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Excerpted from
The Girls' Book of Wisdom: Empowering, Inspirational Quotes from over 400 Fabulous Females (Little, Brown, 1999) Edited by Catherine Dee.
Copyright 1999 Catherine Dee


When women come together in one place to share their experiences, their dreams and wisdom, a very special resonance—a powerful energy—is created.
—Marion Woodman, psychologist

What if you could assemble hundreds of wise and accomplished women and girls who've lived in the past two centuries, and just listen to them share their pearls of wisdom? You would probably come away awed by their ideas, amazed by the similarities of some of their observations, and eager to try out their strategies yourself. Well, here's your chance.

This book is filled with positive advice and perceptive observations from more than four hundred exceptional women and girls. Every included quote was selected for its ability to inspire you. Some of these "pearls" are witty and entertaining, some are brilliant, and some are just plain helpful. Many are suggestions that women wish they'd been given when they were girls. These powerful quotes can change the way you see yourself and perceive the world.

The people quoted in this book are young and old, from the past and the present. They're scientists, musicians, business executives, activists, writers, athletes, actors, doctors, Internet pioneers, artists, moms, world leaders, daughters, and more. What they have to share can help you:

Understand yourself
Accept your body
Feel confident
Handle bad moods
Overcome challenges
Get motivated
Break out of ruts
Build good relationships
Achieve great feats
Have fun!

Of course, as a woman named Yula Moses once observed, "Wisdom is harder to DO than it is to know." It's easy to get all fired up, but putting ideas into practice takes effort.

However, knowing WHAT you can do, and being reminded that YOU CAN DO IT, is the fuel you need to get the fire started and keep it burning.

If you read this book from beginning to end, you'll see that it has a natural progression, but you can skip around, too. If you're looking for perspective on a certain issue, pick the chapter that most closely seems to match. Close your eyes and open the book to a random page when you want a little mood boost. Or read a few quotes every day. Soon, the most meaningful ideas for you will become familiar and lodge themselves in your brain, where you can recall them anytime.

Having "inherited" this valuable wisdom, you'll be better prepared to make any decisions, get through any situations, and live your life with conviction, enthusiasm, and joy.

—Catherine Dee

I love [quotes] because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognizedly wiser than oneself.
—Marlene Dietrich, actor, 1901-1992


When you wake up in the morning. do you make a mental note to enjoy the day ahead of you?

It's strange, but when you're a kid, there is plenty of life to enjoy, because time seems to pass very slowly. But guess what? As you grow up, time seems to speed up. "I always remember my grandmother saying, 'Gosh, time flies,'" says Carol Bartz, president of a large furniture company. "And I thought, what is she talking about? Well, let me tell you, times flies...I would have liked to have had that wisdom a little younger." That's why it's important to savor your time as a girl and a young woman, and not just wait for the future.

There are so many things to enjoy about being young. For example, summer vacation. When you get older, unless you become a teacher or college professor, you can't take the summer off. And your body. Physically, you will probably be stronger and healthier than you are right now.

So when you wake up, remind yourself to appreciate the day as it's passing by. Enjoy everything from the mundane activities, such as brushing your teeth, to the exciting events, such as a surprise birthday party for a friend. You've got a whole wonderful day—and potentially a whole wonderful life—stretching out ahead of you.

* * *

It's so quiet in the early morning darkness...Then the sun breaks...Fingers of light on the horizon...[I] just want to start singing or shout, "Glory Hallelujah!"
—Nora Dott Warren, shrimper

I rise from sleep and say: Hail to the morning!
Come down to me, my beautiful unknown.
—Jessica Powers, poet, nun 1905-1988

Surely it's better to sleep late in the morning only when it's a rare privilege, not an everyday occurrence.
—Lauren Bacall, actor

I have come to understand that every day is something to cherish.
—Kerri Strug, gymnast

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
—Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady, humanitarian, 1884-1962

Each day I look for a kernel of excitement. In the morning, I say: "What is my exciting thing for today?" Then, I do the day.
—Barbara Jordan, lawyer, congresswoman, educator, 1936-1996

I wake expectant, hoping to see a new thing.
—Annie Dillard, writer

The preciousness of every ordinary moment is emphasized with every tick of the clock. Isn't it a magnificent day today?
—Bel Kaufman, writer, educator

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
—Mary Jean Irion, writer, teacher

Now go take the day.
—Laura Schlessinger, radio talk-show host

© 1999 by Catherine Dee

Excerpted fromThe Girls' Book of Wisdom: Empowering, Inspirational Quotes from over 400 Fabulous Females (Little, Brown, 1999) Edited by Catherine Dee.
Copyright 1999 Catherine Dee

Check out Catherine Dee's website at www.empowergirls.com