Courage is the primary virtue that defines your direction and depth in life. Without it, dreams silently go to graves without doing much. All the great people apart from being smart, and generous also had this stellar trait. From military accomplishments to standing for fellow brethren and taking that giant leap into entrepreneurship, courage is the glue that holds them all.
However, courage is not some special virtue that only 1% has, we all can cultivate. In that matter, it is more democratic than all other virtues out there. All you need rock-solid intention and a bit of craziness to go for special adventures, and regular practice like any skill. That’s it. after that, you are unstoppable and unbreakable.
Hence to go grab that greatness that waits around the corner, we need to exactly understand why it matters a lot in our life.
- 1)Virtuous Living.
We all know that at the end game, words don’t matter but deeds do. And deeds demand a steel frame of courage. Most importantly to do virtuous acts.
Whether it is standing up for a colleague who faced sexual harassment or exposing corporate scandals or marching on the streets for the right thing, we need courage. Moral heroism needs a hell of a lot of courage. I understood when I exposed an exam scam that was running at the university. So many doubts and balance sheet morals came up, yet looking back my conscience is clean with that noble act.
That’s why Maya Angelou says — “Courage is the most important of all virtues because, without courage, you cannot practice any other virtue consistently.”
In fact, Justice, temperance, wisdom, the other virtues we deem as cardinal cannot move a needle without this one.
- 2)Controlling Fear.
Do you remember that feeling that passes down your spine when you are about to give that stellar presentation? That’s Phobos for you. Courage does not take away that, let me tell you without any suspense. But it lets you act despite the fear. Once I had public speaking fear so much so that I use to sweat like I had run a marathon. Even now, it brings some moths in the stomach yet with practice, patience, and courage I could overcome it. So can you.
Succumbing to your fears is a big obstacle. It holds you back and diverts your destiny. you will be stuck like a guy who lost a time machine to travel into the future. As Nightingale puts it — “How very little can be done under the spirit of fear.”
Hence cultivate courage so that fear does not stop you wherever you are. People give so many tips but trust me nothing works like the good old diligent practice. you need to take small acts of courage daily so that you build muscle that can show strength and hard-iron conviction. Here’s a quote from Ryan Holiday book — “Courage is Calling”
“Today, each of us receives our own call. To service. To take a risk. To challenge the status quo. To run toward while others run away. To rise above our own station. To do what people say is impossible.” Take that call right away.
Every opportunity you ever had was a seed that harboured a leap into greatness. But we don’t see it that away. Isn’t it? In the present day, we have so many opportunities around us through the internet. You can be the next Joe Rogan as a podcaster, start your own Youtube channel or write for Medium that can give you enough dollars to live by. Yet we hold ourselves back. Why? so that a random stranger whom most likely you will never meet will say that your work was shitty? If we listen to that, the dream book/ company / whatever, will not come to fruition. Life will build a grave for you so no need to do that for yourself.
Coming out of comfort zone with courage now seems a cliche but it is not. And neither is it something that you need to do for some holy task. No, for every act you do in your life, demand something that matches your potential. Nothing less. Ginni Rometty, the IBM CEO puts it profoundly when she says —
“ Growth and comfort do not co-exist.” What a line!!!
Cultivate the courage to move ahead, empty of all the limiting thoughts that belittle you.