Great And Inspiring People Whom I Admire

A few weeks ago I was reading the book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It is one of my favorite books and I read it over and over. (You can purchase it from Amazon by clicking on the icon, hint hint, wink wink). In chapter 14, The Sixth Sense is about using your creative imagination. Hill created a mastermind group in his imagination. These were people that he admired, some alive and others long gone. They were people like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Abraham Lincoln. This got me thinking about the great and inspiring people whom I admire.

Before I begin, today I completed my 60th trip around the sun and I’m grateful for everything. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to my blog. I appreciate all my followers and subscribers. I am humbled.

“Men are not made from easy victories but based on great defeats.”
~ Ernest Shackleton

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Great And Inspiring People

Hill was inspired by his mastermind group and would even have roundtable council meetings in his mind. During these meetings, he would have imaginary conversations with the members. Each one had a different quality that he admired. By doing this, he opened up his creative mind and came up with ideas on things he could accomplish.

I began thinking about different great people who I admired and have inspired me throughout my life. So I decided to write about these inspirational people. They are people who overcame obstacles and were great leaders. I have learned great lessons from them. They have set excellent and inspirational examples for me to follow. To keep the blogs short, I have decided to do this in parts.

“Loneliness is the penalty of leadership, but the man who has to make the decisions is assisted greatly if he feels that there is no uncertainty in the minds of those who follow him and that his orders will be carried out confidently and in expectation of success.”
~  Ernest Shackleton

Sir Ernest Shackleton

Sir Ernest Shackleton

I will begin with an incredible leader, Sir Ernest Shackleton. Shackleton was born in 1874 in Kildare, Ireland. He was an Antarctic explorer who attempted to reach the South Pole. He joined Robert Scott’s expedition in 1901 and took part in the sledge journey across the Ross Ice Shelf. In January 1908, he led an expedition to Antarctica but was prevented from reaching their intended based site by the ice. On that expedition, he later led a sledging party to within 112 miles (180 km) of the South Pole. Due to their success in claiming the Victoria Land plateau for Britain, he was knighted on his return.

“When things are easy, I hate it.”
~ Ernest Shackleton

“Difficulties are just things to overcome.”
~ Ernest Shackleton


I first heard of Ernest Shackleton when I was given a book titled Endurance. You can also get this book by clicking on the icon to the right. (Another wink). The book, written by Alfred Lansing, is well written and inspirational. It entails the 1914 ill-fated expedition to Antarctica led by Shackleton. They proceeded from England aboard the ship, Endurance. The expedition had planned to make the first crossing of Antarctica via the South Pole from the Weddell Sea to McMurdo Sound.

The Endurance became trapped in the ice and drifted for 10 months. Eventually, the ice crushed the powerful ship. Shackleton and his men then drifted for another five months on ice floes. Running low on food and supplies, they escaped in boats to uninhabited Elephant Island.


A Dangerous Journey

Knowing their only hope for survival was a dangerous journey across the sea, Shackleton and five men set out in a whaleboat. Their destination was the tiny island of South Georgia. There was a whaling station where they could find help. South Georgia was 800 miles from Elephant Island. The journey took 16 days across a rough and dangerous ocean. Through expert navigation, they landed on the south side of South Georgia.

“No person who has not spent a period of his life in those ‘stark and sullen solitudes, that sentinel, the Pole’ will understand fully what trees and flowers, sun-flecked turf and running streams mean to the soul of a man.”
~  Ernest Shackleton


Although elated to have reached their destination, Shackleton knew their ordeal was not over. The whaling station was on the north side of the island. They would have to cross rugged terrain to reach it. It had been 16 months since the Endurance had become trapped in the ice. The six men set out and eventually reached the whaling station. The whalers couldn’t believe their eyes when these six ragged men walked into their station.

Shackleton never forgot about the men they left behind on Elephant Island. He worried about them every day. Despite his lack of strength he wanted to set sail and rescue them right away. The weather wouldn’t allow for a return trip at that time. Shackleton never gave up. He made four unsuccessful attempts at rescuing his men.

“Through endurance we conquer.”
~ Ernest Shackleton

“The questions are always more important than the answers.”
~ Ernest Shackleton


Four months later Shackleton’s perseverance paid off and they successfully arrived at Elephant Island. Shackleton couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw that all his men were alive. They survived despite the lack of food sources and water on this barren island. All his men were loaded onto the ship and they embarked to Chile.

“If you’re a leader, a fellow that other fellows look to, you’ve got to keep going.”
~  Ernest Shackleton

The Definition Of A Leader

Sir Ernest Shackleton displayed extraordinary leadership in saving all his men. He is an inspirational figure in which I admire greatly. His unmatched perseverance is a lesson that we should all learn. Persevering and overcoming all obstacles is the key to success. Shackleton had a definitive purpose, rescuing his men, and nothing was going to stop him. He was dedicated to his men and put their needs before his. This is the definition of a leader.

“I have often marveled at the thin line which separates success from failure.”
~ Ernest Shackleton

“No one asks how to motivate a baby. A baby naturally explores everything it can get at unless restraining forces have already been at work. And this tendency doesn’t die out, it’s wiped out.”
~ Ernest Shackleton

I hope you enjoyed part one of the great and inspiring people whom I admire. I will continue this series in the weeks to follow. Do you have any particular person who inspires you? Are there people that you admire and help you on your journey? If so, leave a comment below and let me know. I always enjoy reading your comments.

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This Train Is Moving On. You Can Get On, You Can Get Off, But The Train Keeps Moving On! We Are Going To The Top Of The Mountain!

Final Thoughts

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This article may include affiliate links. is a participant of the Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. participates in other affiliate programs and receives commissions when purchases are made through the links. This is at no extra cost to you.

Works Cited

Lansing, Alfred. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. Basic Books, 2015.

“Chapter 14 – The Sixth Sense.” Think and Grow Rich: The Complete Classic Text, by Napoleon Hill, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2008, pp. 308–323.

Inspirational Quotes For Strength And Hope

These are difficult times we are living in and I know there are many people who are struggling with the changes we are facing. I hope these inspirational quotes will give you some strength and hope to make it through difficult times.

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
~ Arnold Schwarzenegger

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

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“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”
~ Psalm 28:7

Needing Inspiration For Strength

One hot July evening, after dinner, I found myself hiking on a dirt road up a hill in the North Georgia mountains. My classmates and I had just arrived at the US Army Rangers training center and were being taken to the top of the hill to have a class on terrain features. In the heat and humidity, we walked for over an hour until we arrived at the top of the hill. The instructors pointed out the different terrain features we would need to learn for our land navigation class the next day.

Boonie Hats

At the end of the class, the instructors told us we would have to find our way back to camp by ourselves and couldn’t use the road. Simple enough, I thought, we can just walk down the mountain through the woods until we get there.  I was hoping to be in my bunk in a couple of hours. To add a little difficulty, the instructors would not let us leave until it was completely dark.

“Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.”
~ William Ellery Channing

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
~ Khalil Gibran

Into The Darkness

We began our trek down the hill in a single file line. Quickly, we became aware that this was going to be more difficult than we thought. It would take all of our strength and my hope of an early night was fading. Once we entered the tree line, it was completely dark and you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. The only thing that we could see was glowing moss on the ground and the two strips of phosphorescent tape we had sewed onto the back of our boonie hats, they called Ranger eyes.

We had to walk painfully slow as we did not know what was in front of us. Every now and then the Ranger eyes in front of you would disappear and somebody would cuss. We knew that the person in front of us had fallen into a ditch and we would have to navigate our way down the ditch and back up the other side.

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.”
~ Michael J. Fox

“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength. “No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”
~ 14th Dalai Lama

Strength and Perseverance

It took us several hours and used up a lot of our strength to make it down the hill and find the road. We met up with the Ranger instructors and just had a short walk back to camp. Little did we know that the fun was just beginning because our instructor got lost. After several hours of walking and constantly being told, “It’s just 500 yards more,” we knew something was wrong, especially when we came upon a civilian neighborhood. Luckily, it was probably 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning and no one was out.

As the sun was coming up, we walked through the gates of the Ranger camp. We were all exhausted, cut up, bruised, and battered by the time we made it back to our barracks. Something that started out sounding so easy turned into an all-night struggle. We all persevered and overcame and no one had any serious injuries.

“The harder you fall, the heavier your heart; the heavier your heart, the stronger you climb; the stronger you climb, the higher your pedestal.”
~ Criss Jami

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”
~ J.K. Rowling

A Real-Life Mission

About a year later, I found myself in a similar situation during a real mission in the jungles of Peru. We had to move our team through the jungle at night and find an airstrip. There was going to be several hundred kilograms of cocaine delivered to that airstrip the next day. As we were walking through the jungle, I thought back to that night with the Rangers and how we used our stamina to overcome all the obstacles in front of us and find our way back. Going through those struggles made us better and gave us the strength to complete our mission in the jungle.

Why Can’t It Be Easy?

Do you ever wonder, why isn’t everything easy? Wouldn’t it be so nice if we could go through life without any struggles? Especially during these trying times in which we are currently living. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen because life itself is a struggle and it takes strength and perseverance to get by. People who succeed in life are persistent. They learn how to improvise, adapt, and overcome. This is a phrase that Clint Eastwood made famous in his movie, Heartbreak Ridge.

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me…. You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
~ Walt Disney

The Butterfly

I remember hearing a story one time about a man who came upon a cocoon in a tree. As he looked at the cocoon he could see the caterpillar had changed into a butterfly and was struggling to break free. The butterfly continued to struggle and the man thought he would make it easier by opening up the cocoon. The butterfly emerged once the cocoon was opened and he could see that there was something wrong. The body was thin and the wings were misshapen and fragile. The butterfly fell to the ground and died. What the man didn’t know was, it is the struggle in which the butterfly goes through trying to break out of the cocoon that gives strength to its body and wings and allows it to fly off. Humans are no different, our struggles make us stronger.

Emerging Butterfly

Laws Of Nature

These are simply laws of nature that illustrate you can’t get something great without giving something up. The struggles that we go through are necessary in order to accomplish our goals. God presents these struggles to us and we must learn to overcome. Even though our struggles seem mighty, God never gives us more than we can handle. Whatever you’re going through, rest assured that it’s already inside you to overcome that struggle. The comedian Steve Harvey talks about his struggles when he first tried to make it in comedy. Looking at him now you would never know that he had to live in his car for three years while he was struggling to make it. He persevered and now leads an abundant wealthy lifestyle. He had no idea of how long it would take him to achieve his goals.

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
~ Marcus Aurelius

The unknown causes more anxiety in people than probably anything else. The hardest time we go through is when we don’t know how long our struggles will last and they seem like they will never end. There is no timeline to life’s difficulties. Unfortunately, most people give up right before they would have succeeded. It just gets too hard and they go back to their old life. Perseverance is the key to success.

“Nothing is more beautiful than the smile that has struggled through the tears.”
~ Demi Lovato


We must persevere because our struggles don’t last forever. As I said earlier, they can never be too hard because God never gives us more than we can handle. If you improvise, adapt, and overcome, you will come out stronger and better. You can have the life you always wanted. In order to persevere you must have a definitive purpose, a big WHY. This will get you through when it gets too hard, and you don’t feel like it’s worth the struggle. Do a little bit every day to get you closer to your goals and always keep moving forward, never go back. A great book to read on perseverance is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

“And one has to understand that braveness is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear.”
~ Paulo Coelho

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”
~ Christopher Reeve


Are you hurting right now? Is life kicking you in the teeth and every day is a struggle?  We are all going through tough times these days and no one knows when it will end.  All we can do is improvise, adapt, and overcome. Set your goals, make a plan, and put action to that plan. Find your definitive purpose and if you don’t have one, ask. It will be shown to you. Keep things simple and form a team of people who will support you until your struggle ends. Were all in this together and we will need the help of each other to get through.

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

“He who believes is strong; he who doubts is weak. Strong convictions precede great actions.”
~ Louisa May Alcott

Final Thoughts

If you would like to share any struggles you are having, we might be able to help you out. Leave a reply along with your quotes, advice, tips, or links to helpful groups or sites in the comments section below. If you have any questions or requests for topics I would love to hear them. If you like this post, click on the little star and feel free to share it with others it might help. As always, my posts are based on lessons I’ve learned throughout my life. I don’t claim to be an expert or professional therapist, I just play one on TV (some of you might get that joke).

“Anyone can give up; it is the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone would expect you to fall apart, now that is true strength.”
~ Chris Bradford

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”
~ Maya Angelou

Unashamed Begging 😉

If anyone would like to help me out please click on the product icons if you need to purchase anything from Amazon. You can purchase whatever you want and I earn a small commission as long as you enter through my links. You will be helping me out and this is at no extra cost to you. I appreciate it and I am grateful to all my followers and readers.

All Aboard!!

“This Train Is Moving on, You Can Get on, You Can Get off, But the Train Keeps Moving on! We Are Going to the Top of the Mountain!”

This article may include affiliate links. is a participant of Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. participates in other affiliate programs and receives commissions when purchases are made through the links. This is at no extra cost to you.