20 Seconds of Courage
Courage is overrated.
At least, overestimated.
You don’t have to live courageously.
In fact, you can be a coward 99.9305556% of the time (to be exact).
You only need to be courageous for 20 seconds at a time.
Those 20 seconds when…
…you pick up the phone to call that “big kahuna” prospect.
…you see your dream client enter the networking meeting.
…you walk up to a circle of strangers and introduce yourself.
…you volunteer to come up on stage.
…you contemplate jumping into the icy cold water.
…you are arguing with your spouse and choose to relent.
…you are slighted and decide to let it go and forgive.
…you know you need to have a tough conversation with a friend.
…you know it’s time to let someone go.
…you need to say “no” even though it will make you unpopular.
…you ready yourself to jump out of the plane.
Each one of those defining moments only requires 20 seconds of real courage at the most.
Once the 20 seconds are over, it’s easy breezy from there.
“Courage is not simply one of the virtues
but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” —C.S. Lewis
Fear is an illusion.
An illusion can only exist in the absence of reality.
Once reality takes over the illusion dissipates.
Fear mostly comes in anticipation of an experience, not in the experience itself.
Let’s take jumping out of an airplane as an example.
Seymour Epstein of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst conducted a study in which novice jumpers were fitted with heart rate monitors that measured their pulses as their plane climbed upward toward its release point. He found that the jumpers’ heart rates got faster and faster until just before they jumped. But once they were out of the plane, their heart rates declined dramatically.
The most stressful part of the entire experience was the illusion, or anticipation, of the event. Once the reality of the event (free falling) took over, the fear vanished.
Watch a great 47 second clip on the topic from We Bought a Zoo with this month’s cover personality Matt Damon.
Click here to see it.
So what do you do when you hit the wall of fear?
You do this: You shut off your brain, close your eyes, hold your breath (if you need to) and do what every corpuscle of your body insists you don’t—RUN RIGHT AT IT! You’ll break through the wall of fear in less than 20 seconds.
What if you did something you fear three times a day, every day?
Imagine how doing so would multiply your success, lifestyle and prominence in the marketplace.
Think of the breakthroughs you could create.
You could still be a coward 99.9305556% of the time—a really rich and successful coward!
The math: 20 seconds of courage X 3 times a day = 60 seconds. 60 seconds divided by 86,400 seconds in a day = 99.9305556%.
What will you do with your 20 seconds of courage today? Share in the comments section below.
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