Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.
Lately I have thought a lot about people I know who don’t seem to realize how good they are. Often I have sat with someone for hours just talking about their lives, their likes, dislikes, skills, accomplishments and more when suddenly they see themselves in a different light. I suspect that the inability to understand one’s self is so prevalent because we often combine an unwillingness to compare ourselves to our own criteria rather than someone else’s and the fear of what we will find if we look deeper into ourselves. How sad it is to see really good people miss much in their lives because they have relegated themselves to mediocrity out of fear that they don’t have the ability to do anything else.
Yep, we are often our own worst enemies when we find it easier to just give in rather than risk change. Fortunately I know of hundreds of examples of people who decided that they were not going to stay locked into an unsatisfactory job or an uninteresting personal life. Sure risk taking takes courage, but we should not let our misguided lack of confidence keep us from finding a happier life.
Here is a poem that makes a lot of sense to me, does it to you as well?
It takes Courage
It takes strength to be firm,
It takes courage to be gentle.
It takes strength to conquer,
It takes courage to surrender.
It takes strength to be certain,
It takes courage to have doubt.
It takes strength to fit in,
It takes courage to stand out.
It takes strength to feel a friend’s pain,
It takes courage to feel your own pain.
It takes strength to endure abuse,
It takes courage to stop it.
It takes strength to stand alone,
It takes courage to lean on another.
It takes strength to love,
It takes courage to be loved.
It takes strength to survive,
It takes courage to live.
Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.
Mary Anne Radmacher
At their garage sale, my daughters put all of the “junk” they just wanted to get rid of in a carton marked “Free Box.” Moments after they set it at the end of the driveway, a man drove up, looked at the box, dumped its contents on the lawn, and drove off with the box.
“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”
Hints From Helga
Dirt: Layers of dirty film on windows and screens provide a helpful filter against harmful and aging rays from the sun. Call it an SPF factor of 5 and leave it alone.
Cobwebs: Cobwebs artfully draped over lampshades reduce the glare from the bulb, thereby creating a romantic atmosphere. If your husband points out that the light fixtures need dusting, simply look confused and exclaim, “What? And spoil the mood?”
Guests: If unexpected company is coming, pile everything unsightly into one room and close the door. As you show your guests through your tidy home, rattle the door knob vigorously, fake a growl, and say, “I’d love you to see our den, but Fluffy hates to be disturbed and the shots are SO expensive.”
Dusting: If dusting is REALLY out of control, simply place a showy urn on the coffee table and insist “This is where Grandma wanted us to scatter her ashes…”
General Cleaning: Mix one-quart cup pine-scented household cleaner with four cup soft water in a spray bottle. Mist the air lightly. Leave dampened rags in conspicuous locations. Develop an exhausted look, throw yourself onto the couch, and sigh: “I clean and I clean and I still don’t get anywhere…”
Lord, grant that I might not so much seek to be loved as to love.
St. Francis of Assisi
Teacher: Johnny, give me a sentence starting with “I”.
Little Johnny: I is…
Teacher: No, Little Johnny. Always say “I am.”
Little Johnny: All right. “I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.”
“Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.”
Franklin P. Jones
A millionaire had fallen ill. All the doctors that were consulted did not seem to understand what ailed him. The millionaire let it be known that any doctor who could heal him could have whatever he desired.
A country doctor was able to cure him, and as the doctor was leaving after a week’s stay, the rich man said,
“Doc! I am a man of my word. You name it, and if it is humanly possible, I’ll get it for you.”
“Well,” said the doctor, “I love to play golf, so if I could have a matching set of golf clubs, that would be fine.”
With that, the doctor left. The doctor didn’t hear from the millionaire for some months. Then one day, he got a phone call from him.
“Doc, I bet you thought that I had gone back on my word. I have your matching set of golf clubs. The reason it took so long is that two of them didn’t have swimming pools, and I didn’t think they were good enough for you. So I had pools installed, and they’re all ready for you now!”
Courage can’t see around corners, but goes around them anyway.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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