When I hear the name “Mother Teresa” what comes to mind is “a love warrior.” A soul so gentle, yet fierce. A woman of delicate physic, yet so strong. It’s not often we come across life stories so honourable.

So many of us feel compelled to do something positive in the world. Often this is combated with feelings of inadequacy, not believing in our capabilities, not knowing where to start, or becoming overwhelmed by our own personal circumstances. The life of someone like Mother Teresa can inspire and teach us. She was a great example of how one person, without all the advantages in life, was still able to influence change in the world. Her humility and love were enough to inspire change.

Here are some of the timeless lessons she left behind:

It’s not just big things, but small things done with love that make a difference

“It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.” words spoken by Mother Teresa herself.

Material things don’t make us rich

An observation made by Mother Teresa was that “though the west was materially prosperous, there was often a spiritual poverty”

Another of her famous quotes: “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”

Love begins at home

When Mother Teresa was asked about how to promote world peace, she commented “Go home and love your family.”

Often great outcomes begin with great sacrifice

When Mother Teresa began living out the life she believed she was called to lived out, she struggled in the beginning. Teresa wrote in her diary that her first year was fraught with difficulties. She had no income and had to resort to begging for food and supplies. Teresa experienced doubt, loneliness and the temptation to return to the comfort of convent life during these early months.

Don’t conform, strive to live on purpose

Mother Teresa believed she had a purpose in life. She wrote in her diary:

“Our Lord wants me to be a free nun covered with the poverty of the cross. Today, I learned a good lesson. The poverty of the poor must be so hard for them. While looking for a home I walked and walked till my arms and legs ached. I thought how much they must ache in body and soul, looking for a home, food and health. Then, the comfort of Loreto [her former congregation] came to tempt me. ‘You have only to say the word and all that will be yours again,’ the Tempter kept on saying … Of free choice, my God, and out of love for you, I desire to remain and do whatever be your Holy will in my regard. I did not let a single tear come.”