It may have taken her five tries and 35 years, but 64-year-old Diana Nyad never gave up on her goal and her dream of swimming the 103 miles of Florida Straits, from Cuba to Florida, without a shark cage.
She tried to make the swim the first time in 1978 but wasn’t successful, so she moved on with her life and pursued other interests. However, after turning 60 and losing her mother, the dream came alive again, as she explains in this TED talk from October 2011.
To reach her goal, Diana would have to overcome physical, emotional and mental barriers. Her mantra for her fifth attempt was to ''find a way''-- and find a way she did! Hundreds of people greeted her on the Key West beach Monday, September 2, 2013, after her 53-hour swim. Millions around the world have been inspired by the interviews she has given since.
We have gathered some of her most inspiring quotes from her interviews to help motivate you to keep moving forward toward your goals, both big and small.
1) ''We should never, ever give up!''
2) ''You never are too old to chase your dreams.''
3) ''It looks like a solitary sport but it’s a team [effort].''
4) ''You can’t start to get into negative spaces…telling yourself it hurts too much, maybe another day… because even people with an iron will [can] talk themselves out of stuff and quit when things get tough.''
5) ''All those factors out there [in life], you can’t control them, but you have to have intelligent answers to them, you have to have solutions.''
6) ''All of us suffer heartaches and difficulties in our lives. If you say to yourself, 'find a way,' you’ll make it through.''
7) ''Life is not over at this age  by any means.''
8) ''I believe endurance grows and we can never discount the mental…the powers of concentration and perspective of what it all means. What you are capable of is infinitely higher at this age  than when you are a young twenty-something.''
9) ''So many people discuss the journey and the destination. The destination was always my vision. The journey that took me several years was thrilling. The discovery, the people, the looking inside at what you’re made of made reaching the destination—euphoric.''
10) ''Whenever you’re pushing through the tough moments, find a way. If something is important to you and it looks impossible and you’re up against it, step back for a minute and ask yourself if you have the resolve to think of every -nth degree to get through this. And most times, we do.''
11) ''People give up too quickly.''
12) ''I wanted to teach myself some life lessons at the age of 60 and one of them was that you don’t give up.''
Her calling to chase and achieve an elevated, extreme dream required conviction, unwavering passion and allowed her to be her best self. She didn't do it perfectly. She made mistakes and failed along the journey. But what a role model she is about never giving up on your dreams! Congratulations, Diane!
Are you setting goals that allow you to be your best self? Are you inspired by Nyad's accomplishment?
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