I reminded us of the fact that Aristotle told us that courage is the most important virtue—the one that vitalizes all the other virtues.
If we don’t have the COURAGE to take action in the presence of fear, then all of our supposed Wisdom and Self-Mastery and Love and Gratitude and Hope and Curiosity and Zest is stuck in Theory-land and is, to put it bluntly, USELESS if we don’t have the courage to put it into practice.
Churchill echoed that wisdom when he told us that: “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because it is the quality which guarantees the rest.”
Note: Churchill also EMBODIED that Heroic Courage in the face of overwhelming odds and looming catastrophe during World War II. We, arguably, have HIM (and his tenacious (!) courage) to thank most for leading in such turbulent times to help create the world we live in today.
Today I’d like to talk more about Ryan Holiday’s take on the subject of courage.
As you know if you’ve been following along, Ryan Holiday is one of my all-time favorite writers and thinkers. My respect for him and for his dedication to his craft as a writer and a practicing Stoic grows with each new book of his I read.
They are all fantastic.
As expected, the first book in his new virtue series on THE most essential virtue: Courage Is Calling is ALSO fantastic.
The book is packed with practical wisdom on why and HOW to embody Heroic courage.
Here’s one passage we can reflect on today…
Ryan tells us: “Courage is the management of and triumph over fear. It’s the decision—in a moment of peril, or day in and day out—to take ownership, to assert agency, over a situation, over yourself, over the fate that everyone else has resigned themselves to. We can curse the darkness, or we can light a candle. We can wait for someone else to come and save us, or we can decide to stand and deliver ourselves. Which will it be? Every hero faces this choice. Our discrimen—the critical turning point. The moment of truth. Will you be brave? Will you put yourself out there? What will you reveal your character to be? If cowardice is failure to do your duty, then courage is the decision to step up and do it. Answering the call. Overriding fear and seizing your destiny. Doing the thing you cannot do because it needs to be done . . . with fortitude and spirit, guts and grit, even if you have no idea if you’ll succeed. This will not be easy. But we cannot fear. We must, as Shakespeare said, ‘meet the time as it seeks us.’ Our destiny is here. Let’s seize it.”
That’s Today’s +1.
Courage is calling.
Let’s answer the call.