Requirements: Hope or love
Sometimes even to live is an act of courage – Seneca
All of your actions originate in your head. In the long run of life, inner strength is more important than outer strength and power is always relying on inner power.
You will eventually find out that all inner strength ultimately depends on love or courage.
Below is a paragraph that I wholeheartedly agree on:
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage
~ Lao Tzu
Today you will read about courage.
Courage is essential. If you can’t get past your fears you will not go very far.
Discipline and focus are central concepts; the strength to resist temptations and the ability to focus on the task at hand is extremely useful. However, these things are not enough. What you really need in life is courage, because what really limits you is that which you fear.
There is an old saying that the secret to happiness is freedom and that the secret to freedom is courage. My mother taught me that awareness is they key to freedom, which is also true.
If you truly master your courage, the sources of your willpower are unlocked and you can eventually shatter all of your fears. Without fear there cannot be courage, but eventually courage can make one fearless!
Your inner strength is yours alone and you are responsible for your own courage. Getting scared is often a great opportunity. Be brave, it makes you strong! Most of us don’t know our true strength. We are a lot stronger than we think and we can become so much more stronger than most of us believe is possible. Those who find out what they are really capable of achieve much more than those who have the potential to be truly great, but never honestly challenge their limits .
I can teach you a method to practise courage and gain confidence at the same time, but the being brave part is still up to you.
Here is the single most effective method I currently know for gaining courage, willpower and fortitude.
- Find out what things you want done but fear to do. Be honest to yourself. This step alone takes courage.
- Make a list, with the most fearsome task first.
- Start at the top of the list and do the thing which you fear most.
The ABC of doing what you fear:
- Acknowledge your fear. Accept that you are scared. Appreciate the opportunity to grow stronger.
- Believe that doing this is worth the fear.
- Command yourself: I will do it.
TIP: In some cases where you can be public about your fear, it helps to create an external pressure to push you. Maybe tell a friend that you are about to do whatever it is that you are going to do and maybe even bet something on the fact that you will see it done…
- When you are done, check that task off. Good job. Was it actually as hard as you thought?
- Repeat with at least two more tasks or until the bucket list is checked off!
Chasing your fears gets things done. Don’t go do anything extreme though. For example. roaming the wilderness and pissing off bears is outside the recommended scope of this particular exercise.
Life is not always easy, life is not always fair, but remember: You are not alone. Every single one of us must face our fears.
It is when you are really under pressure that you have the chance to grow the most. Think about how diamonds are made. They start soft and slowly grow into beautiful hard, lasting jewels the more pressure they endure.
Your courage is a primary source of inner power. Using this power will make you stronger. It is only when you are afraid that you are given the opportunity to become courageous. It is in the moment when you either give in and surrender, or stand and fight, that your strength is tested.
Sometimes people can be really, really tested. Sometimes evil comes our way. If it happens to you, will you stand strong? No one knows what the fairy tale knight will do if he is attacked by an evil dragon, unless it actually happens. What I do know, is that if you do face evil and make it through, you will be much, much stronger afterward. Even if you don’t win, your act of bravery can still be a huge inspiration, to yourself and even to your enemies. Standing up for a good cause is a victory in itself.
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Similarly however, if courage fails someone, that person’s inner power will temporarily fade and shame or doubt may take its place. No decent human should spend the rest of their life fretting over this. Instead that person should move on and live a long life, so there is time to do better. No one is born a hero, they always come as a surprise. We are stronger together anyway, so never feel that the fate of the world should rest on your shoulders alone. That’s just ineffective thinking.
The average person never have to face off true evil. Having that epic showdown is uncommon, but occasionally feeling depressed or simply being under a lot of stress is quite normal. When this happens, you are not fighting but rather passively resisting. Your mind is under siege.
When times are tough you don’t let it slow you down. Instead, you work harder, push more, so you can get through it faster.
This should be your first option. It is a counter intuitive idea, but an essential one. A too common response when shit is going down is to slow down to half speed, isolate yourself and then sleep away your worries when you start to feel sick. This is no good. Rest if you need to, but then you go about business.
- Find an angle of attack, e.g. come up with an idea about how to improve your situation.
- Aggressively work on this plan
Champions fight harder when going uphill, that is how they get the psychological advantage. A practical advice for when anxiety comes crawling is to do something physical. Go swimming, take a walk, simply activate yourself.
Now, this is not always the optimal solution. There are second options, and third options and so forth. The mind is a complicated thing. Obvious exceptions to this rule are serious physical injuries and grief, which indeed requires time for mending. However, if you doubt this method, think of what people do when threatened by being fired. They either work much harder to prove their value, or they spend time and effort looking for a new job. Either way they increase their efforts temporarily.
Think of this quote from Mary Anne Radmacher:
“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow’”
The most important thing is to never give up!
Remember to not isolate yourself either. You don’t need to force yourself to be social all the time, but maybe you can call a friend or a relative. We are braver together 🙂
Normal speed is for the average day and slow speed is for holidays, not fighting your demons. Have you ever seen a hero in a game face a foe and decide to take a nap?
“When you are going through hell, keep walking
– Winston Churchill
Fearless people don’t walk, they fly. But…
“If you can’t fly, then run,
if you can’t run, then walk,
if you can’t walk, then crawl,
but whatever you do,
you have to keep moving forward.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
Every decent human have difficult times in her life. Many of us will experience really dark moments, at some point. I have too. Two more things I want to share. I can witness about the truth of these sentences from own experiences.
- Trust yourself and your own strength and you will find it.
- Have faith in yourself and the world will trust you.
Remember, things eventually get better when people fight on and are brave enough to live life the way they want to.