#1623 Areté +1° #139: Compassion vs. Encouragement

It’s Time to Have Courage Together

Hi, this is Brian.

Welcome back to another Areté +1°, one of 451 micro-chapters on how to activate your heroic potential (part of the book!).

This one's called...


All of that leads us back to our redefined sense of Love we chatted about in our first Objective.

We’ll start integrating our Love practices as we architect our Masterpiece Days in our next objective.

For now, remember that it all starts with Love 0.0.

Quite simply: We’re going to have a hard time giving others the love we aren’t giving ourselves.

The fastest way to dial this in? Identify the #1 thing you do when you’re at your best. Then make a 101% nonnegotiable commitment to yourself TO DO THAT every. single. day.

Love 1.0 is all about showing up powerfully for our friends and family.

The fastest way to dial this in? Put your phone away. Science says it’s a distraction and will erode the depth of your connection. Show your loved ones you love them by focusing on them not on your phone.

Love 2.0 is all about those micro-moments of positivity resonance with various people throughout your day.

Again, the #1 obstacle here is your smartphone. Put it away.

Exit your cocoon of self-absorption and be PRESENT.

Love 3.0 is what we call Heroic love. We’re going to come back to this in a moment because I think it’s so important and so rarely discussed.

Love 8.0 is love for our work.

We want to KNOW that, when we’re doing it right, there’s actually NO difference between our Work and our Love as our work IS an act of love. Bring meaning to your current role by seeing how you’re making a difference in people’s lives.

Love ∞.0 is the love of EVERYTHING.

We quit arguing with reality and learn to not only accept it but LOVE it. Byron Katie wrote a whole book on the subject called Loving What Is, while Nietzsche told us that’s it all about Amor Fati—or loving our fate.

Now, let’s go back to Love 3.0. I want to talk about what I consider to be the essence of Heroic love. We’re going to talk about compassion vis-à-vis encouragement and we might even coin a new word: comcourage.

First, let’s remember that Aristotle tells us that COURAGE is the #1 virtue that we need to make sure we express, because without it we can’t express all the other virtues and win the ultimate game of flourishing by more and more consistently expressing the best version of ourselves.

If having courage is the most important thing we can do for ourselves to actualize our eudaimonic potential, wouldn’t giving others encouragement to actualize their eudaimonic potential be the most loving thing we can do?

Sure seems like it—which is one of the reasons why I think ENCOURAGEMENT is a super-underrated virtue. It gets way less airtime than compassion yet, I’d say (without diminishing the importance of compassion), that it’s at least as important as compassion—especially as we face historically significant challenges.

Again: YES. We need compassion.

And… We need to move beyond “suffering with” others in the middle of challenging times to HAVING COURAGE TOGETHER during these extraordinarily challenging times.

Enter: Our new word… Comcourage. “To have courage together.” Let’s compare and contrast compassion and comcourage.

Here’s the definition for compassion: “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others: the victims should be treated with compassion.

Etymologically, compassion comes from the Latin com + passio. It literally means “to suffer with.”

Here’s my proposed definition for comcourage: “fierce belief in the strength of others to meet their challenges combined with a willingness to act together in the presence of fear to conquer and grow from those challenges: the aspiring heroes facing challenges should be treated with comcourage.”

Etymologically, our new word comcourage comes from the Latin com + cor. It literally means “to have heart with.”

As you may recall, the word courage comes from the Latin word for heart. Just as the heart pumps blood to our arms and legs and other organs, COURAGE vitalizes all our other virtues.

So… Let’s inject some courage into the lives of our loved ones and all those around us. Let’s be willing to face challenges

together. Heroically.



“In the faces of men and women, we see HEROES.”

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