Optimism is true moral courage

As the world enters uncertain times, we've chosen six quotes from Sir Ernest Shackleton that inspire us in times of difficulty. We hope they do the same for you.

Crisis and adversity are not new; we have met them before and we will meet them again. In these times, we seek optimism, patience and courage; the very values that were so important to Ernest Shackleton during periods of extreme hardship while exploring Antarctica over a century ago.

Ernest Shackleton earned a place in history not through achievement and success, but the way in which he dealt with adversity and roused optimism in those around him when facing tough odds. He was a remarkable leader – his methods are still studied and taught today.

As the world now navigates these uncharted waters, we've chosen six quotes from Sir Ernest Shackleton that inspire us to press on, stiffen our resolve and keep our heads high. We hope they do the same for you. In turn, we invite you to share with us the quotes that inspire you in times of difficulty.

1. The quality I look for most is optimism: especially optimism in the face of reverses and apparent defeat. Optimism is true moral courage.

2. To be brave cheerily, to be patient with a glad heart, to stand the agonies of thirst with laughter and song, to walk beside death for months and never be sad – that's the spirit that makes courage worth having.

3. Need to put footprint of courage into stirrup of patience.

4. Men are not made from easy victories but based on great defeats.

5. If you’re a leader, a fellow that other fellows look to, you’ve got to keep going.

6. Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all.

Thanks to an ongoing collaboration between The Royal Geographical Society (with International Bureau of Geographers) and Salto Ulbeek Publishers, the first ever collection of limited edition platinum palladium prints from Shackleton's ‘Endurance’ expedition is now available to purchase.