The Thought for the Day – Henry David Thoreau

The scarlet oak must, in a sense, be in your eye when you go forth…{the hunter} must take very particular aim, and know what he is aiming at…He will not bag any if he has not dreamed of it, so that he can anticipate it. After due and long preparation he goes out…He had them halfway in his bag when he started, he has only to shove them down. – Henry David Thoreau, Journal Entry, 11/4/1858


While Henry David Thoreau is best known for Walden, his journal provides good, thoughtful and entertaining reading, too. Journal entries began in October, 1837, when he was about 20-years-old, and continued for 24 years, until a few months before his death. Thoreau’s journal encompasses 7,000 pages and two million words.

{the hunter} must take very particular aim, and know what he is aiming at…

You and I  passing a life is no different than a hunter looking for game. We must know what we are looking for every bit as much as the hunter must know what he is looking for. We must know what we want out of life because we probably are not going to accomplish what we don’t set out to do. We must know what our talents are and be committed to getting the most out of them because that is the only way we are going to do ourselves or our fellow humans the most good.

He had them halfway in his bag when he started, he has only to shove them down…

We tend to believe that to a great extent success is there for the taking. Our few modest attainments have shown that. To an extent that might astonish us, we humans generally get what we expect out of this life. Those who have indifferent lives perhaps never aspired to much. On the other hand, those who do great things usually dared to do great things, because no one has ever climbed Mount Everest by accident.

We all have our Everest’s to climb and we can all climb them, but Everest has to be in our eyes from the start. It isn’t always easy but life’s great prize, a well-lived life, is there for the taking. 

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. All quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

 

 

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