[kur-ij-khur-] – noun
1. the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
2. have the courage of one’s convictions, to act in accordance with one’s beliefs, esp. in spite of criticism.
Here is an example of what comes to most people’s minds when they think of COURAGE:
But I want to focus on the second definition:
“have the courage of one’s convictions, to act in accordance with one’s beliefs in spite of criticism”
This is powerful… And, very hard to do. Putting yourself out there open to criticism is extremely difficult. Time and time again, you can find this definition behind many successful people in history, whether it be in politics, religion or business.
Business owners by definition have courage because there will always be criticism about how to run a business, no less the restaurant business, which of course EVERYONE has an opinion.
How do people own a business, run for political office, or find the guts to get up on stage? I believe it is a self taught quality. Not unlike anything you eventually perfect, it takes practice and starts with small incremental actions and behaviors. Taking a chance on something because you instinctively know it’s going to work, be fun or because you simply wanted to do it. Of course I’m not referring to careless or reckless acts that are unsafe or unlawful. I’m writing about simple, small choices that we make every single day.
For example: While vacationing in Nantucket a few weeks back, I purposely dined in places that stretched my normal routine. I wanted to experience restaurants and food that were out of my ‘comfort zone’. When ordering, I tried to order the items I wouldn’t normally order. One item that comes to mind was Deviled Eggs. Now that seems pretty safe but this particular deviled egg was a Quail Deviled Egg. Simple, elegant, tender and something I had never tried or even though to try.
Would I order it again? No. Am I glad I did? yes. Because it exposed me to a new food that opened my mind to other possibilities of deviled eggs.
I’m sure your thinking, ‘well that isn’t REAL courage Tom’
I say that all depends on how you define it and how you want to apply it to your life and career.
When you wake up tomorrow, take a chance, try something new, take a risk… BE SAFE, BE LAWFUL, but have FUN and be COURAGEOUS to take and ‘exit from the normal highway of life’ and see if there’s something out there that will someday seem quite normal and enjoyable to you.
Take a small step and try something you couldn’t possibly have imagined doing no matter how small it is. That is how you begin to develop more and more courage to bigger and more rewarding choices. You might be surprised to find out how much you enjoy it. Or in my case, you would discover you don’t care for Quail Deviled Eggs… but I can tell you that wouldn’t stop me from trying to say…
Snake Deviled Eggs 🙂