Courage: Monday Motivation January 22, 2023

The Greek philosopher Aristotle said, “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.” I agree, but Aristotle and many others have spent an enormous amount of time taking apart courage, and there are over seventy synonyms. I’m just going to talk about one: FORTITUDE. I love this word, and we don’t use it often. The dictionary says Fortitude is a patient courage under affliction, privation, or temptation; moral strength or endurance and strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage. Greek philosophers said Fortitude is the virtue that enables a person to stand firm against and endure the hardships of life, to restrain fear, or to moderate fear in the face of danger, all done by reason. The early church fathers call Fortitude a gift of the Holy Spirit and the virtue that gives Martyrs the strength to die for the faith. Marines often speak of intestinal fortitude, not because it changes the meaning but because we like the idea of courage that comes from deep within to face the miserable circumstances that often accompany our duty. Not purely physical courage or moral courage, but the courage, strength, and endurance to do what is right and needs doing. We all face challenges in our homes and work that result from fear. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of speaking, fear of disappointment, we fear things outside of our comfort zone. Many people are defeated by fear before attempting something; they need some Fortitude. So, how do we build Fortitude? One challenge at a time. Aristotle said, “We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, and brave by doing brave acts.” Look at your life; any fears holding you back? What’s one thing you can do every day this week to face your fear? You don’t have to go skydiving to confront your fear of public speaking, but joining Toastmasters could help. The reasoned exposure of ourselves to hardship, danger, or challenge builds Fortitude, and Fortitude allows us to achieve our goals, and heavy deadlifts help too. If you want to learn more about leadership, sign up for my newsletter or set up an appointment at the link below:

Remember, “all things are possible through prayer and heavy deadlifts.”™


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