“The scars you acquire while exercising courage will never make you feel inferior.” —D.A. Battista
“Courage is a special kind of knowledge: the knowledge of how to fear what ought to be feared and how not to fear what ought not to be feared.” —David Ben-Gurion
“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” —Dorothy Bernard
Courage. It is a word that conjures up images of great and dramatic actions. And yet I realize that we all have the opportunity to be courageous every day, in small and large ways. And it is when we choose to be courageous that we change our lives and the lives of those around us.
Can you name anything of any significance that did not emanate from some sort of courageous decision? I can’t. Think of the changes that we have experienced in the last few decades and trace them back to their initial decision. Chances are, someone exhibited courage.
So what is courage? It is simply acting on what we want to do, regardless of any fear we may have. It is the choice to disregard worry. It is the choice to do right, to pursue our dreams, to be successful people, to lead the way for others.
Courage changes lives. Yes, it changes lives.
First, the day you begin to stare down your fears and worries, and instead act courageously, your life will change. You will be set free to fly like you never have before. You will accomplish things you once only dreamed of. You will experience things you thought were only for others—the courageous ones. You will realize that your fears were baseless and just paper tigers, a mirage. You will begin to live your dreams. You will become a person of character!
You will also change the lives of others. Simply put, courageous people pull others along with them. Everybody benefits from courageous people. I have a friend who I admire greatly. A little over a year ago he decided to leave a lucrative career and pursue a dream. All obstacles were thrown his way. The day he left his company, he found out that his wife had cancer. He went into a great deal of debt to finance his dream. He raised millions of dollars, putting his name and reputation on the line. He acted courageously. A year later, he has more than 50 employees and growing monthly. Those employees are reaping the benefit of his courage! And his wife, who beat cancer, is acting courageously with him!
Here are some quick tips for acting courageously:
Know what you want. Courage is about choice. If you are to act courageously, you need to know what the right choice is. Be clear about your dream and vision.
Do not worry. I heard recently that worry is the wrong use of the imagination. That is perhaps the best definition I have ever heard. Worry is just thinking about all of the bad possibilities, isn’t it? Well, courage is just thinking about all the great possibilities and then acting upon them!
Do your homework. It helps to get the facts. It helps because then you can make an informed decision that will put your heart and mind to rest. There will probably be a downside, but we understand that, choose alternatives and act decisively.
Act. There is no substitute for the first step. Do you know what you want? Have you thought of the possibilities? Have you done your homework? Then what are you waiting for? The next step is to take the first step, and ACT!