‘Courage,’ said Hemingway, ‘is grace under pressure.’  Maya Angelou declared courage to be ‘the most important of virtues, because it was required to practice all other virtues’ such as ‘insight, sympathy and solitude,’ according to Nietzsche.

Summoning our courage in any situation requires putting ourselves at risk. When we risk acting or communicating with another in such a way that requires courage, at the root of our motivation is love. With any act of courage, as we risk our physical or emotional safety,  we’ve either acknowledged something to be right or wrong and we are exposing ourselves, hoping for a meaningful outcome.

Throughout history, courage and fortitude have been used interchangeably. Fortitude by definition is our strength and firmness of mind. Boldness, bravery, determination, endurance, grit, moxie, patience, conviction, perseverance, stamina, staying power, tenacity, backbone, dauntlessness and heart are all synonymous.

We are acting courageously when we deal with failures. Admitting we are wrong requires bravery. When we decide to offer help to another even if we’re tired or feel as if we’re lacking resources, we’re summoning fortitude. When we ask for what we need we’re strengthening our backbone. When we do onto others first, knowing they may or may not then return the same to us we’re acting dauntlessly.

Courage is not absence of fear. It’s acting even when we’re fearful, knowing an unknown outcome awaits. We risk taking those chances if we believe the outcome may be more important.

Today is a good day to ask what situation or relationship might change for the better if we summon up our courage to act and take a personal risk.

This #candid by @gk_lolla was taken while I was discussing #courage with #PrincessLeia

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