In a Tim Ferriss podcast where he discusses highlights from his book Tools of Titans, he touches on courage. He mentions Cus D’Amato who coached Mike Tyson in the years before he became the youngest heavyweight champion of the world. Cus said, “The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It’s the same thing, fear, but it’s what you do with it that matters.”
Brené Brown talks about us having to choose courage or comfort. We cannot have both. And by having uncomfortable conversations we can grow and change the world around us. In fact, Tim Ferriss says, “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”
Brené is also well known for sharing President Theodore Roosevelt’s words when he said, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
The person in the arena. The person with the courage to try. The person who knows that they may fail but takes action anyway.
Are we choosing courage or comfort? In our family, our work, the way we think about things that are happening in society. In the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. Do we toe the line or question if things could be different?
We all have fear. And we also all have it in us to be the hero of our own story. Are we willing to use our fear as fuel and fly?
My brother is a high school drama teacher and playwright and he said something to me recently that really hit me. He said that in order to find happiness you have to have struggle. And this is an issue with many people as the world we live in allows us to move through it with very little push back. Immediate gratification, everything online at our fingertips, same day shipping, participation medals, no consequences for bad behaviour or missed assignments. Without the storm we don’t notice the sun. Continue reading
I recently read an article that mentioned Brené Brown’s take on belonging versus fitting in. She explained that when you belong, you let your authentic self expand. You accept yourself, flaws and all, and your tribe has your back. When you fit in, you change who you are to suit the room. You contract your quirks, your light and your greatness to ensure you don’t shine too bright. Because you can’t stand out if you want to fit in. Continue reading
As my oldest son considers what courses to take next in high school to prepare for a future career, I told him that the one thing that will help him no matter what he ends up doing for a living is creativity. Thinking outside the box. Continue reading
Do you judge yourself? Do you play a track in your head that says you didn’t try hard enough or you ate too much or you should have gone to the gym? Do you highlight the negative instead of the positive?
The key to success in life is treating yourself as you would treat a close friend. Give yourself space to make mistakes, to rest, to be unsure, to overindulge and then get back in the groove. Accept your flaws with your gifts and know that the DNA that allows you to do amazing things will also cause you to do a few things that aren’t so grand. Continue reading
A blank page in a new book. The first day of 2018. What story will we write?
Research professor and author Brené Brown said, “I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear: I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go. Continue reading
When my 14-year-old son started high school this year, he was nervous. He only knew a handful of kids and had no idea what to expect. I told him to be himself and he would find his tribe. Then he tried out for the school play.
For the last two nights I watched my quiet son act like a rambunctious elf on stage. He was embraced by the cast of mostly older students and received countless compliments from his newfound peers. Continue reading
Author Brené Brown said, “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” Continue reading
The school year is coming to a close and it’s time for talent shows and play days and graduations and vacations. Although it’s a wild time, it reminds me of the beauty of childhood. When anything is possible and squeezing the most fun out of each day is the way things roll. Continue reading