Thursday, April 5, 2007

Living an Engaged Life

When we think of courage we usually picture a firefighter entering a burning building, a soldier going to war, or some other action where people put their life at risk for others and I agree that this is COURAGE with a capital C.

There is however, another type of courage with a small c and we usually don't notice it; but, it occurs every day and is just as dramatic in its' own way. Did you know that most of us fear public speaking more than death itself. Similarly; we can have an overwhelming fear of any activity that would make us appear to someone else as silly, stupid, inadequate, or a loser, and so never try. And that is sad because it can prevent us from reaching for our dreams; to be passionately engaged with life and all that it holds.

To face our fears and despite them embark on a course of action when we do not know what the result will be is like crossing a fast flowing deep stream where the stepping stones are not visible but we know they are there just under the surface. Sometimes we will miss a step, get wet, but determined to cross, we go back to the last step and try again until we reach the other side. We need to be able to put ourselves at risk not necessarily in a physical way but certainly in a mental way to realize our dreams. If we don't; we will face a lifetime of gray mediocrity and carry our regrets to our grave.

Here's to the small c in all of us. Seize the opportunity and live an engaged life.

10 conversations:

Princess Haiku said...

Peter,
Thank you for the kind and insightful comment you left on my space and your willingness to speak to your own experience. I am still waiting to find out if my files can be retrieved, but have reached inner acceptance about the results.

This post about courage is so true, and I remembered the struggle I had when learning to speak in public. One thing people have to realize about overcoming fear is that you have to do the thing you are afraid of, until the fear passes. You can't overcome it in your mind first. If only one could...

Peter Haslam said...

You hit the nail on the head with your comment princess haiku. Thank you

RT said...

Until I was forced to become a leader in the military, I had the same fears you mentioned. You're absolutely right. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead is my current motto in this regard.

Peter Haslam said...

Thanks RT it's obvious from your writing and why i enjoy your blog

Comedy + said...

Peter, Yikes....you sent me back to a place I don't want to ever go again. Hated public speaking. Did it, sometimes successful and sometimes not. CRINGE!

Have a great Easter weekend.

Peter Haslam said...

But look at what you are doing today. You are a great speaker with your blog and I am one of your attentive audience

Jeff Herz - My View of the World said...

Courage is an interesting concept, and one that I have been contemplating a lot recently. I read the JFK book Profiles in Courage a while back, and it left me longing for a courageous leader to step forth and do the right thing regardless of the consequences of their actions. That to me is courageous.

Not sure the relevance to your post, but just wanted to share.

Peter Haslam said...

Jeff we all have different views of what courageous is. I just don't want people to forget that they too do courageous acts. Anytime you stand up for what you believe no matter what anyone else thinks takes courage. We need examples to remind us not to bury our heads in the sand.

Jeff Herz - My View of the World said...

Peter,

That is a very good point, and takes on a much more micro view but is probably most important. We as a society need to have individuals who are willing to stand up and be noticed, take on the issues that are important to them and that is infinitly better than sticking your head in the sand and letting life just pass you by.

Peter Haslam said...

Thank you for joining the conversation Jeff. Debate on points is the surest way to broaden our definitions.