This post was more personal than a number of the things about which I write. It’s from my birthday this past Summer and the theme is Courage – the post was entitled “Coraggio” – the Italian word for it. It’s about having the inner fortitude to challenge things and making decisions based on the truth as it is, not as you want it to be. Do you?Happy Birthday to me! When you’re a kid, you can’t wait for birthdays because they mean you’re older, wiser, and have more stuff from the gifts that will show up. Now that I’m older (not OLD, thank you), they become a bit less desirable since you get to a point where you don’t quite know how many you have left. For some reason, the word “courage” popped into my head this morning and as I’m having the morning coffee, it seems to be a great word for an anniversary.
At some point you go from asking a lot of questions to answering them. You can even make a living doing that, as I try to do. Doing so honestly takes courage if you’re going to be a great resource and to be able to sleep at night.
When I was born, the pay phone business was a gold mine. Not so much any more although as this post points out, legacy technologies die hard. Someone who based their living solely on a pay phone business hopefully had the courage to recognize reality and shifted the business to something else. It takes courage to ask the questions about the premise upon which you’ve based everything and make changes. I’ve worked in places where not only were the answers discarded but the act of asking the questions was deemed heretical. That’s not courageous – it’s dumb.
My former business partner (OK, she’s my assistant but really a partner) is going in for cancer surgery tomorrow. She has the courage to look to her life down the road and not get caught up in the challenges of today while maintaining a great attitude. Do you?
Great business people are brave. Not in the physical sense but in other ways. Doing the right thing when it’s easy not to do so. Courage. Admitting errors, asking forgiveness and committing to do better. Courage. Saying “I don’t know” when you’re lost for the right answer. Courage. Affirming the positive when everything is pretty damn negative. Courage.
I wouldn’t put myself forth as a particularly brave individual yet my birthday reminds me that deep inside each of us is the ability to do extraordinary things if we have the courage to overcome our fear. You’ve got it too!
What displays of courage will you put forth today?
Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion): Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the “ape” in apricot? What have they got that I ain’t got?
Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion): You can say that again!