COURAGE is not something you are granted. It is not something you are gifted. It is not genetic.
COURAGE is a CHOICE.
It is not a feeling – it is a SKILL. And one only acquired through sustained and difficult practice.
It is the absence of FEAR- It is the ability to act in the PRESENCE of fear.
COURAGE and FEAR always co-exist. It is possible to be brave and afraid at the same time.
And the ONLY way out of fear is THROUGH it.
There are many practical examples – most of which take 30 seconds to accomplish;
- Making a phone call to a person annoyed with you – to make peace
- Making that “how’s things’ call to see how your customer, client, patient is going
- Making a cold call to introduce a new product – 99% of us hate this one
- Having that honest conversation with a team member who is causing disruption.
- Having that conversation with a team member you can see is in a very anxious personal position
- Having to actually give a team notice
- Visiting someone you don’t know and has no visitors or means to do regular chores etc.
- Asking people, you don’t know – if you could mow their lawn or clean around the house.
The list of COURAGE that requires very small amounts of time is endless. You could be a COWARD 99% of your life and still use COURAGE to build a great life. As long as you ACT and don’t procrastinate and follow through. And if you do these things – your character improves and so does your LIFE. So COURAGE won’t allow you to be LESS than you should be.
Why do many leaders stand out over centuries? Because they made important, life and world changing decisions while all their advisors disagreed:
- Lincoln – decided to sign the Emancipation Bill to end slavery – against all his advisors
- JFK – declared USA would have a man on the Moon within a decade – when all said it was impossible
- JFK and his brother Bobby – refused to war with CUBA when all the Chiefs of staff wanted WAR
- Truman sacked MacArthur – the most decorated and loved war hero – because the war was not going the way Truman believed it should. No one else agreed. And he was not re-elected. However, his decision won the war for the allies
- Churchill – declared the Allies would win and Britain would never surrender – I am sure many in the War Cabinet disagreed with most of his tactics. But the War was won.
I must state that all decisions (of all types) are not always correct – but this is LEADERSHIP. Making the best decisions – BIG or SMALL. And getting the majority correct within that decision.
Maya Angeloui put it this way:
“Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without Courage you cannot practice any other human virtue consistently, you can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without Courage”
Can you beat John Wayne: “Courage is being sacred to death and saddling up anyway”
To destroy fear, you have to do battle with it regularly. The more you attack and override it – the weaker it gets.
If there is some big challenge – parachuting from a plane, doing a Triathlon or you need to lose weight to eliminate a disease – and one of these keep bugging you and interfering with your Emotional and Spiritual Health – then it will take many numbers of 30 seconds. However, if you wish to live and become a better version of yourself – you MUST overcome the FEAR and introduce a big doses of COURAGE
For COURAGE separates the GOOD from the GREAT.
There are TWO main forms of DECISIONS – which need to be separated for our sanity at least:
- TYPE 1 – these cannot be reversed – so they require much more information, time and listening to credible people in THAT PARTICULAR field
- TYPE 2 – these can be reversed. These are the ones we encounter MOST in our ever day lives. Most of these are the “30 second ones”
There are so many choices in this world – especially professions, trades, foods, counselling, public service,, investing, sports and so on.
No one can be an expert or very knowledgeable in all of them. So, we need to choose where our competencies and loves – really are. Then as Warren Buffett advised:
“Know your circle of competency and stick within it.
The size of the circle is not very important.
Knowing its boundaries is VITAL”
This way it is easier to separate Type 1 and 2 decisions and helps you make the CORRECT decision – because you are inside your area of COMPETIENCIES
If you are unable to make a decision – make sure you get the person/s who have been there before. Those who have the accurate knowledge and are able to provide honest advice.
All specialists take their decisions from there own point of view. Make sure you actually the specialist or expert that is congruent to your situation. These days experts are pulled from ‘hats’ all over the place – and usually provide the same advice so as to be ‘in the know’. Not many have the COURAGE to really tell the TRUTH. The ones that would like to provide their own point of view – may be hesitant to do so because of the FEAR of being sacked, criticised and even lose their job. NOW that is one for COURAGE.
Jim Rohn put it this way:
“Take everyone’s input, listen intently and carefully.
Then make sure your decision is the product of your own conclusion”
Above all – ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT!!!
The GUT encodes all our previous experiences over our life. It connects via the Vagus Nerve wi.h the Heart and the Brain. This is powerful. ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT!!!
The GUT allows us to reduce our REGRETS and helps better decisions.
Two Questions we could ask:
- Would I regret not doing what I have decided?
- Would I regret doing it if did it and failed?
- A note: Failures usually outnumber successes in big things – but the best decisions are the ones that make you the person you were born to be
Most FEAR is an illusion – take care of these quickly in 30 seconds and spend time on the big FEARFUL ideas and decisions.
COURAGE IS THE BASIS TO ALL THE VIRTUES.THE BETTER YOU CAN OVERCOME FEAR WITH COURAGE – THE BETTER YOU WILL BE AT FORGIVENESS, KINDNESS, INTEGRITY, HONESTY, RESPECT AND GENEROSITY AND BE AT PEACE