Words to Live By

Author: Lisa Ellen Niver, CAS ’89

During my years at Penn, I remember learning the University motto of “We will find a way or we will make one.” I have adopted this many times as my personal mantra to make life work out. If I just keep saying it, I will figure it out. Many other quotes have helped me in my personal journeys and at over 100 countries by the count of Traveler’s Century Club I have been on a quite a few adventures!

I believe that I must as Ralph Waldo Emerson says: “Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.” I want my life to be full and to realize my dreams and to be all that I can be in my own way.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I also like what Eleanor Roosevelt had to say about living a good life: “Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you also have an obligation to be one.” I have often been accused of being an individual and finding my own way, just like the Penn Motto tells me to!

Eleanor Roosevelt

 I am a traveler and we will be leaving again very soon. As Robert Frost says, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I… I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Being willing to take a risk has led me to amazing places.

Young Robert Frost

I went on one more blind date and met George five and a half years ago. He is now my husband, travel partner, and soul mate. What if I had not been willing to go? He asked me to travel with him for a year and during that sojourn in South East Asia, we got engaged underwater. What if I said no? Taking the leap has led me to wonderful discoveries!

As one of my favorite writers, James Michener, says, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today, because if you enjoy it today you can do it again tomorrow!” I love this idea. Fill your life with the things you enjoy and as Sonny states in Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: “Everything will be all right in the end; if it’s not alright then it’s not the end.”


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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Lisa Ellen Niver

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