“I want to travel as far as I can go,
I want to reach the joy that’s in my soul,
And change the limitations that I know,
And feel my mind and spirit grow;
I want to live, exist, “to be,”
And hear the truths inside of me.”

Doris Warshay (1976 – 2015)
Poet, Mind/Body Healer and Reiki Master

You can read a thousand books with superb content, but they can soon start to merge into a blur of general themes and messages. Sometimes it’s a phrase of just a few words that can cut through the haze and serve to inspire the most, and just occasionally, you come across words that seem to sing right to your soul. 

I vividly remember first seeing the words of Doris Warshay. I was in my teens and like most teenagers, struggling to make sense of my emotions and thoughts, and I picked up a copy of Erroneous Zones by Dr Wayne Dyer. The messages in his book were pretty life changing for me at the time and definitely helped me on my journey, but it’s Doris’s poem at the start of his book, that has been embedded in my psyche ever since.

Here’s a selection of quotes from just a few of the inspirational ladies who have made a positive impact on the world in some way. Quotes are often bandied about on the internet but rarely does the author get more than a quick mention of their name. So you’ve got the quick view presentation below, but this particular collection is from women who truly are inspirational – so don’t forget to check out a few interesting facts about them below. 

Facts about the Incredible Ladies Behind the Words...

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

Helen Keller (1880 – 1968)

I have read this quote many times but it wasn’t until recently that I realised how truly inspirational Helen Keller was. Helen was born in 1880 and unfortunately lost both her sight and her hearing due to illness when she was just a toddler. This didn’t hold her back though. She developed ways of communicating purely through touch, and successfully became the first deaf blind person to achieve a bachelors degree! Helen was also an author, political activist and lecturer and is now acclaimed as becoming one of the 20th century’s leading humanitarians. Helen Keller serves as a powerful reminder of what can be achieved despite the challenges along the way! Find out more: Helen Keller’s Inspirational Biography 

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 – 1962)

Eleanor Roosevelt was married to President Roosevelt and was the longest serving First Lady of the United States (12years). During this time she completely redefined the role of the First Lady to ensure that she had a voice, and could contribute as a humanitarian and political activist in her own right. She not only held press conferences, but she also hosted a weekly radio show and wrote columns in magazines and newspapers. As a passionate defender of equality, she controversially defied the status quo at the time to try to resolve racial issues, and improve conditions for women and children. Following her time at the White House she passionately continued her work in politics, and worked in a number of highly influential positions including becoming the first chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights. Find out more: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Biography 

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you are always in the same place.”

Nora Roberts (1950 – )

Acclaimed by the New York Times as being America’s favourite novelist, Nora Roberts is the best selling author of more than 225 romance novels. She tends to avoid the typical swooning, love craving female characters in favour of feisty, competent heroines, and this approach has proved to be very popular. It’s estimated that she earns more than $60m a year and has more than 400m of her books in print! She is also considered to be one of the most generous celebrities in the world having donated $millions to charity. Check out a great interview about her work on Guardian.Com

“I do not want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”

Diane Ackerman (1948 – )

Diane Ackerman is the best selling author of the non-fiction book,  ‘The Zookeepers Wife’ which was released as a film in 2017. During her career she’s written for radio, magazines, the stage and published numerous essays, poems and books. She also worked as a counsellor at a suicide-prevention and crisis centre in New York which prompted her to write ‘A Slender Thread: Rediscovering Hope at the Heart of Crisis’. 

“You don’t choose the day you enter the world and you don’t chose the day you leave. It’s what you do in between that makes all the difference.”  

Anita Septimus (1942 – )

Anita Septimus was a social worker and the pediatric AIDS coordinator at the Einstein-Weiler Hospital in the Bronx. During her time there she helped to ease the suffering of 100s of HIV infected children and their families. This youtube video gives a little glimpse of her at work.  

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams”

Oprah Winfrey (1954 – )

 Oprah Winfrey was born in 1954 in rural poverty but successfully went onto become a millionaire by the age of 32. Through her television shows and immense following she is now widely regarded as one of the most influential people in the world. Not only did she become the first female black billionaire in the world she is also considered the greatest black philanthropist in American history. The Oprah’s Angel Network alone raised more than $80,000,000 for charity in just two years. 

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

Jennifer Lee (1971 – )

Jennifer Lee is an Academy Award winning film director and screenwriter. She was the first female director of a Disney film and most famously wrote and directed the animation ‘Frozen’. On top of that Jennifer was also the first female director of a feature film to earn more than $1 billion in gross box office revenue.

“You had better live your best and act your best and think your best today; for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that follow.”

Harriet Martineau (1802 – 1876)

Harriet Martineau was a British social theorist and political writer, and often cited as the first female sociologist. According to researcher Nicki Cole, Harriet “was fiercely critical of the inequality and injustice faced by girls and women, slaves, wage slaves, and the working poor.” As well as being a prolific working writer, she was also highly independent and travelled widely through the States, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, which considering the time period, was quite an achievement in itself! Find out more: Harriet Martineau’s Biography

“Adventure should be part of everyone’s life. It is the whole difference between being fully alive and just existing.”

Holly Morris (1965 – )

Holly Morris is an American author, presenter and documentary maker. She’s a passionate traveller with a thirst for adventure which has been reflected in her career. She has made documentaries in destinations across the globe from Bangladesh, Borneo, Brazil, and Cuba, through to India, Iran, Malawi, Niger, Syria, Ukraine, and Zambia. She is author of ‘Adventure Divas: Searching the Globe for a New Kind of Heroine’ and founder of AdventureDivas.Com

I hope these quotes have helped to fuel your motivation today, and if nothing else, given another little reminder that life is a gift to be cherished.

Have a wonderful day.

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Louise Ansell

Louise is a performance, mental health and wellbeing specialist providing training and coaching solutions for individuals and organisations. This includes the MHFA Mental Health First Aid Courses, tailored Workplace Wellbeing Workshops and working with leaders to cultivate effective cultural change within their organisations. She writes most of the Sky Bounders courses and articles and works with a range of clients on a personal coaching, training and consultancy basis. Beyond the work context, you'll find her enjoying life’s crazy adventures – whether that’s in the mountains, climbing on sea cliffs, trail riding, messing about in boats or simply enjoying exploring beautiful places.