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How to Have Courage PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 26 October 2008 19:13
If you realize you need to change your life and can envision improvements but somehow cannot motivate yourself to do so, you may be lacking courage.

In Steve Pavlinas recent book "Personal Development for Smart People" he talks about courage. He says courage is the combination of love and power. The four fundamental aspects of courage are: heart, initiative, directness and honor.

With 'heart' he means you have to follow the path of your heart. If what you are doing (e.g. your career or your relationship) doesn't fulfil you, you need to change it to something that feels right in your heart. If you follow a path without heart you will have meaningless, superficial life. Usually you can only have one career or one committed relationship at a time. So to get a new one you usually have to give up the old to make way for the new.

With 'initiative' he means you have to make choices and take action. Without initiative you will miss opportunities.

With 'directness' he means that you have to strive directly towards your goal, once you have chosen it, without taking detours. Without directness you will slow down your progress and give in to fear of rejection or fear of failure. Being direct does not mean you have to be impolite or unscrupulous. It just means you speak openly and confidently go for what you want.

With 'honor' he means acting out of principles and your conscience. Without honor you will be led astray from your 'heart' path.

I see now that courage has often come easily to me, although for the big issues in my life it usually took a little more time.

I languished many years studying at university on a mathematics degree which I was not really interested in. But then I finally got the courage to simply quit without getting a degree and try to find a job I was interested in. This turned out well and thus I saved myself from the agony and waste of time trying to get a degree I did not really need.

I chose to become a freelance programmer. Being a freelancer (also know as contractor) also takes courage, because when a job ends I often do not know where I will get my money for the next month. Also when the company is not doing well you are usually the first to get laid off because they prefer to keep their regularly employed people. Also jobs are often short-lived, lasting only a few months. So it's not so easy to skip over a slump in the economy when there are fewer jobs availablel. The reward for my courage is that I earn more money, usually twice as much, than if I had a regular, steady employment.

Lastly I finally got the courage to simply quit a longtime relationship (marriage actually) that was not going well. I saw it was going nowhere and not part of my 'heart' path. I'm sure that choice will turn out well in the end, too. At least now I am open to receive the kind of relationship I truely desire.

bungee jumperBuilding courage is something you can acquire simply by doing it. It is a property that you can acquire, just like you can train a muscle in your body. Once developed you can apply to all kinds of situations in your life. You also enter into a state of being generally less anxious.

To train your courage, you can start will small things at first and then build up towards bigger challenges. Choose to give up something small in your life that doesn't serve you anymore and that you are clinging on to simply because "it's ok" and you don't see any alternative. Once you have done that, you can go on with next thing and so on until you are able to live with uncertainty. The goal is to simply trust the Universe to bring the things to you that you need and want without knowing the details in advance.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 October 2008 16:49

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