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. From this knowledge comes an inner strength that subconsciously inspires us to push on in the face of great difficulty. What can seem impossible is often possible, with courage.”
-David Ben-Gurioun, The First Prime Minister of Israel
I’ve been thinking about fear and courage more than I care to these days.
I am watching my mother handle a poorly timed and devastating cancer diagnosis with grace, optimism and courage. We are all scared. We are following her lead. Everything is suddenly put into amazing perspective. We hope, we learn, we get more information, we wish we had more… sometimes we wish we had less.
Sometimes we feel courageous… sometimes we do not. We are all doing the best we can.
She is an inspiration.
Moms are always teaching.
And meanwhile, we try to go on with our lives… and so I go to work, and church, and to my children’s activities. I am now ultra-sensitive to acts of courage… and lack thereof.
We all know examples of the human spirit rising in the biggest challenges. I know you also have them in your family.
How can we bring more courage to our daily living and leading?
I have noticed that the stories we have most wanted to tell during this time are those of courage. Stories of supporting the underdog. Stories of taking the controversial view. Stories of when our talk got mixed reviews. Stories of leaving the easy path.
Courage creates lasting stories
Courage inspires great leadership
Courage inspires great loving
Courage inspires great leading
And so I am inspired to wonder what can be learned from these times of big courage?
What can we do to become more brave… right now… ?
Why do we…
- listen to those who tell us our dreams are not practical?
- back down when we know we are right?
- withhold the most important coaching?
- tell our boss what we think will please him, instead of what he needs to hear?
- sacrifice our principles to fit in?
- implement initiatives we question without asking the right questions?
- delay starting something we know will make a difference?
When the going gets tough, the tough do get going. But when life is more benign… we may back away. We question the effort. We over-value the costs.
How do we get more big courage right now?
Where do you need to be more brave?