Today we take a peek into what COURAGE means and also 5 ways to build up this elusive virtue.
Courage should never be treated as aloof and somewhere untouchable. It is tied to the fiber of what makes us human and just how far having a small amount can take us.
Like most of our language it deserves a quick lesson from somewhere else, in this case traditional Latin and Greek and interestingly French and German. Somewhere in the middle we agreed to spell this virtue as we do today so let us begin.
Common Synonyms: Bravery, Valour, Fearlessness, Intrepidity, Dauntless, Spirit, Grit, Hardihood, Daring, Boldness
A hollow muscular organ that pumps the blood through the circulatory system by rhythmic contraction and dilation.
Meaning: the central or innermost part of something
The heart is regarded as the centre of a person’s thoughts and emotions, especially love or compassion.
Common Synonyms: Core, Nucleus, Kernel, Navel
Condensing this all down we know that it’s a combination of something to do with being ‘central’ and calling upon other linked qualities and virtues to achieve, accomplish and overcome circumstances. It would mean fully understanding the definitions behind all the listed and not listed synonyms mentioned above. Quite a bit of homework if you ask me. If that were not enough you cannot simply possess this quality by study alone – you must live it, mess with it, fall down, get back up and learn from other people.
As a Christian there is heavy emphasis on not focusing on the immediate circumstance on our earthly plates by default instead we are called to focus on eternal things (imperishable) and things that are above (not of this world).
1 John 2:15-17
“Do not love the world or anything in the world” and Philippians 3:20 “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
However that is not to say the here and now is bad and all things pertaining to the spiritual is good. You need courage to face up to trial and temptation, you should aspire to inspire others such as loved ones and people who depend on you, courage is absolutely necessary to do just about anything but it does not travel without it’s companion resistance.
Many times in my own life I have not possessed the courage to even leave the house. Maybe that is also you. I have failed time and again during times when others most needed me but I was trapped by inaction and lack of focus, creating a cycle of discourage. We can be tricked to think we simply do not have courage at all, that it died long a go and only every other person has kept the secret to really living boldly. This as we all know, cannot be true and I’ll show you how to squash that thought.
“How then, do I foster courage?” I hear you say…
Even if you’re not a God believing person you must understand the source. The irony is that praying takes courage so you’ve already beat the system which entangled you into inaction. We cannot expect a pizza to arrive at our doorstep if we called a hardware store to provide us one. It’s impossibly the wrong source. (Pineapple lovers you are most welcome on my blog)
I get it, childhood memories are often terrible, I have a couple many but they are a treasure mine of wisdom that should not depart from you. You probably learned to crawl and then walk and then talk – pretty soon you were climbing trees, driving a car and taking a job interview (and were successful!). Your bad memories serve you as well. Perhaps you were bullied or worse. You gathered yourself up and took a stand on your self-worth. You once took ‘heart’ and you can do it again dear friend.
Do all the easy things! If you can write a list of 10 things you need doing today then use every ounce of ‘heart’ to fulfill that list. If all you can do right now is make your bed, then do that and do it perfectly. Stand back and observe how well a made bed looks – perhaps you’ve never done it. Maybe all you can do is to stop reading this blog and move outside for 5 minutes of fresh air. Enjoy that feat and realize you couldn’t muster yourself do that a minute ago. While you are up adjust your room to exactly how you wish it to be.
Each week, each day if possible! Exceed what you think you can do. Our capacity to learn and for others to learn from us is inexhaustible. Exercise for 30 minutes not 10, go to a park you’ve never strolled through, speak and love on that family member where there is difficulty and damage, learn a sentence in another language, read a book which is above your current understanding. The bible is a great starting point if you ask me (Sorry not sorry).
Keep doing these things. You’ve just proven to yourself you are capable of overcoming the easy and hard things. Others will notice and they will see you as a role-model in this department. Some goals take time and that is OK but notice the key to developing courage is more about doing the things that surround that word. It is the skill, the muscle-memory the repetition of the numerous individual tasks that nourishes your personality and makes you shine as a truly courageous person.