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Bravery is an action taken in the presence of resistance. Intention without action is not brave. Action without resistance is not brave.
- A conversation with your spouse about a difficult issue in your marriage.
- Apologizing to your child.
- Building something that 1,000 people can join knowing that you might only get six.
- Publishing a story that reveals details of your imperfect journey through life.
- Taking your homeschooled kids out during the school day knowing people are going to ask you why they aren’t in school.
- Starting a Kickstarter campaign.
- Adding a “Speaking” page to your web site so people can book you to speak at their event.
- Ending an unhealthy friendship.
- Ending your work day to go home to your family.
- Donating money.
- Looking a homeless person in the eye.
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When you see something brave
Brave acts must be encouraged and celebrated. When a man walks across the street to Starbucks no one cheers. When a man walks across the Grand Canyon on a tight rope millions watch, pray and cheer.
The other people
Other people are brave right? You’re not brave.
Other people help AIDS victims and fight sex trafficking.
Other people adopt kids with special needs.
Other people write books.
Other people save money so they can leave their “safe” job to build their dream job.
Other people have “that many kids”.
Other people take cross country trips…in a tent…with their kids.
Other people go to those conferences.
Other people volunteer to help with vacation Bible school.
Other people invite their grandkids to stay with them for two weeks.
Other people buy a single mother a car.
Other people make anonymous donations.
Other people paint, sculpt and sketch.
Other people have great marriages.
Every “other person” is someone who said “I am the other person.”
Every person who is doing something brave is someone who decided, “There is no reason the “other people” get to live bravely.
Failure is an option, a beautiful option
Brave people decide that failure is an option. Fearful people decide that failure is too much to bear so they do not risk. Who is wise then? The person who avoids failure or the one who lives in the shadow of it? Both can be considered wise.
There is a better question to ask.
“How much do I want to live?” That is the question you must ask yourself today and every day forward. If you want to drive the same way to work everyday, have an average marriage, keep all your money in your retirement account or in your garage, and never risk the vulnerable moment of hitting “publish” then you are living small. This is not an all or nothing game. You can still save for retirement and own a car but if that is all you invest in then your life is small and full of fear.
Brave people do things that might not work. When’s the last time you did that?
- Take your child to an art class. It might not work.
- Start the process of becoming a foster parent. It might not work.
- Outline your book, buy Scrivener and start writing. It might not work.
- Build a digital product. It might not work.
- Commit to leading a small group at church. It might not work.
- Try to find better friends. It might not work.