Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Courage Within

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

Some time ago I was reading a book called "Healthy, Wealthy and Wise" by Andrea Rains Waggener. The author described the book as fifty-two life changing lessons and is inspired by the writings of Benjamin Franklin. The idea behind the book is a 52-week plan to make great changes in your life. It is a great book to read if you have the time, but I thought I would share a few items from the book with you.

In some of my blog articles, I have written about being courageous in stepping forward to make changes in your life. It may sound trite to simply say "I must have courage."
But courage comes in many different forms.

Having courage is like getting into the swimming pool. There are those that would run and make a huge plunge. The idea being to get the wet and cold out of the way quickly, and then to get on with the swimming. Others would tend to be as I am, put a foot in and test the water. People like us will slowly ease into the water, adjusting in small increments but eventually getting fully submersed.

There are other ways, other analogies, I could use or even a methodical method such as described by Ms. Waggener. In her book she offers a seven-day plan;

Day 1. Ask to be courageous.

Day 2. Affirm your desire to become courageous.

Day 3. Act as if you are courageous.

Day 4. Write down the things you'd do if you knew you couldn't fail. What do you want to try that you haven't tried because of fear?

Day 5. Write "YES!" on several Post-It notes and place them all over your home. They will remind you to say yes to possibility and opportunity instead of saying no.

Day 6. Choose something you really want that you're afraid to go after, something from the list you made on day 4. Now imagine what it will be like to get that thing or do it, whatever it is. Really feel it. Get yourself out of feeling fear about it and feel triumph instead. This will help you get in a mind-set to take courageous action.

Day 7. Pick one of the things you want but are afraid to go after and take just one small step toward it today. Again, even making a list of action steps is a step. Or make a phone call to get information or buy a book about what you want. One step creates quiet courage.

Look at day seven again, "one step creates quiet courage." This isn't about showing courage to others but about creating courage within yourself. Others will eventually recognize the courage you have. But it is more important for you to develop it inside.

Take courage in yourself to do great things. And stay inspired my friends.

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