I aspire to be courageous.
I don’t really think I am. What I do (who I am…) doesn’t seem to demand courage. But I might be wrong….
A few days ago I received an encouraging email from a friend who is much older than I am and was a mentor at one time. We didn’t always see eye-to-eye on everything (especially in some recent interactions) so the email was altogether unexpected. Here is the first paragraph:
You are a great teacher, a great contributor, a fine example of someone with the courage to stand up, trust in his ability to create value in the scary moment of now, and make a real difference.
As I read this email I literally had to pause and collect my emotions so I could read the rest of the email. So many thoughts at the same time. Glad to be recognized. Challenged to continue. Thoughtful for the task at hand….
I realized that courage is not no much a single big action as it is a series of small and seemingly insignificant ways of living.
Here is what the inches of courage look like:
- Planning for greatness when you feel clueless….
- Turning a 5 mile run into 6….
- Not apologizing for being different….
- Dialoging with people that are smarter than you….
- Changing your mind….
- And then changing your mind again….
- Telling the world what you are passionate about….
- Disagreeing with a good idea….
- Waking up and doing it all over again….
- Fighting for the extra 1% when 99% seems good enough….
- Saying “NO” because your “YES” won’t be worth it….
- Believing in yourself even though you are the only one….
- Telling yourself the truth about what scares you….
- Facing your fear of failure….
- Starting something new when the old stuff isn’t done yet….
- Pausing to be grateful for past life lessons….
- Finish reading all the books you half started….
- Using personal doubts to fuel activity….
- Asking a close friend what they think your faults are….
- Answering the phone when you see it’s the bill collector….
- Teaching a class on a topic that you have mastered…
- Mastering a topic well enough to teach a class about it….
How many times will you be courageous today?