Take time by the forelock. Now or never! You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.
Journal, 24 April 1859
This spending of the best part of one’s life earning money in order to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part of it reminds me of the Englishman who went to India to make a fortune first, in order that he might return to England and live the life of a poet. He should have gone up garret at once.
I do not so much wish to know how to economize time as how to spend it, by what means to grow rich, that the day may not have been in vain.
Journal, 7 September 1851
We are inclined to think of all Romans who lived within five hundred years B.C. as contemporaries to each other. Yet Time moved at the same deliberate pace then as now.
Journal, 8 December 1859
A man who is not prompt affects me as a creature covered with slime, crawling through mud and lying dormant a great part of the year.
Journal, 16 September 1859
Time hides no treasures. We want not its then, but its now.
Journal, 9 August 1841
I wish to suggest that a man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of life getting his living.
“Life Without Principle”
Nothing can be more useful to a man than a determination not to be hurried.
Journal, 22 March 1842
Do what nobody can do for you. Omit to do everything else.
He that is not behind his time is swift.
Journal, 13 September 1852