Courage is a curious thing. Those who have it need not have it explained. Those who do not have it don’t understand it at all. Courage is not the absence of fear. Nor is it fearlessness. Nor is it bravery.
People with courage have just as much fear as the next person.
Osho explains it like this: “In the beginning there is not much difference between the coward and the courageous person. The only difference is, the coward listens to his fears and follows them, and the courageous person puts them aside and goes ahead. The courageous person goes into the unknown in spite of all his fears.”
When you have courage, going into unknown, uncharted territory is an adventure. There is a thrill to it. Every fiber in your body begins to bristle. You feel so very much alive.
To accept the challenge of the unknown in spite of all your fears is courage.
You feel strong, you feel a sense of integrity, and you feel very, very sharp. Exchanging the familiar for the unfamiliar is an adrenaline rush on all levels.
Courageous people are always seeking adventure in all that they do. But it isn’t just something you do - it’s a way of being.
Isn’t Life One Big Adventure?
Life is totally unpredictable isn’t it? We have no idea what will happen from one minute to the next. Despite our best efforts to plan, schedule, and organize, life is totally random on all levels.
Yet, we’re taught to seek security and stability in order to feel safe and protected.
Helen Keller wrote: “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger in the long run is no safer than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
It’s interesting that we’re taught to seek out something that doesn’t exist. How can we ever find something that isn’t even there?
Courage: Living From the Heart
The word “courage” is also interesting. It comes from the Latin “cor” which means “of the heart.” To be courageous means to live from the heart.
To live with courage means to embrace the known insecurity of life and live in it, with love and trust. Those who live with their head full of the known and seek safety and security cannot live life to the full. They can never be fully alive.
The way forward for humanity is in listening to the heart consciously, alertly, and attentively, and to follow where it leads you.
Will you make mistakes? Yes. Will you make errors of judgement? Yes. Will you have to start over from time to time? Of course.
And in all that you do, you will learn, you will grow, your confidence and competence will rise, and you will become infinitely wiser because of it.
Courage: Being Decisive
Making mistakes is inevitable. It’s how we learn and develop experience. We just need to avoid making the same mistakes twice. That shows that we learned from the first time.
There is nothing to be gained from being fearful or frightened, so it’s best to avoid wasting your time on it.
Instead, head into the unknown. Be decisive and take action. If something doesn’t work, learn from that, make a new decision, and take a different action. The faster you go, the quicker you learn what’s right and what’s not.
Courage thrives in a fast moving, decisive environment.
Life itself thrives in a fast moving, decisive environment. If you want to live a memorable and exciting life, keep moving.
Courage Helps You Avoid Anxiety
You only need to ponder a problem long enough to understand it. Once you understand it, decide on a course of action and implement it without delay.
Too many people spend too much time with worry. What is worry other than a form of anxiety about a problem that grows exponentially in proportion to the number of times you think about it? Even knowing that, most people suffer immeasurable anxiety on a daily basis.
If you develop courage - courage to face a challenge, make a decision, take action, and resolve it - everything changes.
You only need to think about a challenge long enough to understand it. Then make a decision about it and immediately take action on that decision. Any anxiety you may be suffering about your challenge evaporates in that moment.
Live the Adventure
Both in life and in business, fortune favors the courageous. Courage encourages us to live in the moment, to be alive. Not to dwell on the past or to waste time worrying about the future.
Those who make a conscious effort to develop their courage will always live a vibrant, exciting, life.
Life is nothing more than a collection of experiences. You have the choice of making them exciting, vibrant, memorable experiences or not.
You have the choice of making a handful of experiences or countless thousands of experiences.
Listen to your heart. What does your heart choose?
Courage will ensure that you will live a most fulfilling life. You won’t get everything right. You’ll stumble and fall, but you won’t care about that because you will always rise, and your life will become a daring adventure - an exciting, vibrant, memorable adventure.
Thank you for reading our blog!
- Mike Acker
Check out my new book on Public Speaking: Speak with Confidence, published by WILEY.
A breakthrough to develop confidence in speaking, leadership, and life. A follow-up book to my best-selling book, Speak with No Fear