A wise man is not foolhardy, but brave

This article is about how courage and wisdom relates. However, if you haven´t already read my article about courage, the major source of inner strength, do that as well. You can read my article about COURAGE here.

Both wisdom and courage are useful and they are closely related. The wise man wants to be brave and the brave man becomes wise, if he lives long enough.

Wisdom can lend you courage, but wisdom comes from deep experience and experience comes from taking action. Taking action in turn, takes daring.  So courages makes you wiser than wisdom makes you brave.

Experience will come more easily with time than courage.  If you are very wise, you can still fail because you lack the courage to proceed.  If you are very brave on the other hand, you will have the opportunity to gain wisdom fast. So courage is more important than wisdom. Courage is a primary source of inner strength, after all.

Courage vs. wisdom

Example 1. Knowing all of your options and understanding all the consequences can paralyze your decision making abilities. Making fast decisions at the other hand, will increase your experience fast. And you will learn from your mistakes if the stakes are high enough to make you nervous.

Example 2. You need courage in order to take the necessary risks, because there is always a risk in everything really worth pursuing. Of course, if you are wise, you will know right away what risks are worth taking and why they pay off.

Example 3. Even when it is obvious that you need to make a sacriface, you may lack the courage to do it.  Sometimes you can´t avoid to take some hits in order to win.

If you are wise, you recognize the moments. Now courage is suddenly determining the outcome of the struggle. Will you take the risk? Will you strike when the time is right?

When something big is at stake and you know what to do, you are blessed. Usually we don´t know what we must do in order to win.  But even when you know that a sacriface or risk is required, the question remains: will you do it? Let´s say that a man is infected with a flesheating bacteria. Even if the man knows that he needs to amputate the finger in order to stop it from spreading, he might lack the courage to cut it off.

Avoid foolishness

In the long run, courage is more important than wisdom. However, you still need a certain amount of both in order to succeed. Just because oxygen is more acutely needed than water, you still need both in order to live through the week.

You need to be wise enough to avoid foolishness. So if you have no idea what the he** you are doing, how do you become wise fast?

The clever one will learn from others. Only a fool reinvents the wheel. Please realise that a wise man may be a coward, but he can still give good advice.

It could also be a good idea to avoid the most obvious mistakes of people who came before you. Therefore, listen to those who knows better than you and learn from others. A certain amount of insight is usually needed before taking on something new in order to not fail completely. If your courage turns into recklessness and gets you destroyed, you won´t be able to learn from your mistakes. So forget about your petty pride, mortal and watch out for hybris.

If you want to be successful yourself, nothing beats taking action. And when you take action, it is more important to move forward no matter what, than to waste time on finding the perfect way to go about something.  If you are brave, you will stop hesitating after a certain point and you will move forward even when it is scary. And then it isn’t even scary anymore.

Good luck.


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