Building Courage

blog post 12When I was in training, our instructors would have us run for hours. This was no light jog; it was a sweaty, gasping-for-air marathon. They’d watch until they saw us begin to struggle. But did they let us stop? Not a chance. They’d push us to run through our exhaustion and draw from energy stores we didn’t even know we had.

This might seem excessive to someone without military experience, but there was an important reason for this exercise; it built courage. It prepared us for that inevitable moment when we’d have to make a tough choice between satisfying our bodies’ needs (in this case, taking a much-needed rest) and doing the right thing (trusting that our instructors had our best interests at heart and following through with the training).

Wondering what this has to do with courage? Imagine you’re on a ship. You’ve been working hard all day, performing tough physical tasks in harsh conditions. You’re exhausted. Your muscles are aching and you’ve strained your back. You’re on your way to bed when someone shouts the words that you never want to hear at sea: “Man overboard!”

What do you do? There isn’t much time, so you need to make a snap decision. Do you cross your fingers and hope that someone else steps in and fishes him out? Or do you push past the fatigue and the screaming muscles and dive in after him?

The running exercise was designed to help build both the courage and the stamina to go after that person. Our instructors wanted to know that if someone needed us, we’d find the courage to help, even after we’d reached our limit.

Would you have ignored the shouts, leaving that man to someone who was able to conquer their exhaustion? If so, I’ve got good news for you: courage is a habit that you can develop. Start making the right choice on a regular basis, and when the going gets tough, you’ll be more likely to find the courage to do the right thing. Think about it. If you start cutting corners on the little things, how are you going to respond when real courage is required?

When I was at one of my first big business meetings, I remember being astonished by all the people who weren’t taking notes. After all, how would they remember what they had learned? Building a business is tough even with advice—I couldn’t understand why would they make it harder on themselves by failing to preserve that important knowledge.

13 thoughts on “Building Courage

  1. Nous sommes heureux de découvrir les qualités que prônent notre Life Coach….Nous allons faire tout ce qui est en notre pouvoir de dupliquer et d’appliquer ce bel enseignement en France….
    Merci beaucoup
    Aline et Jean Jacques

  2. Thanks for the great article in Courage. This type of teaching is what society needs. Courage can be learned and developed! Thank you for having the courage and character to follow through and share with all of us.
    Danny Kellenberger
    Carpe Diem

  3. Courage is an elusive thing that we all have the ability to exercise. Often it takes courage to do so, and so the stalemate ensues. I love how you take real world examples and show that real people can make courage a habit. Thanks Claude for paving a path for others to follow.

  4. Claude,

    Thank you for the great lessons you share. I apply them to my life daily.

    Keep Strokin

  5. Thank you Claude. Your message comes at a time when it is most needed and gives me hope & determination. You are an inspiration to all of us!!!

  6. I like the way that you explain that courage begins with a persistent approach to small things which then allows us to build ourselves so that we are stronger when the larger things present themselves. Great blog!

  7. Claude,

    Thank you for this post, everyday I find myself praying for the courage to speak to those they God brings into my path that He would like me to influence.

    It’s good to know that courage can be learned if one is hungry enough to learn.

    Thanks for your message!

  8. Awesome message Claude . It ‘s like you always said if you take the easy way out life will get harder . Thanks for such a great perspective on struggle
    God Bless

  9. Great post Claude, and a very good reminder and or lesson for all of us as we move forward. Thank you for allowing us to learn from your experiences.

  10. Hi Claude!

    Great perspective as always!

    It’s when it counts are we going to get get back up again and carry on. What seems hard at these times creates the victory especially with ones self.

    God bless

  11. Great blog, Claude.

    It is a relief to know that courage can be learned, and built. The world certainly needs more people courageous enough to take a stand for what they believe in.

    Thank you for being one of the tough ones!

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