As we delve into the 6 Pillars of Character focusing on Courage this week, we’re shallow on the draught. Avast! Before we anchor and set the snubber on along comes a 42, without a care in the world, looking to anchor nearby until they run aground. Not realizing our boat is a shallow draught Southerly and in the shallows, thus why it was empty, keel up drawing less than 3 feet in barely 3 feet plus of water, it takes a keen eye to know WTF you’re doing. Much the same manner realizing the components of courage and the why, what and how to enhance, improve if not establish and build a character of Courage. So let’s Roll in the Deep – honestly, does anyone’s voice resonate with a soul like Adele?
And so it goes – Honesty – the oft abused, widely stretched character block with errs in omission running counter to someone’s version of their deceptive politically correct Weasel Speak’d version of Truth. Why is it so difficult for some to be or to live Honestly? We could go into all manner of psychological complexities, environmental and experiential norms, morays and all the science behind it. Simply put, you just don’t give a shit about your moral compass. It doesn’t earn, deserve or rank “up there” within your moral code of conduct sadly. Regardless of who you are, where you come from – cultural, ethnically, what your daddy did or didn’t do to or for you. The resonate image lies within you, pun intended. Follow the rabbit hole scooter from Gad Saad, PhD. Hell, I talk to people on a daily basis in an attempt to break their vicious cycle of lying as well as interviewing people for a living and I miss some lies frequently. It is sadly our human nature to lie, but only you can decide to live an honest life. Living courageously is liberating. Speaking with truth, honesty and conviction is a free gift that will unlock all manner of good will and in my opinion fortunes of every kind.
…Integrity is priceless…
If you’re already in “a good place,” then Bravery is a comfortable step for you, or is it? For some of you it takes bravery to be honest…for in the end you can lie to everyone but yourself. We can touch on physical bravery, however in this context it’s best to understand we’re dialed more into confronting your fears – known and unknown – pain, uncertainty, intimidation before danger. We engage fear in our daily lives and in order to be courageous it takes bravery to take on the dark sinister image deep within the recesses of our minds as it races from one conclusion to another, from one “if, then” to every “what if” in milliseconds. It’s ok. You’re not going to have all the answers. Let me say it again. It’s okay to not have all the answers for every situation you encounter in your life. Hey, you’re not supposed to. You’re charged with living an abundant, joyful life…you know, the Pursuit of Happiness. No one said you had to live your days with a Funsucker, and no one said you had to be or to stay miserable. Let Go and Live. Be Brave, bold, courageous…too often our fears overcome and influence our actions. Yes, we are all conditioned to play it safe, close to the vest, minimize mitigate and contend risk…FOLLY!…that’s a 17th century word for Bullshit!
- Ask for a Hand – notice I didn’t say help! Help, connotates some weakness in many. Assistance could be an ear, an opinion, literally a hand, mentorship, feedback, an opportunity.
- For the Sake of Pete – it’s easier to be brave when you’re crystal clear on your WHY for doing. Understand your purpose so you’re compelled to ACT. It will allow you to stretch beyond your comfort zone…remember that’s where you learn the most.
- Embrace the Suck – failure is learning; if you’re failing your acting and acting on faith that either result you get you’re right and that’s what you needed – to validate the action or make a course correction. Failure is not about your inadequacy – you’re not. It’s out there on the edge of comfort as I like to say uncomfortability. The Rubber Band is nothing until it’s stretched.
Go Train the Brave! If you were to do one brave thing today, what would that be and where would you start.
Bravery is being the only one
who knows you’re afraid, Colonel David H. Hackworth
Perseverance is the hard work you’re doing after doing the hard work you already did. I’m very fortunate in that I played golf professionally for many years and my daughter was an International Figure Skater growing up. It’s easy for athletes to relate to the desire, drive, determination, dedication and indefatigability of perseverance. Growing up the product of alcoholic parents, the desire to overcome and over achieve is the result of the hardship encountered. Many of you have similar if not more gut wrenching stories and the world is littered with those that have made it and those that have quit. The magic silver bullet is that – Never Quit. It’s okay to rest, take a day off, a mental health day, retail therapy, whatever….just don’t give in. Steadfastness, suffering and endurance all produce perseverance. No bullets needed here.
The Why here is simple – to get the Hell out of whatever situation we’re in and get it as far behind our rear view as possible. The what and how are all within your control and personally, I found this quote something I’ve said for over forty years to get me through. I hope it helps you…
The Darkest Hour is Only Sixty Minutes Long
In my worst moments or days, when I thought I could no longer go on either in sport, work, life I’d repeat that over and over; many times putting myself to sleep saying that. I only have to make it through this minute then the next and so on. THAT I COULD DO! Other methods that helped were drawing pictures because I liked to doodle and it helped me take my mind off the giant issue by drawing small bits. You’ve heard it before how to eat an elephant…one bite at a time. Yeah, but how. It’s making a puzzle piece out of the giant intimidating feat I couldn’t tackle. I celebrated small victories as well as delaying gratification to keep me focused and on track. Remember, it’s okay for a mental health day. Here’s another live example. My daughter, the skater, has completed Nursing School with honors. She still had to pass an ATI exam in order to have the right to take her NCLEX (Nursing Licensure Boards) no different than similar professions. It’s still possible to invest all the time, effort, energy, blood, sweat, tears and still not be able to be a nurse if she doesn’t get through her boards. Her charge is one section at a time, one day at a time, one module at a time, one question at a time. Focused on what’s in front of her NOT the results…they’ll take care of themselves by taking care of the questions in front of her one at a time.
You’ve heard it on ESPN and every other media outlet regardless of the sport. So, Athlete Gal, how are you going to approach today’s event? Without skipping a beat, they ALL say,”…well, I’m just going to take it one shot at a time…take advantage of opportunities in front of me, and if all goes well, the result will be lifting that trophy that I have trained for…”
…without the Struggle, there is no Story…
As we mentioned last week you can take Enthusiasm all you want and certainly it is an important factor of courage. However, my opinion and that’s all it is, Faith is of greater value in living with courage, demonstrating courage and being courageous. The world is full of enthusiastic zealots and blissfully ignorant wussies full of coat hanger enthusiastic useless benevolence. Faith gives you belief, confidence, trust in something that isn’t seen. Yes, it’s a feeling and so is the wind. You’ve never seen the wind! You’ve seen the EFFECTS of the wind – leaves and trees blow and sway, clouds moving in the sky, devastating hurricanes and tornadoes. You believe wind is real and yet you’d be hard pressed to prove wind without its effects! Same deal here scooter. You have to be able to trust in the honest, brave, perseverance with faith to be courageous and live with courage. Without that under current of faith, you are blithely treading along in hopes of some positive outcome.
Am I trying to inspire you? Absolutely. To be, to act and to live with courage. You have the flint and the striker. All I’m trying to do is help you identify that spark within you. Most of you that read The Culture Whisperer I’ll never meet, but relationships aren’t designed for selfish people.
…fuck the butterflies! When I’m with you, I feel the whole Zoo!
Now go outdoors, take a deep breath and live with courage today! In a few days, we’ll touch one the next Pillar of Character…but first we gotta talk about Wine, Football and stuff…