This topic of bravery is something that has intrigued me. What makes someone brave? What do the people impacting the world most have in common when it comes to bravery? The term is used often to describe someone battling cancer, those who have moved overseas to fight for the plight of others, or even for the underdog who faces insurmountable odds in whatever circumstance they find themselves in.
But what does bravery have to do with those of us who spend our days running kids around, getting to class on time, or simply paying our bills? Well.. I believe it has a lot to say to you and I... and how we operate day in and day out. So ask yourself the questions below to know whether or not your living a brave life, and if not, don't worry, there's no better time than the present to start choosing to be brave.
Here are 5 ways to know if you're being brave in the everyday:
1) Do you intentionally choose uncomfortableness?
This isn't brow beating.. or navel gazing, or whatever term you connect with. No, I'm simply suggesting that people (you and I included) tend to choose what easiest, not what's best. Are you someone who is intentionally putting yourself in places that may be uncomfortable, but in the end have huge impacts on you, your family, or others?
2) In 5 years will you look back & thank yourself for the decisions you are making now?
A life worth "speaking of" is often not remarkable day in and day out... instead it's a ton of small choices like "not watching as much TV", or "giving sacrificially instead of when its easy", or even just waking up 30 minutes earlier each day to insure you are centered, grounded, and ready act upon our circumstances, not just react. Our circumstances will never be just right to start anything of worth.... so why not start today?
3) Have you failed at anything of consequence lately?
This is may be the most important question you could ask yourself. It is so easy to live our lives in a small bubble. We are so easily deceived into thinking that just because we talk about risk, creativity and using our lives for more, that somehow it translates into actual bravery. The articles, blogs, and books we read can even be about these very things... but unless you've failed lately at something with consequence, I would doubt that bravery is at work at all. Try. Fail. Repeat. This is the model I've seen work over and over. (believe me... I have a list much longer than I'd care to repeat of things I've tried and failed at.)
4) Do you feel foolish?
I know this seems backwards, because who wants to feel foolish? But once again, I will tell you from experience that most of the projects I'm most proud of have looked foolish at one point or another. Starting LGH, moving to Africa, filming a movie, multiple Kickstarter Campaigns, Pitching a TV Show... all have the tendency to make me feel stupid, small, and like "who the heck am I to try this?" So... do you feel foolish?
5) How Often do you say NO?
This may be the secret behind people who truly make an impact on the world.
"Learning to say NO."
Most of the people I encounter day to day have said yes to more than they can physically accomplish. From meeting with multiple groups on a weekly basis, to coaching sports, to volunteering at multiple organizations.( I also believe we do this with our money... but more on that at a later date) No matter how passionate you are about something, you will never give it a fighting chance in your life if you've said yes to everyone and everything in your life. The most brave thing you do today, may be simply saying "no."