Henry David Thoreau said, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." His friend Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be." These are among Forbes' top 100 inspirational quotes, as of 2015.
Thoreau and Emerson were the leading philosophers of the transcendentalist movement in the United States. They became friends in the 1830s. Both men were popular journalists, essayists and public speakers, and they were outspoken opponents of slavery during the American Civil War. Emerson's self-reported central thesis was that individuals have the potential to accomplish anything.