Courage to attempt

What would life be if you had no courage to attempt anything? Vincent van Gogh

Remember the first time you tried to ride a bicycle? It wobbled dangerously, you lurched all over and let out a yell and then you came crashing down. A few bruises and scrapes, some tears and lots of encouragement latter, you picked up courage to attempt to learn cycling again. The scene maybe repeated but in the end the thrill of getting that balance wipes away all the pain and tears which is now replaced with a big smile and tremendous confidence. But for the courage that you displayed in not letting your scrapes and bruises dissuade you, you would not have gained the skill which made you feel more carefree and independent.

In  the prime of our youth we were more bold, daring and courageous taking on foolish risks too and occasionally getting scalded in the process but never giving up our spirit of adventure and nor sacrificing the thrill of taking risks. Perhaps one reason was we were never saddled with the burden of responsibility and we had the backing of our parents. However as time flew and we grew up, the burden of expectations and responsibilities grew.  Thereafter we became more circumspect, when attempting anything out of the way. Yet if we objectively looked back at our achievements most times we attained things when we dared to go for it. Be it improving our academic record or winning a sport or simply giving an extempore speech, the fruits of success were planted when we courageously took on the challenge.

At various points of time in our life we would have had grandiose plans and we would even have seen visions of unparalleled success.  Yet if our plans never took off, we have only ourselves to blame, for we may have lacked the courage to give it our all. Any type of decision making is an act of courage for every problem carries with it an implied risk of failure. Some of the most courageous men were scientists and explorers who backed up their instincts with tangible well planned efforts. Real courage is not only in the attempting but in turning failure into success. This requires faith in oneself, fortitude to press on and the strong will to get up when we fall. The progress of man through the ages, as recorded in history and study of civilization highlight the courage of our ancestors to explore experiment and evolve and we are therefore reaping the fruits of their courage of conviction.

Courage stems from self belief, knowledge and daring. If one is merely daring, it might be foolhardiness not courage. E.g. Daring to go in for an unarmed combat with a lion is foolhardiness masquerading as courage. Without knowledge, courage may not yield results since one would have a tough time figuring the way forward. The frontiers of science for example can be breached and new discoveries made only by professionals who are experts and have the courage to back their beliefs. The critical component inc courage is self belief. When we have the ability to discern that our thinking is on the right track, our gut feeling is strong and that our homework is well done, we gain the confidence to dare and the this confidence to dare is courage.

Remember: Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow  Mary Anne Radmacher

Try this:

  1. To overcome our inhibitions that later become fears, visit a fair/ exhibition/ fete where are there some whacky games stalls. Pick up courage to attempt to play each and every game with full gusto and without a care in the world.
  2. Make a firm resolve not to hide / delay conveying any bad news from the concerned people. This takes courage because someone has to pay for mistakes and often the messenger of bad news bears the brunt of the ire of superiors.  Similarly it takes courage to hear bad news and to act dispassionately to mitigate the problems. Be aware of the type of courage that is needed in these two different scenarios.

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