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True Courage

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Barack Obama announced yesterday he was sending 3000 troops in to support West Africa in the midst of the current outbreak of Ebola. In my book, every one of those troops deserves a medal for bravery right now just for making the decision to go. Because the thing is Ebola doesn’t discriminate between those sent in to help and the civilians on the ground. It will strike anyone down. The doctors and aid workers, the troops and engineers, the journalists covering the tragedy as it unfolds, all at risk themselves as they seek to help control the epidemic.

One of the saddest things to grasp is because it spreads through human contact, they can’t even meet the basic human need for touch. No hugs to reassure the children they are treating. No holding a dying person’s hand. Just too dangerous. It’s a horror hard to imagine.

So what does it take to make such a decision? To be willing to go into the outbreak zone and put your life on the line for others.

Among other things, I think it takes great courage.

At its core, courage is all about having heart. It’s about the willingness to act according to our values despite the presence of fear. It’s not about a lack of fear. It is about judging what is most important and then acting on that realisation. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway for the greater good.

Fortunately for most of us in our rather more sheltered corner of the world, the courage we need on a daily basis is not life-threatening even though it might feel that way. And while we may not be called upon to put our lives on the line, there are many times in our life where we must dig deep and find our courage in the face of adversity. After all, life is full of challenges and many of them will take great courage to overcome.

Next time you need to dig deep and find that courage, perhaps it might help to put it in perspective. Just turn on the news any given night for a bit of that.

Do you have the courage to live according to your values?

 

Freedom to live

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Given the current happenings in the world, you could be forgiven for thinking that the world is not a safe place. With moment to moment coverage of all the hot spots it can be a little unnerving, can’t it. It may even make you rethink some of your plans. Or perhaps cancel them and just stay in doors.

But at what cost?

To hide from life’s opportunities because of the ‘what ifs’ doesn’t make sense to me. Obviously, it’s important to weigh up the risks, but allowing yourself to miss out on the wonders of life simply because of the thoughts in your head…? How many of us do that?

The thing is we are all going to move on to a different plane one day. A basic fact of life. And when you’ve come face to face with your own mortality it’s not something you can ignore. But in this culture it’s not an idea we like to think about. Not one we talk about.  And it’s pretty hard to get comfortable with something we try so hard to forget. But if we can gain a sense of peace around the fact that our physical bodies will one day give way to whatever awaits us, it gives us the freedom to embrace the adventures of life, risks and all. It gives us the freedom to live. Minute to minute. Living in the now.  Making the most of each morning we wake, the most of every opportunity that comes our way.

Life IS in this present moment.

We all have a choice, don’t we. Hide from life out of our fear of losing it and miss out on all the good stuff. Or embrace life, embrace the risks and live the adventure for as long as our days allow.

What choice will you make?

Have a go!

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I wonder if you’ve ever realised the average adult has around 12,000 thoughts per day? That’s over 4 million thoughts per year.

Imagine that! Four million different ideas in just one year!

It doesn’t take Einstein to realise the power in this.

Moving one thought at a time in a particular direction. It’s only a matter of time before you get there. Makes you think about what you’re thinking, doesn’t it. What direction you’re headed.

But one of the things I’ve discovered is how often we fail to act on these thoughts. The good ones that is.

Incredible as it may be, one of our greatest human fears is to look like an idiot. And we do everything we can to avoid feeling stupid. To avoid being laughed at. Heckled. Jeered. Ducking those rotten tomatoes. And because it’s a fear bigger than Ben Hur, we so often do nothing about those great ideas. Sweet FA. Despite the possibility of success.

And where does that get us? Keeps us right where we are, doesn’t it.

But let’s say in all those millions of thoughts, 90% of them are duds. Could you be okay with that? Take just one million of them and 90% are duds. So what! You’ve still got a lot of good ideas in there. More than 100, 000 to be precise. Do you reckon there’s some gold in there?

So what have you really got to lose? What could you gain?

Go on, have a go!

 

The Ocean of Abundance

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Have you stopped to look around yourself lately? How abundant this world is. We want for very little don’t we. Sometimes nothing at all. Just think about Christmas and the abundance the festive season brings. For most of us a plentiful supply of time, gifts, food.

Still groaning? Not exactly third world are we.

And there are many ways we can look at this concept of abundance. For some, it’s about greed that comes from a place of fear. That feeling of never having enough so we’d better stockpile.  While for others it’s about gratitude and the humility of knowing we live in a vastly abundant world that is there to be enjoyed and respected. And that we can have it all without the need for rape or pillage.

Such a difference in mindset makes such a difference in experience, doesn’t it.

The ocean of abundance is all around us. A vast and limitless ocean there to be enjoyed.

So will you take a teacup or a bucket down to the ocean?

After all, it makes no difference to the ocean…