“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events… . It is from numberless acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.”

Robert F. Kennedy

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This Week´s Inspiration

Webster’s defines courage as “the quality of the mind that enables a person to face difficulty and danger without fear.”

With due respect to Webster’s, most individuals considered “heroes” will tell you that they did experience fear. It just happened that their courage was able to overcome that fear. 

It must be noted that courage would not be necessary if fear did not exist. Having courage is important to all of us. Webster’s identifies courage as “the quality of your mind that enables… .” So courage must exist inside your mind prior to its being activated.

The current condition and state of our lives have been strongly influenced by our choices. Those choices—consciously or unconsciously—were directed by our level of courage/confidence. 

Every day we make choices based on our level of courage. In previous e-zines, we have seen research that 80% of individuals dislike their job—from mild irritation to out-and-out hatred. Where’s the evidence of courage in that statistic? 

Without courage, what are we giving up, missing, avoiding, not resolving, not doing, not starting, not embracing, or not changing?

We have all witnessed, over the past couple of years, incredible acts of courage, from 9/11 to local events, but what about our personal courage level? How does the lack of courage affect our choices in our lives? The absence of courage would infer the presence of fear or doubt. 

As I write this e-zine, I am facing a decision that is either going to be based on courage or fear. It is a decision way beyond my comfort zone. But isn’t that where real courage lives . . . outside our comfort zone? 

All of us have had moments in our lives when we would like to have had more courage. It could be about leaving a job, discontinuing an unhealthy relationship, addressing conflict with others, making an investment that involves risk, going in a direction opposite your family’s wishes, plus many other possibilities. 

Understanding the power of courage requires each of us to reflect on all our life's choices. Were the important choices based on courage or fear? Only you have the answer to that question. 

More important, what has the lack of courage cost each of us? What (lost) opportunities and (unrealized) dreams have we exchanged for a false sense of security or comfort zone!

Courage is a condition of our thinking, our mind, our beliefs. Each of us at every given moment has the choice to be courageous or not. Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, proved that in his personal account of being a survivor of the concentration camps. 

The mind is a powerful thing. We can use it to help us or hinder us. What is your mind doing—helping or hindering?

So how do we develop more courage? For starters, follow these action steps.

This Week´s Action Steps
  1. Be aware of and acknowledge your courage levels. On a scale of 1 to 10—10 being very courageous—how would you rate yourself? How would others rate you on that same scale?

  2. Is your level of courage producing outcomes contrary to your purpose, dreams, and desires?

  3. Have you compromised certain goals or objectives to maintain or increase your comfort level, rather than increasing your courage level? If your answer is Yes, what were they and what price did you pay by allowing your doubt to be stronger than your courage?

  4. Courage is a mindset. Read books and articles on others’ acts of courage.

  5. Envision how much better or different your life might be if your courage level was higher than it is today. Look back and relive the events, adding the courage you would like to have had. Stay in that moment of high confidence and courage; so you can project it into your future.

  6. Build up your courage. If I wanted to resume bodybuilding, I wouldn’t be able to lift the weights I did 20 years ago during my peak workout years—but I could build up to it. Do the same for your courage levels.

  7. Be aware of your health and life balance. Fatigue can make cowards of us all. 

  8. Borrow courage from others, such as close friends and mentors.

  9. Start where you are. NOW! Immediately after you finish reading this section, do something that requires new courage—no matter how small it might be.

  10. Give it away. Encourage others to rise to new levels of courage; you will be amazed at how this will raise yours as well.


Until next time, keep Living On Purpose!

Ken Keis

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