Inhale Courage, Exhale Fear: Mother Teresa said, “Do It Anyway”

Reportedly written on the wall of Mother Teresa’s home for the children in Calcutta, India – it’s a phrase widely attributed to her.

Some people have said it was written on the wall of her room, not just in the building where she selflessly gave care to others.

Either way, it is associated with her and the Missionaries of Charity around the globe – expressing not only what they do, but the spirit in which they live their lives.

The thing is, it should be the way we all live our lives as it transcends religion, creed, sex and ethnicity.

It has been noted, however, that “Do It Anyway,” can be traced back to “The Paradoxical Commandments” by Dr. Kent M. Keith.

“Do It Anyway” –

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

“The Paradoxical Commandments” –

1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

6. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith
(Written as part of a booklet for student leaders)

It’s like that saying people have about doubt, it’s dreadful.

Doubt separates people, disintegrates friendships and it break things apart. It irritates and it hurts like hell.

So let it be.

Holding anger inside of you is toxic, it’s a poison that doesn’t hurt the person we have those feelings towards, it hurts us and makes us the bitter ones.

Therefore, when you have done your best and know it in your heart, await the results in peace.


Sasha H. Muradali runs the Little Pink Blog (formerly Little Pink Book PR). She holds a B.S. Public Relations from the University of Florida with a minor in Dance (’07) and an M.A. International Administration with a concentration in Communication from the University of Miami (’08). She loves Twitter (@SashaHalima), Harry Potter and the colour pink. Get a copy of the Little Pink Blog delivered to your Kindle and find us on Facebook.

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The Paradoxical Commandments,


  1. I know I told you this before, but what a great post…perhaps one of your best.