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Insights: Courage to Act
March 29, 2011

Courage to Act

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"What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?"

- Vincent van Gogh

Do you desperately want change in one or more areas of your life?

Then let me ask you: "What are you doing to bring it about?"

I want to help you

Forgive me if this sounds a bit 'in your face' but if you truly desire change then I really want to help you... to help yourself!

Let's be honest, it takes courage to act - to take the first step towards following your heart. But when you do you'll be amazed to see a whole new world of possibility and opportunity open up.

Taking action to follow your heart begins with a thought. Unfortunately, all too often, we think the wrong kind of thought and action becomes inaction.

We are programmed

You see, we are programmed to avoid pain and seek out pleasure.

This programming worked well for our hunter gatherer ancestors where survival and procreation were the main purpose of life. But today, when so many of us seek self actualization and a life of fulfillment and joy, this simple protection mechanism can often be the biggest obstacle to our progression.

Mental, not physical pain

In modern times, the 'pain' that we seek to avoid is more often mental than physical. We dread being shown up, looking stupid, losing face and losing the status and possessions that we think define us in the eyes of others.

Our inbuilt 'pain avoidance' mechanisms rely on analyzing patterns in our lives to determine whether new events and experiences are likely to lead to more pain or more pleasure.

Not worth the risk

The less we are prepared to engage in different life experiences, the less data patterns we have on which to base the determination of whether new experiences will serve us or not. In the absence of sufficient data, our over cautious pain avoidance mechanisms simply conclude that a new experience is not worth the risk.

A fate we consign ourselves to

So 'sticking with the status quo' becomes something of a fate that we consign ourselves to if we lack the courage to override our pain avoidance alerts.

Fortunately the converse is also true.

The more we take action to bring about change, the more we will expose ourselves to new experiences and the more patterns we will be able to call on to help us conclude that change, in the direction that our hearts desire, is generally good, meaningful and fulfilling.

Getting more out of life

We were meant to experience the rich tapestry that is life, in all its kaleidoscope variety. Our inner beings know that this is true and hanker after getting more out of life. And yet, many of us fail to experience even a small fraction of what life has to offer.

All because we lack the courage to act on our heartfelt impulses.

Do you want a life that is great... or just good enough?

If you said "great" - and who wouldn't, then it's time to stand up and be counted!

Focus with everything you have

Ask yourself what small action could you take, right now, that will move you in the direction of your dreams. Then focus, with everything you have, on the desirable consequences of that action (ignore that little 'pain avoidance monkey' on the shoulder, trying to warn you about all that could go wrong) and then...

...Just DO IT!

Life is ready and waiting for you to make the move - and ready to reward you handsomely.

Have courage!

Till next week...

Warm regards,


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