London, Great Britain
"Love the emails! They are a great reset or what I would call mindful chiropractic adjustment to approaching the day. Thank you!" Laurie in Albuquerque, New Mexico
"I love the emails. They give me a new perspective and things to think about and apply in my life." Monica in Johannesburg, South Africa
"It's food for the soul and sets my spiritual compass in the right direction." Farahdiva Samsul in Assam, India
"Absolutely LOVE the daily emails. One of the only email subscriptions I read daily. Keep them coming!!" Adriana in New York, New York
"The emails are thought-provoking and uplifting. A little pause from the crazy happenings of modern life. A quick chance to reflect, smile, and think about a life lived mindfully." Pharan in Queensland, Australia
"I have thoroughly enjoyed the Mindfully Mailed series. Daily I await this little nugget of goodness to hit my inbox each day." Tambria in Shreveport, Louisiana
Welcome to Holstee
Our monthly membership helps conscious people (like you!) live a more meaningful life through actionable guide, inspiring art, thought-provoking content and a like-minded community.BECOME A MEMBER
This article is part of our series on the theme of Welcome.EXPLORE Welcome
Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.VIEW OUR THEMES