When we touch on the subject of challenges, the first word I think of is Courage. Not that we need courage to face challenges necessarily, but that courage is what we are given when we work through the challenge and step forward. Courage is like a muscle, if we exercise it, it gets stronger (Ruth Gordan). So as we overcome or even give into challenges, we are exercising courage. If we can become aware of this accomplishment, we become more cognizant of the power we hold within our heart and mind. I like the idea that to exercise courage, I need only to look forward to each challenge as a workout session! It allows me to not be afraid or negative about the next broken windshield or leaking roof, or the next loss. As each challenge exposes itself, I have the opportunity to be excited about what’s to come. Excited about what will enrich my life next, excited about the opportunity to find something else out about myself. This brings me to my next favorite word in the series and that is Action! In the book, The richest man in Babylon, on page 56, George Samuel Clason states that “Action will lead you forward to the successes thou doest desire”. I read this often enough that the page is worn. It means some much in some many different contexts.

First, even if we are not really desiring something specific, any action in any form, can lead us to our desires. And if we dream of something, if we want to create something, if we want to achieve something, it’s the action of the first step towards that goal that enlivens our courage and propels us forward.

And it doesn’t always have to be something big or a major life changes, sometimes it’s the really small moment that exercises our courage by action. This morning it was cold outside. My car was warm, i was in the parking lot of my favorite coffee shop…. “ugh, i dont want to go out in the cold”… But it’s coffee, so of course I’m going! I thought of my warm Americano with steamed heavy cream inside waiting for me, the endorphins hit my brain and I smiled all the way in, where I was greeted with happy faces and “good morning” s all around! I cracked a joke about the cold and such. As I bounced back to my car with a hot cup in my hand, I felt some good about the day. This, because I actively changed my perspective to one of happiness! That overcoming the cold, to say hello to beautiful people was much more powerful than any cold grey day could erase. Now, as I go through my day, I find joy in each moment that I think of that happiness and my day is awesome.

It may sound silly, but each action, big or small can make a difference somehow, each day, my environment is affected by me instead of my environment effecting me. I use courage as a catalyst for action and it always takes me somewhere better.

So today, join me and exercise your courage!

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