Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Strength of Character - Courage

I am ready with my summary of chapter 1. The time since the first note on this book and now was longer than I planned but it is all in line with things that I am learning. I had expectations of more frequent mailings and I thought summarizing each chapter would be easier. Truth is I am thinking too much about what you think of my summary. So what I am learning is I need to follow my heart, and write from my heart, and what people take away from it will be what it is. I believe that it's all about timing. I am not here to move everyone to live a better life...just those who are ready to do so.

Now that I am respecting myself, not worrying about the outcome of my work and using a little bit of courage, I will continue to share my thoughts on the book The Strength of Character when the time feels right.

Courage - To walk by faith requires courage

Heroes have courage. People who do unbelievable things have courage. Does everyone have courage? Do we use courage in every day things?

To help me get my head around words that I have built up my own meaning of over decades, I have been looking the words up in a dictionary. I have gone back to basics and found a technique to help me be more successful. This simple action has given me the chance to forget what didn't work for me in the past, create a new attitude about the topic and redefine where I stand today. It has empowered me to move forward with a given area.

Definition of Courage

The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc without fear; bravery to act in accordance with one's beliefs, especially in spite of criticism.

Life takes courage

Is it uncomfortable to be different?
Is it more comfortable to blend into the woodwork?

Some greatest fears -
• being ostracized/rejected by "the group"
• look foolish
• being talked about
• being misunderstood

Life takes courage. As noted in this book, four thoughts to help bolster your courage.

1. I am responsible.
2. I must not forget - we must not forget the Lord and what He has done for us
3. I am accountable - to God
4. I get my standard and security from God

What helps bolster your courage?

Being vs. Doing

What we want to do is not nearly as important as what we want to be.

Doing is usually concerned with a vocation or career - how we make a living.

Doing is tied with accomplishments and tangible things like salary and trophies.

Being is much deeper. It relates to character; who we are and how we make a life.

Being, intangibles, is much of which can't be measured by objective yardsticks and impressive awards.

Bite Size Pieces - Consistently

Gumption. Again, what is the definition?
• Initiative, aggressiveness, resourcefulness.
• Courage, spunk, guts.
• Common sense.
• Being disciplined one day at a time.

So how do we use courage, and it's redefinition and new light, in our lives?

Rather that focusing on the whole enchilada, take it in bite size chunks. Create a plan, no matter how small or large, into manageable pieces. Haven't you been asked how does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time, of course.

How do you ...
...write a book? Do so one page at a time. a marathon? Run those 26+ miles one step at a time.
...master a new language? Try one word at a time.

You get the point.

There are 365 days in the average year. Divide any project by 365 and none seem all that intimidating. It will take daily discipline, not annual discipline.

Think of how you would work best with creating reminders for yourself to execute daily this new way of being courageous. Is it yellow sticky notes? Is it a reminder on your computer? Is it someone to help hold you accountable?

Set yourself up for success on any project or new habit to make small steps towards your goal. Be reasonable (yet challenging yourself when necessary) in the size of the task. You can do it!

Quotes from this chapter

"Even if your day is shadowed by fear or uncertainty, God is with close as your heartbeat, as near as your next breath."

"Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" ~1 Samuel 16:7


Today is unique! It has never occurred before and it will never be repeated.
At midnight, it will end quietly, suddenly, totally. Forever.
But the hours between now and then are opportunities with eternal possibilities.

What keeps you up at night?

Would you share with me what keeps you up at night? What are some of the things you really want?
You are a valuable part of my life journey and building my business! I appreciate your comments.

Janina - go here to read previous versions of newsletters and notes from other chapters from this book

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