Word of the Month: Courage

What do you think of when you hear the word “courage”? Do you think of physical courage, the kind that’s required to face down a terrible threat to life and limb? Or do you think of emotional courage, the kind that’s needed to look for a soulmate or start a new project? I tend to think of the latter type of courage, perhaps because in the course of my life, I’ve more often been in situations where I needed courage to face the fear of heartbreak or disappointment than in situations where I required courage to survive an imminent physical threat.

Emotional courage is crucial if we are going to have any chance of realizing our dreams. Yet we don’t have to feel courageous all day long in order to reach our goals. Sometimes, all it takes is a second of courage to send an email that could lead to an amazing relationship or a minute of courage to make a phone call that could help your new project to succeed.

January is a good month in which to meditate on courage, as we often feel an impetus to try something new at the beginning of the year. Of course, we also need courage to stay the course when that’s appropriate and courage to walk away when that is truly what is best. If you need a boost of courage this month, remember the words of Sonny Kapoor in the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: “Everything will be all right in the end, so if it’s not all right, then it’s not yet the end.”

See more features from the January 2014 issue