Courage is not something we stumble upon as we round the corner of the cubicle at the office, but a practical internal resource—a portfolio of personal assets that can bolster our position in defining moments.
A woman I will call Emily, an art gallery owner, repeatedly relied on courage in her work. She moved from Colorado to California and back again in her quest for professional satisfaction. Recognizing the potential for failure, she remained true to her essence and refused to settle for less. Emily wielded courage action skills to forge her niche in the art world in spite of significant obstacles. She placed her commitment to the work she loved at the very center of her being.
Courage dictates that you love your work or you change it. This is what moves you through the mirage of mirrors. A great life has meaning. Emily lives a meaningful life because she has claimed the courage necessary to pursue meaningful work in spite of discouraging impediments. As you learn to find courage in ordinary life, figure out what triggers the habitual behaviors of your old scripts and look for a matching regret. Identifying the underlying regret empowers you to choose a new response that leads to a more meaningful, fulfilling life. Mary Oliver says in her poem “When Death Comes,” “I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”
Are you a participant in your life or just an actor in a minor role? Are you tortured by regrets? David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. writes in The Eye of the I: “We change the world not by what we say or do but as a consequence of what we have become.”
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