When I was in junior high school (and well into high school) I rollerbladed with a bunch of buddies.  We wouldn’t just go up and down the block. We would jump over trash cans and slide down hand rails on inches of plastic underneath our feet.  We risked our lives every day for a few small doses of adolescent adrenalin. It was riveting.

A little view of me jumping trash cans back in the day.

One day in my quest to full glory I decided to slide down our next store neighbors handrail.  It was longer than any other rail I had ever slid down. It was also way unstable. I hit the rail with everything I had, fully committed. I pushed the rail and the rail pushed back. It threw me to the ground causing me to hit the pavement so hard that my front tooth went straight through my bottom lip. Feeling like a failure, I swallowed my pride and ventured into my house in search of someone who would help me with my rapid blood lose. My parents were gone somewhere so my only savoir was my older sister. I walked into her room, mouth full of blood and shirt stained crimson to explained to her the gory details.  She didn’t even blink as she told me to put a butterfly Band-Aid on my recent portrayal of pride. As I walked out of the room in search of another helper, she asked me why in the world I would slide down a metal handrail on an inch of plastic.  I uttered one simple word… “Courage”. Courage and stupidity are a fine line.  It takes a great amount of courage to admit when you were wrong. I wasn’t wrong in sliding down the rail. I made the choice out of my experience and training that it was possible. However, I was wrong in believing the structure could support my weight.  That realization only could be obtained from going through the action of having faith.

This is a courageous cat.

In a moment of courage a person of integrity looks back at a difficult situations and comes to conclusions about what was done right and what could be done better in the future. My neighbor cemented the rail after a year. I revisited that memory with a successful attempt.

People recognize and respect someone who takes the courage to be honest and straightforward in how situations and circumstances were handled and admire one who is willing to revisit a failure in hope that there will be another successful attempt. The key to that success comes in being open and honest with yourself. When you are honest with yourself, you open a gateway to being honest with others. I never regret some of the leaps of faith I have taken in my life. While some have put me on my face with my teeth in my bottom lip, others have catapulted me into the person I am today. I’ve revisited failures and learned how to overcome. Leading can be difficult but leaders are required to take leaps of faith, be honest with the results, and be direct on how to proceed. In short, do something difficult today. Life is too short to sit down and watch the sun rise and fall in past failures. Go revisit a failure or evaluate a difficult situation.  If you were wrong, admit it. Go confront an inner demon or two. The sooner you act of courage to face difficult situations, the more courage you will have when other the difficult situations come.

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4

“Meet trouble head-on and look at it squarely in the eye.” Danny Thomas



1 Response to “Courage”

  1. 1 Jon January 1, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Good stuff my friend! Thanks for this today.

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