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Courage: it's your choice

Courage is always your choice


Our common expressions: “He had courage,” or “He didn’t have courage,” are erroneous.


Courage is not something we have. It is something we choose. It is a choice made in the moment.


We can choose courage. Or we can not choose courage. Not choosing courage is just as much of a choice as choosing courage.


But what does the word “choice” really mean?


Can we say that we chose courage because others gave us support to do so? No. Certainly, others may have influenced us to choose courage; but we also could have not chosen courage even with their encouragement to do so.


Can we say that we didn’t choose courage because it was too frightening to choose courage? No.

Certainly, the level of fear may have influenced us to not choose courage; but we also could have chosen courage in spite of our level of fear.


The choice of courage is a first cause; no other causes precede it. To say it is a choice and to say our choice was caused by something else means it was not really a choice because something else was the deciding cause of our choice.


How do we know we have a choice?

How can we know that we have a choice about something? By simple introspection and experimentation. It is easy to demonstrate to yourself that you can choose courage or not choose courage in any given circumstance that presents an opportunity for choosing courage.


A simple example of the awareness of choice


You are standing in line at the bank. You think it would be nice to strike up a conversation with the person next to you.


Then, you notice the fears.

“What if they don’t want to be bothered?”

“How will I feel if they ignore me?”

“What if they're not interesting anyway?”

Now you are aware of the opportunity for choosing courage. In this moment, you are presented with the understanding that you can move the universe with your choice.


You can choose to feel safe in the moment by not trying to strike up a conversation or you can choose to feel the fear and go for what you want, accepting the risk that it may not turn out the way you want.

We are as God

Nothing, short of you, is the first cause in the choice that you make, one way or the other. You are the first cause in the matter. In this regard, you and I are like God.


Welcome to the good news and the bad news of life. Regarding the choice of courage, it's all in your court. 


Honor yourself for the courage to choose courage every time you do, both before and after, regardless of the results.



"Most people fail in the art of living not because they are inherently bad or so without will that they cannot lead a better life; they fail because they do not wake up and see when they stand at the fork in the road and have to decide."

–Erich Fromm (1900-1980,philosopher)


"Life cannot wait until the sciences may have explained the universe scientifically. We cannot put off living until we are ready. The most salient characteristic of life is its coerciveness: it is always urgent, ‘here and now’ without any possible postponement. Life is fired at us point blank."

–Jose Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955, Spanish philosopher, essayist)


"The refusal to choose is a form of choice; disbelief is a form of belief."

–Frank Barron (1922-2002, psychologist)


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