"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear." -- Mark Twain
Every day since writing, One Less. One More. Follow Your Heart. Be Happy. Change Slowly. readers are sharing extraordinary experiences of consciously facing and detaching from their fears, and instead, choosing to courageously follow their hearts, be happy, and profoundly pursue their goals, dreams and desires. OLOM readers have not stopped being afraid, they simply choose on a moment-to-moment basis less fear and more courage.
Courage comes from the Latin word for heart, cor. Combine cor with the Latin word for era, aevum, which in the Middle English, became age, and you get courage -- the era of the heart -- the word symbolizing the conscious decision to follow your heart.
So, from people around the world, what does it take to choose less fear and more courage?
It takes courage after 25 years of procrastination to begin writing your first children's book. It takes courage after 10 years of building a food company, and with sales down and funding drying up, to walk away because you recognize it's just not going to work. It takes courage to admit you're much more effective as a follower than a leader. It takes courage to lose 50 pounds and then keep going because you have 10 more pounds to go.
It takes courage to reconcile with a sibling. It takes courage to release regrets. It takes courage to speak up for the weak and underserved. It takes courage to become a "Light Worker," proficient with crystals, sacred jewelry, and Reiki, when your friends and family see a mystical practice as "out there." It takes courage to leave the business world and go to Divinity School.
It takes courage in your senior year of college to go against your parent's wishes and change majors because you haven't been following your heart. It takes courage to start a circus. It takes courage to pursue happiness.
It takes courage to remarry and after already having two grown children, decide to have another child. It takes courage after years of marriage to admit you're not happy, and against everyone's astonishment, leave.
Chemo takes courage. Cutting up the credit cards takes courage. Running for office takes courage. It takes courage to tell your company's board of directors you believe they are not interested in what's best for the organization, and you're resigning.
It takes courage at 84 years old to admit you've been sitting around waiting to die, yet now you're inspired to pursue making the world a better place simply because your realize you can.
It takes courage to create an organization committed to stopping sexual violence against college women. It takes courage for a teenager to say "no" to their peers. It takes courage to say "yes" to your dreams.
Looking for job takes courage. Starting a new job takes courage. Starting a new church takes courage. Building a company takes courage. Firing someone takes courage. Being a leader takes courage. Starting a podcast, directing a movie, submitting your Ph.D. thesis takes courage. Facing death takes courage, facing the birth of a child takes courage, and facing addiction takes courage. Leaving your child for the first day of pre-school, and leaving your last child on their first day of college takes courage.
It takes courage to bless your daughter's marriage to someone of a different color or race. It takes courage to dye your hair red, green or purple. It takes courage to believe you were born for greatness. It takes courage to believe that greatness is something you are versus something you do. It takes courage to admit you are wrong. It takes courage to have the faith that your decision is, ultimately, right.
It takes courage to break a cycle, live your own life, tell your own story, and believe you were born to pursue your passions, curiosity, goals, dreams and desires.
Please keep sharing your stories of choosing less fear and more courage, because at the end of the day, your courage inspires us all to follow our hearts and be happy.