Today, if I could I’d give you Courage: Courage in the face of misfortune for sure, but even more so, courage in the face of success.
Let’s look first at “Courage in the face of misfortune”. I have two quotes on my wall about courage. First, Michael de Montaigne is credited with saying, “My life has been full of terrible misfortune, most of which never happened”. I like that! The second is from a friend who said, “90% of the things we worry about never happen. If we would choose to not worry we would have the time, money, and energy to handle the 10% that does.” Boy, is he right!!!
Courage in the face of misfortune can be to choose to not worry. That takes courage when you’ve just lost your job or your business and your home is next. People are waiting watching for you to crack. Lots of people don’t understand when you don’t worry. “Don’t you care?” “Her head’s buried in the sand!” are just a few of the comments or questions you’ll hear. However, what does worrying really get you? It’s a distraction from action! It blocks creative thinking and problem solving!
If I could give you a gift it would be the Courage to not worry.
Another way to face misfortune is to consider it your teacher. I heard a woman describe how she got breast cancer four times. The first time she did everything she could and what the doctors said to do to fight it even visualizing those cancer cells being defeated by her body. Two more times she “fought it”. When it came back the fourth time she decided it was there to teach her. She asked her body and her inner voice her intuition “What am I to learn?” She began to listen with new ears changed her diet, her life-style, her entire approach. She’s been cancer free for 20+ years.
If I could give you a gift it would be the courage to embrace your misfortune as a teacher.
Someone whose writings have influenced me is Viktor Frankl. From his life as a Jewish prisoner of war in Auschwitz he developed an entirely new approach to psychotherapy that has helped millions named “Logotherapy”. Radical in its time, today it still provides resources for healing for seriously traumatized individuals who want something more than living Life as a victim.
If I could give you a gift it would be the courage to find meaning and purpose in the midst of misfortune.
Of course, courage in the face of misfortune makes sense. But courage in the face of success?
Courage to stay true to your values and principles as you gain riches,
- to refuse to take on the persona of success – drive the newest car, buy the biggest house, follow the newest trends.
- to say “No” or “Not yet”.
Courage to make changes in your business,
- to let go of some of the details,
- to take on the new role as employer if you haven’t been before,
- to let others develop their thoughts skills, and working styles,
- to hold on to the dream in the face of the unexpected
- to choose who is getting on your bus and who you’re going to turn down
- or tell to get off the bus.
Courage to say “no” when others expect you to say “yes” –
- to live up to your own expectations and not give in to others.
It takes courage to succeed and to maintain success.
Nelson Mandela made this statement from Marianne Williamson famous when he said, “Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us….”
So, if I could give you all a gift this, the first day of December, it would be Courage: courage to be true to yourself, courage to embrace Life’s lessons, and courage to let your own magnificence shine.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!