Henry David Thoreau lived a simple life. The famous American writer spent two years separated from society in a cabin he built himself, spending his days living a true minimalist existence and writing about the power of nature. Now, every year on July 12, Thoreau's lifestyle choices are celebrated around the world.

Simplicity Day reminds people that happiness is not about possessing all the heart desires, but about being satisfied with what the heart possesses. The day is a call to action of sorts: Declutter your life — not just material clutter, but clutter of your mind and your life — and take a simple approach. In short, be happy.

Here are 11 quotes to inspire you to follow that path on Simplicity Day and every other day of the year:

"One can furnish a room very luxuriously by taking out furniture rather than putting it in."
― Francis Jourdain, decorative artist, political activist

"You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need."
― Vernon Howard, philosopher, author

furnish a room Photo: Bench Accounting/Unsplash

"Live simply so that others may simply live."
― Mahatma Gandhi, philosopher, civil rights activist

"There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little."
― Jackie French Koller, author of children’s and young adult literature

"It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."
― Laura Ingalls Wilder, author

Vernon Howard Photo: Tim Gouw/Unsplash

"The greatest ideas are the simplest."
― William Golding, teacher, author

"As you simplify your life, the laws of the Universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness."
― Henry David Thoreau, author, philosopher

"Owning fewer keys opens more doors."
― Alex Morritt, author, lyricist

Mahatma Gandhi Photo: Jordan Whitt/Unsplash

"It is always the simple that produces the marvelous."
― Amelia Barr, novelist

"Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance."
― Coco Chanel, fashion designer

"A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think."
— Eleanor Roosevelt, human rights activist, diplomat and former first lady of the United States

William Golding Photo: Jared Erondu/Unsplash

11 quotes to inspire you to embrace simplicity
Celebrate the birthday of Henry David Thoreau by simplifying your life.