When I teach people about what it takes to create remarkable results, we talk about four essential attributes—the Four C’s. One of those attributes is COURAGE. My definition for courage is the:
Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.
How we deal with our internal experience of danger, fear or difficulty is a potential barrier to success. Every truly “remarkable” result has some or all of these aspects, not to mention the barriers embedded or unfolding in our pursuit of the result.
I am reading a book called Finding Inner Courage by Mark Nepo. I was struck by his concept of embracing our internal experience with courage. I offer you some quotes from his book and a story of Russo, the cat, to consider what results are on your plate that require this inner courage.
“We in the West, with our obsession to problem solve, have stubbornly made a devotion of eliminating obstacles–a devotion that often avoids relating to obstacles and staying in conversation with them.” We want to get beyond obstacles too quickly, without learning fully from them.
“It is the very journey through the life of obstacles that is the labor we must endure in order to birth any wisdom at all.” Wisdom requires allowing and examining our challenges.
“Two of the most stubborn inner obstacles are disappointment and failure.”
“Failure, it seems, is disappointment allowed to root within one’s self-esteem…failure (Nepo’s view) would seem to be the limitation that cap our possibilities if we get only what we want and if we touch only what we aim for.” In my experience, so many remarkable results start with a clear vision and then unfold over time in ways we might not have imagined.
Nepo then tells a story about a friend’s cat,Russé, who was adept at killing. To deter him by giving warning to his prey, his friend put a bell around the cat’s neck. Instead or limiting the cat, Russé learned to move without ringing the bell—maintaining his prior hunting results.
So, I leave you with three questions today:
If you embraced your obstacles, learning from them, how would you need to be differently?
What of your thinking would you need to change?
What would you do differently?
Let me know with a comment below. And, have a remarkable week working on moving without “ringing the bell.”