Living Is An Act of Courage


 Living Is An Act Of Courage 

January 31, 2023

Living is an act of Courage. What does that really mean? 

Today let us explore how Courage is a muscle we exercise -- or not -- every day. Let us dive into the deep waters of how Courage is inextricably intertwined with Love and Trust. Let us also tackle how Courage is an important habit, for our day-to-day life, both personally and professionally.  I will share an exercise on Courage from one of my favorite lessons in the Certified High Perfomance Habits Course TM, which I am honored to lead. 

Let's start by deconstructing this quote from Paolo Coelho's Manuscript Found in Accra, a captivating story of a city under siege, where Jews, Christians, and Muslims live together peacefully, and are preparing for annihilation from the armies of the Crusades. 

Excessive caution destroys the soul and the heart, because
living is an act of courage, and
an act of courage is always an act of love.”

The first line, "Excessive caution destroys the soul and heart" speaks to the connection between Courage and the Heart and our values of Trust and Faith. The root word of courage is "cor,"  which means the Heart. Courage comes from the Heart. When we have Faith and Trust in our Higher Self, our God, the Universe, we are open to taking action, to transcend our fears, and to surrender to the present moment. Courage requires a depth of unconditional Trust. Trusting God is always with us. Trusting in our Higher Self. Another phrase could be --  Trusting that the Universe has our back. Too much time and focus on past regrets or worries about the future can get in our way of Living with Courage, because they eat away at the very essence of our Souls and Trust in God.  

"Living is an act of Courage." Every day, every month, every year …  we get to work our muscle of courage -- because every day there are challenges. Life is challenging. The loss of a loved one, a beloved partner, child, friend or pet. A life turned upside down by events outside of our control. Surgeries. Cancer. Life-threatening health issues. A dream that is calling you, when others are saying, “No way.” A mother, family member or friend who now needs the 24/7 care of an assisted living facility. Chronic and debilitating pain caused by a recent or  previous accident. Lay-offs, some temporary, some permanent, causing financial and food crises. Retirement, causing us to ask, “what’s next?’  New business ventures. New adventures. New babies – maybe even triplets. The list of life challenges goes on and on. Every day we have an opportunity to learn new lessons in what it looks like to live with Courage. 

"An act of courage is always an act of love." This is our call to action -- to respond rather than react to our challenges. This is our call to action to always choose Love over Fear. This is our call to Courage which rests deep inside each and every one of us -- the fire of Love and Trust. When we are courageous, we are loving ourselves, loving someone dear to us, loving and contributing to the greater good. In my personal experiential journey I have come to a deep sense of Knowing that an act of courage always comes from the Heart. And so in truth, an act of Courage is always an act of Love.  

I believe each one of us is courageous. I want to acknowledge and appreciate all the acts of Courage and Love you have taken in your life. Please pause for a moment and congratulate yourself on all your acts of Courage -- whether they be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. 

Over the years I have faced my own fears of the unknown -- when I went away to college, when I took an assignment on Wall Street, when I was on the ground at 9 AM at LaGuardia on 9/11, when I pulled the ripcord on a successful corporate career, when I suddenly lost my partner -- just to name a few.  And by far, the biggest act of courage has been my decision to go deeply within, to be honest with myself, to embrace my fears, and accept mySelf, exactly as I am, where I am, in the present moment.  And the journey continues. Living is an act of Courage. 

Let’s get practical now. Courage is one of my favorite lessons in the Certified High Performance Coaching (CHPCTMprogram. Courage is foundational to all of the high performance habits. Courage is highly correlated with the other 5 habits of high performance -- clarity, energy, necessity, productivity and influence. That is a fact – more than simply my opinion.

How do we move the needle on Courage? What are the questions we need to ask  -- to challenge us, to motivate us, to move the needle, to level up? Here are the questions suggested by Brendon Burchard from his best seller, High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way, (page 288), from the chapter, “High Performance Habit # 6: Demonstrate Courage”:  

  •  "What in my personal life have I avoided doing, which might involve hardship but just might improve my family’s life forever?
  • What could I do at work that would require stepping out on a limb but would also truly change things for the better and help people?
  • What decision could I make that would demonstrate a moral commitment to something higher than myself?
  • How could I bring myself to face a situation that usually makes me nervous or anxious?
  • What change could I make that scares me but will help someone I love?
  • What good thing could I walk away from to advance my life?
  • What have I wanted to say to those close to me, and when and how will I courageously declare the truth?
  • Who needs me, and who will I fight for the rest of this year?"

These are deep questions. I invite you to save these questions and ask them, from time-to-time – of yourself or someone you are mentoring. See how your answers change.

Now, this is the CHPCTM exercise for each of us to complete -- our call to Courageous action. Look ahead to June 30th, mid-year 2023 and ask yourself:  

What are three areas in my life where I am committed to take bold action?

Where am I committed to being courageous? 

Commit today to taking 3 bold actions that are important in your life right now. Write them down in your journal or write them on post-it notes and place on your mirror, etc. Use whatever system works for you to keep you on focus. 

Interpret "Bold" in the context of your life right now. It will mean different thing to each one of us. For some of us a "bold" action may be a critical conversation we have been avoiding. A phone call with a family member or business associate to resolve a conflict. Bold may mean simply getting up in the morning, when the pain is overwhelming. It could be committing to rediscovering the joy in preparing daily family dinners. Or Bold could mean deciding to pursue your dream opportunity, moving to a new job, a new country, or taking a risk which moves you outside your comfort zone. "Bold" is for you to decide.  

Maybe you know exactly what your 3 bold action steps are. If so, great! Or maybe you want to take some time for reflection and sort though different options before honing in on the key 2-3 actions you are passionate about taking over the next week, months or by June 30, 2023. 

Please take all the time you want to reflect on the questions, offered above. Or create your own questions. Or meditate and explore what answers come.  

I have reviewed a large selection of meditations on Courage which are all available on Insight Timer, a free app you can download to your phone. The user ratings are based on a 5 point rating scale. I have curated these selected guided meditations to create a range of styles and voices.  

  1. davidji: Awakening Courage: A 21- minute meditation, rated 4.9 with 40.9k plays since October 2020. This meditation will help you focus on the link between Courage and your Heart and inspire Metta, lovingkindness, and increased clarity about your passion. 
  2. Sarah Blondin:  Pain as a Portal to the Divine: A 13-minute meditation, rated 4.9 with 197k plays since September. Sarah is always special -- asking gently, "tell me dear one, where does it hurt in you?" and gently leads us to a greater awareness of our loving presence and the sigh of grace. 
  3. Don McAvinchey: Your Courage : An 11-minute meditation, rated 4.8 with 1.3k plays since March 2021. This is a common sense approach to understanding the full range of every day actions available to us and celebrating the actions we have taken in our lives. It is very life-affirming.  
  4. Tony Brady: A Blessing for Courage: A 2-minute talk, rated 4.9 with 2.7k plays since May 2022. A wonderfully short meditation which ends with a blessing for us to know the difference between when we should have Courage to keep on pushing and when we should have the wisdom to stop or pause. 
  5.  Annemaree Rowley: Courage :  A 14-minute meditation, rated 4.9 with 140k plays since June 2018.  A gentle meditation acknowledging we all have fears and encouraging us to accept the challenge of the unknown … again and again and again. 
  6. Kenneth Soares: 6 Minutes of Courage, Confidence & Positivity : A 6-minute meditation, rated 4.5 with 529k plays since August 2018. There are wonderful personal and spiritually empowering "I AM Affirmations"  to build courage and positivity. 

I encourage you to select a mediation which resonates with you -- and play it every morning for at least 5 days. 

Now, let’s switch from reflection and return to our call to action. Please complete the CHPCTM exercise: 

What are three areas in my life where I am committed to take bold action?

Where am I committed to being courageous? 

When we are committed to taking bold action, and we write these actions down in our planner or our journal, and we set our intention every day, every week, and every month to follow-through on our commitments to take bold action -- we will move the needle on the critically important habit of Courage.  

Please follow me on Facebook because I will be posting inspirational quotes on Courage for the next week:  

While I may not be a “hero” in the traditional sense, I am a peaceful warrior on a path of service and on a journey to deeper levels of awareness.

We are all on our own version of the Hero’s Journey, as Joseph Campbell has so eloquently written and researched.  

Celebrating your Courage!!!  

Till next time, with big love and deep gratitude,   

May you be happy now and always,  Alison 





Join Alison's community to get inspiration and insights by email.

Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

Subscribe Now!

Welcome to our community!

Please enter your name and email address below to subscribe to my newsletter.

Privacy Policy: We will not share your contact information with others. You may unsubscribe at any time.