Dear Quote Investigator: Ralph Waldo Emerson is often credited with the following:

Life is a journey, no a destination.

You are watching: Who said success is a journey not a destination

I’ve searched the RWE.org database without luck and also did a text search v over 1100 pages of his essays. I think this is a misattribution. Any kind of insight you have actually into the family tree of this quote would be much appreciated.

Quote Investigator: QI to trust that specific match for the expression over has not been discovered in the oeuvre the Ralph Waldo Emerson. Yet, Emerson did compose a thematically associated remark :

To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every action of the road, come live the best number of good hours, is wisdom.

This sentence said a mental vantage allude in i m sorry the intermediate advances of the trip were representative that the completion of the journey. This is maybe a distinct statement indigenous the questioner’s saying which is detailed in “The thesaurus of modern-day Proverbs” there is no attachment come a particular person .

The faster close complement located by QI showed up in 1920 in a periodical dubbed “The Christian Advocate”. The phrase was supplied by the theologian Lynn H. Hough in ~ his rundown for a Sunday college Lesson stating a letter native Simon Peter. Bold confront has been added to the phrase here and some phrases listed below :

He wanted his friends to realize the life is a journey and also not a destination; the the heart should be set upon those matters of character which room eternal and not upon those matters of sensation which happen away.

Interesting precursors the the expression to be in circulation in the ahead century. In 1854 “The Sunday in ~ Home: A family Magazine because that Sabbath Reading” published a “Page because that the Young” v the complying with advice :

You should discover in early on youth the your life is a journey, no a rest. You space travelling to the promised land, indigenous the cradle come the grave.

In 1855 another religious text supplied a variant expression and detailed an explanation :

All life is a journey, not a home; that is a road, not the country; and those transient enjoyments which you have in this life, lawful in their way,—those incidental and also evanescent pleasures i m sorry you might sip,—are not home; castle are small inns only upon the road-side that life, where you space refreshed for a moment, that you may take again the pilgrim-staff and journey on, seeking what is still prior to you—the rest that remaineth because that the human being of God.

A decade later the passage above was reprinted in a collection entitled “A Cyclopaedia of Illustrations of ethical and spiritual Truths”; however, it was labeled ANON .

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

In 1920 “life is a journey and not a destination” was composed in a book by the pastor Lynn H. Hough as debated previously in this article.

In 1922 an additional variant of the speak was printed which emphasized one experiential theme rather of a spiritual one :

But we stupid mortals, or many of us, are constantly in haste to reach somewhere else, forgetting the the fervor is in the journey and not in the destination.

In 1926 the trope was applied to the domain of love within a verse using eccentric capitalization :

LOVE come SOME guys Is not a DESTINATION. It is simply A trip OF FANCY. A RUSHING EMOTION in between BUSINESS and AMBITION that Keeps lock FOREVER on THE HOP.

In 1929 one essay by a high institution student work a version of the speak with the word “success”. The words were enclosed in quotation marks saying that the adage was already in circulation :

You know, “success is not a destination, yet a journey.”

Yet an additional variant the the expression was in circulation by 1930 :

Prof J. C. Archer the Yale college will speak ~ above “Religion a Journey and Not a Destination” in ~ the monthly “church night” collection at Memorial church tomorrow night.

In 1935 a story in the Cleveland level Dealer gift a variant :

“Helen, somebody has actually said that happiness is a journey—not a destination. You have it as you go along. You’ve been very happy v two various people.

In 1936 the book “I Knew lock in Prison” by mar B. Harris invoked 2 versions the the adage at once :

Reformation, like education, is a journey, not a destination.

In 1937 an additional instance of the maxim around education was published in a California newspaper :

Reporting ~ above education, Mrs. S. G. Stooke said that education is a journey and also not a destination, for we must keep developing.

In 1993 the rock tape Aerosmith released the song remarkable as a single. The lyrics were composed by Steven Tyler and Richie Supa, and also they included an circumstances of the speak :

Life’s a journey not a destinationAnd I simply can’t tell simply what tomorrow brings

In the 2006 movie “Peaceful Warrior” a character named Dan Millman to be led top top a three-hour trek come a remote ar by his mentor, a character called ‘Socrates’ that embodied a wise man archetype. Millman was excited and happy throughout the trip due to the fact that he expected to be shown something important and when he was shown a non-descript rock he was initially disappointed. But after reflection Millman said the adhering to to Socrates :

Dan Millman: The journey… the trip is what brings us happiness… no the destination

Many the the examples over conform to the adhering to flexible unit volume template. The etymological term snowclone is used for this collections of connected phrases:

X is a journey, no a destination

In conclusion, existing evidence suggests that the phrase under examination is one anonymous modern proverb that entered circulation through 1920.

See more: How To Say I Care About You In French (France)? I Care About You In French

(Thanks come Jack Herring for his ask on this topic. This question was built by QI based upon his inquiry. Also, many thanks to Dan Goncharoff because that noting the appropriate quotation because of Ralph Waldo Emerson.)

Update History: top top September 2, 2012 the 1844 citation because that Emerson was added together through the referral to the film tranquil Warrior.

2012, The thesaurus of modern-day Proverbs, Compiled by Charles Clay Doyle, Wolfgang Mieder, and Fred R. Shapiro, , web page 142, Yale university Press, brand-new Haven. (Verified top top paper)

1920 February 19, The Christian Advocate, , Quote web page 266, shaft 2, The Methodist book Concern Publishers, brand-new York. (Google books full view) link

1854 December 7, The Sunday in ~ Home: A family members Magazine because that Sabbath Reading, web page for the Young: The Midnight Feast and Its Lesson, Quote page 512, The spiritual Tract Society, London. (HathiTrust) connect link

1855, The End: Or, The Proximate indications of the near of This Dispensation through Rev. John Cumming, Quote web page 392, man Farquhar Shaw, London. (Google publications full view) link

1865, A Cyclopaedia that Illustrations of ethical and religious Truths, Edited by man Bate, second Edition, Section: Life, Quote web page 535, Elliot Stock, London. (Google publications full view) link

1922, roadways of Adventure by Ralph D. Paine, Quote web page 404, house turn Mifflin company, Boston. (Google books full view) link

1926 respectable 27, Richmond time Dispatch, , web page 6, shaft 4, Richmond, Virginia. (GenealogyBank)

1929 may 12, Times-Picayune, Convent college Wins News compensation by wide Margin: 3rd Prize winning Essay by Irene Wadlington, Quote page 26, shaft 1 and also 2, new Orleans, Louisiana. (GenealogyBank)

1930 February 12, Springfield Republican, Yale Professor to give Address, page 8, column 4, Springfield, Massachusetts. (GenealogyBank)

1935 January 25, Cleveland level Dealer, Shadows in sky by Inez Wallace, web page 8, obelisk 4, Cleveland, Ohio. (GenealogyBank)

2012, The thesaurus of modern Proverbs, Compiled through Charles Clay Doyle, Wolfgang Mieder, and also Fred R. Shapiro, , page 66, Yale university Press, new Haven. (Verified on paper)

1936 may 27, Christian scientific research Monitor, ‘I Knew lock in Prison’: with the Editor’s window by Millicent Taylor, , Quote web page 14, Boston, Massachusetts. (ProQuest)

1937 December 8, san Diego Union, public Unit Warned of dishonest Businesses, web page 7, column 4, san Diego, California. (GenealogyBank)

YouTube video, impressive by Aerosmith, , Uploaded by AerosmithVEVO ~ above Dec 24, 2009. (Accessed youtube.com on respectable 31, 2012) link

YouTube video, video excerpt from serene Warrior (2006), Title: “‘It’s the journey, not the destination’ – relaxed warrior”, , Uploaded by lordkostas on january 4, 2009. (Accessed youtube.com top top September, 2012) link