The Courage to Try

July 25, 2010

A very honest military man tells us his story:

As a sergeant in a parachute regiment, I took part in several night-time exercises. Once, I was seated next to a lieutenant fresh from jump school. He was quiet and looked a bit pale, so I struck up a conversation. “Scared, lieutenant?” I asked.

He replied, “No, just a bit apprehensive.” I asked, “What’s the difference?”

He replied, “That means I’m scared, but with a university education.”

Nothing in life is to be feared, only to be understood. The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything. We may not have talked about it a lot. But the topic on courage should be studied well.

Nelson Mandela, who led the fight against the apartheid in South Africa, is best known for enduring many years in prison. The following story of a single plane ride gives us some personal insight into how Mandela’s courage was formed-and what it meant to those around him.

One day after his release from jail, Mandela and a friend were flying in a small plane. Suddenly, the propeller stopped turning. But Mandela remained so even-keeled that the other passengers calmed themselves by watching him until the plane landed safely. However, when they landed, Mandela said to his friend, “Man, I was scared up there.”

The friend realized that in prison Mandela had found that “The more you pretend that you’re not scared, the more not scared you become.”

Mandela became courageous by taking one courageous step. And then another. Maybe this is the key for us to develop courage.Some one says: “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says . . . I’ll try again tomorrow.”

So you have been given a promotions. Maybe you are challenged with a new assignment. Maybe this one is very familiar. You are asked to stand in front of people and make a presentation. And then you could feel it in your guts. There are butterflies in your stomach. That old familiar feeling comes. The feeling that you dread. It’s called fear. So how do you deal with it?

Have you ever wondered how and why bomb disposal experts are able to do their jobs? Do they have extra-ordinary courage that we mere mortals do not? Not necessarily. But the reason why they are courageous is simply because

They were trained to do bomb disposal. Once they gain the technical know]edge, skills, and competence in understanding how to disarm bombs, have little to fear of them. They are courageous in situations which would cause others great fear. Their fear is dissipated as a result of becoming competent.

You want to conquer fear in public speaking and doing presentations? Get trained in that area.

What’s the Difference?

Ralph Waldo Emerson says: “Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”

You need both strength and courage to succeed:

Credited to anonymity, this piece of material is so inpiring. Listen to this:

It takes strength to be certain,

It takes courage to have doubts.

It takes strength to fit in,

It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to share a friend’s pain,

It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to hide your own pain,

It takes courage to show it and deal with it.

It takes strength to stand guard,

It takes courage to let down your guard.

It takes strength to conquer,

It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to endure abuses,

It takes courage to stop them.

It takes strength to stand alone,

It takes courage to lean on a friend.

It takes strength to love,

It takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive,

It takes courage to live.

God gives us the strength to be courageous when it comes to doing the right things for His Glory and so the question now is this: Are you strong and courageous enough. At the end of the day, growing a wishbone is not enough to succeed in life. Growing a backbone on top of it is the key.

Attend Francis Kong’s one-day life changing seminar “SUCCESS THROUGH EXCELLENCE” on August 13, 2010 at the SMX Convention Center. For registration and tickets call Inspire Leadership Consultancy Inc. 632-6872614 OR 09178511115

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. lia

    sir francis,
    indeed, it takes courage to live! thanks for giving us, your readers more wisdom and courage to live.

  2. anne

    Good evening! This message is timely! Thanks very much. I wish I could attend your talk in Sept about Success Through Excellence. I shared an excerpt of this story in my FB to my friends and family. I shared the link as well for those who would want to read the complete story and more of your inspirational notes. We all need a good dose of reminder and encouragement every now and then. Thanks once again! God bless you and your family always! 🙂

  3. anne

    oh sorry…it’s on 13th Aug…still no chance of attending it….all the best,Sir.

  4. Alexcee Maala

    It was so true, at many times in our life sometimes we need to be silent that we are on a struggle so that people arpund us who doesnt have the capacity to hold/understand the situation wont be an additional factor to keep us more struggling, sometimes the best thing to do is to be silent. 😀

  5. dennis bunye

    Sir Francis,

    I literally group up in my career listening to your radio show and finally meeting you in person when you gave a talk in Avon Edsa branch where I bought my very first copy of your book business matters and had it autographed by you. Its great to see that you’ve maitained your advocacy of motivating people through your articles in your website. Its even greater to see the responses of those whose lives you’ve touched. More power to you and your crusade. Cheers!

  6. Patrick Pontawe

    Good day sir,

    I would like to ask, where can I buy any of your books because I know that I will learn lot from your books. Thank you in advance!

    1. Francis Kong

      Sorry for the later reply but you can buy my books at Powerbooks, National bookstores or Fully Booked. Thank you for your interest.

  7. honey may

    it takes a lot of courage to stand amidst the failures in life…

  8. Enca

    I attended a seminar once for Planters Bank entrepreneurs where you are the guest speaker, it was one of the best seminars I have attended. As always, your notes are very inspiring. Keep up the good work Sir, God bless the works of your hands. Kudos!

  9. richel mae

    ganda po

  10. Lally

    “Growing a wishbone is not enough to succeed in life. Growing a backbone on top of it is the key… ”
    This is nice. Thanks Sir Francis for sharing this.

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