• “Courage is being scared to death

    and saddling up anyway.”

    -John Wayne

  • “We must let go of the life we’ve planned

    so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

    -Joseph Campbell

  • “I’ve been through it all, baby.

    I’m Mother Courage.”

    -Elizabeth Taylor

  • “Let us go forth with fear and courage and rage

    to save the world.”

    -Grace Paley

  • “The secret of happiness is freedom, and

    the secret of freedom is courage.”


  • “Courage is

    grace under pressure.”

    -Ernest Hemingway

  • “Don't underestimate the importance you have - history

    has shown us that courage can be contagious.”

    -Michelle Obama

  • “Courage is the first of human virtues

    because it makes all others possible.”


  • “We need the courage to learn

    from our past and not live in it.”

    -Sharon Salzberg

  • “With enough courage,

    you can do without a reputation.”

    -Rhett Butler

  • “The opposite of courage is not cowardice. It is

    conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.”

    -Jim Hightower

  • “One man with courage

    is a majority.”

    -Thomas Jefferson

  • “There are only two mistakes one can make along

    the road to truth: not going all the way, and not starting.”


  • “The most courageous act is

    still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

    -Coco Chanel

  • “A ship in harbor is safe,

    but that is not what ships are built for.”

    -John Shedd

  • “Courage is fear

    that has said its prayers.”

    -Karle Wilson Baker

  • “Courage is going from failure to failure

    without losing enthusiasm.”

    -Winston Churchill

It takes courage to live a human life. We all have varying degrees of courage. For some, it is buried deep in hearts and psyches; for others, it is a bright light that guides every step. But, for all of us, finding courage can be a choice we make every day – often in the quietest of ways. There is great courage in living life to the fullest, living with authenticity and a sense of alignment with one’s most deeply held values. And sometimes, simply getting up every day and putting one foot in front of the other is an act of immense courage.

Inspiring Courage is a collection of some of the most powerful inspirations I have encountered about what it means to live a courageous life. Here you will find one hundred and thirty of my favorite quotations from some of the world’s greatest thinkers, looking at courage through many distinctive lenses – wise, funny, spiritual, philosophical, historical, artistic, religious, eccentric.

Poets are perennially drawn to the subject of courage because it touches us at our deepest core, speaking to the very essence of what it means to be alive. For this reason, limiting this book to only thirty extraordinary poems with courage as their central theme was one of the toughest challenges I faced. The poetry you find here provides an exploration of how courage can illuminate our lives and change everything it touches.

I also offer thirteen stories of individuals whose courage defines them and inspires us, each in very different ways. Their stories shed light on more surprising faces of courage, the courage of everyday lives. No one profiled here is world famous. None has won the Nobel Prize or become a household name. Yet all show us that what can seem quite ordinary is often extraordinary courage.

My hope is that this book will allow you to tap into the fire of your own inner courage and feel its transformative power to light your way.

“Touches the heart and fills you with spirit.”

Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart

Inspiring Courage is an inspiration.”

Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

 Inspiring Courage is food for the heart longing to live fully and exuberantly!”

Stephen Cope, Author of The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling