It seems there was something in the water the Roosevelt’s were drinking at home because Teddy Roosevelt wasn’t the only intelligent one in the family. His wife of 40 years, Eleanor Roosevelt also had some uniquely distinct Eleanor Roosevelt quotes.
An activist and politician, Eleanor held the position of First Lady of The United States during some of the most turbulent times in the country. It was the 60s, and the conversation about segregation and women’s rights was in everyone’s mouth.
She fought intensely to provide equal access to women and people of color within previously restricted areas of society and spend her life in office sharing her thoughts with anyone who would listen.
Below we collected 10 Eleanor Roosevelt quotes that helped change the world as we knew it.
1. On the wonderful gift that is today
If we all were to admit the truth out loud, we’d find out more than one of us finds it hard to focus on the present day. Our mind goes back to past moments, or forward to future things that have yet to happen. In the middle of our thoughts taking over our body, we forget the only important time that matters. Today. If you think about it, you’ll never experience this exact second again. Once it’s gone, that’s it. So be sure to enjoy today as the present it really is.
2. On never letting your own beliefs limit you
The easy way out when to comes to dealing with things we’ve never done before is to say “this is too hard. I can’t do it”. But the thing is, everyone who’s good at anything had to start somewhere. If Eleanor Roosevelt had told herself “fighting for women’s rights simply can’t be done. I’m not even going to try” then there’s a lot of things women wouldn’t be able to do today. Never let your own limiting beliefs make choices for you.
3. On letting fear take over (yes, we’re serious)
Have you ever thought back at how it feels to finally accomplish something you were so scared of? That exhilarating feeling of knowing how brave and capable you are. That’s what you should be chasing on a regular basis if you want to expand your comfort zone. Which you should since that’s how we grow as people. So the next time you’re not sure what action to take, let fear take over and choose the option that scares you the most.
4. On how past you shaped present you
There’s something pretty cool about looking back into your past and realizing how every little choice you made along the way brought you to today. If you hadn’t taken that class you wouldn’t have met that friend who got you that job. Without that job you never would have gained enough experience or confidence to accept that managerial position. And without that position, you never would have reached your goal of having enough money and freedom to travel the world. You are how you are today, because of the choices past you made yesterday.
5. On staying true to yourself, no matter who’s watching
Everyone always has an opinion. The secret is to completely ignore them 99% of the time. You know yourself better than you think, and your gut is the connection between the conscious you, and the unconscious you. Be sure to listen to it when it talks, because no one will ever be living the exact same life as you anyway.
6. On not wasting your energy dreaming
We’re not saying not to dream. In fact, dreaming and fantasizing about the future is one of life’s biggest motivators. The distinction here comes in just leaving the action at the dreaming part. Truthfully, it’s just as hard (or easy) to sit down and daydream than it is to come up with actional steps to reach that dream. Once you’ve broken it down into smaller achievable goals, you’ll find yourself so motivated that you’ll keep going!
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7. On the secret to a happy life
Do you want to know a secret? The key to a happy life is something you already know. Yup, nothing that we’re going to share here will come as a surprise for you. Although, we do know it’s easier said than done. The secret to a happy life is to just live. Try new foods, travel to new places, learn something new, give that scary thing a shot. The more experiences you accumulate in your “bag of life”, the more fun you’ll have.
8. On choosing who you let affect your choices
Eleanor is sharing some intense truth with this quote! Why would you ever let someone who hasn’t achieved what you want, or who can’t actually help you get there, have any input into your choices? If you want to work at NASA, why would you let someone who is a successful baker tell you it’s not possible? While they might have good intentions, they’re on a completely different life path and so their opinion that it’s not possible is probably founded in their reality – not yours.
9. On how to build solid self-esteem
Eleanor Roosevelt quotes like this speak to people with anxiety. If you’re someone who deals with anxiety a lot, this is going to be a powerful lesson. No one, absolutely no one, can change how you feel about yourself without your express permission. The thing to learn here is that we sometimes give away this permission without even realizing it. So, the next time you’re scared someone will make fun of you for something, remember that they can think it’s silly but if you enjoy it then don’t give them the power to change your mind.
10. On how relationships involve more than one person
Eleanor Roosevelt quotes like this one remind us that relationships, whether work ones or personal ones are a two-way street. This means that problems are generally not only one person’s fault. Both parties tend to be somewhat at fault, and both parties have to take responsibility for their part. They’re meant to be an even give and take so the power balance remains equal.