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What has love got to do with Courage?

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What has love got to do with courage? 

By Douglas Vermeeren

What do you think of when you hear the word courage? Do you think of bravery and a dangerous battlefield? Perhaps an important mission to accomplish? Do you think of a moment when you knew the right thing to do but stood alone in your convictions? Do you think of a moment when you found out that you had made a mistake and you knew that confessing it would cost time and money? All of these moments would no doubt require courage.

Courage is symbolized by a proud and protective lion. Courage proceeds all other virtues as without courage it is difficult to practice any other virtue in the face of danger.

According to ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, courage is a virtue that is only yours if you can sustain it in a moment of adversity. Courage is very much like artistic ability. It only appears in the works we create. A demonstration of courage requires adversity and activity in the moment of that adversity.

What is it that allows us to create the immovable virtue of courage in our lives? Do we all have courage or is it a gift given only to the few? In his work Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle answered the question by expressing that all have a degree of courage.

Courage, he felt, was situated in the center of a spectrum. On one hand was recklessness and on the other hand cowardice. Courage was in the center as the balance.


Reckless                                 Courageous                                            Cowardice

The kinds of activities we choose to respond with in while in moments of adversity demonstrate whether we are reckless, courageous or a coward.

As I conducted my research into the lives of more than 400 of the world’s top achievers I found that no great success was ever created without courage. Courage is essential to success.

To create an extraordinary life will require you to go beyond what an average person is doing.  In your quest for success you will undoubtably face fear, pain, uncertainty, obstacles, failure, intimidation and naysayers.

However, there is a greater danger than the adversity that surrounds us. That greater danger comes from what we belief inside. Modern Psychology terms this kind of courage psychological bravery. It primarily describes the inner working of our mind and our courage in overcoming our personal inclinations and habits.

Our inner voice is the most challenging enemy we will ever face. Buddha said it this way “ It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles.”

Regardless of whether the adversity you are facing comes from external sources or internal sources the question remains how do you find courage when you need it?

What will get you through a difficult time? What can you do to create more courage? When you have a difficult moment what will allow you to stand immovable in the direction of what you know to be right?

Chinese philosopher Tao Te Ching shared a powerful insight into courage that many have seemed to miss. He stated simply that “loving causes the ability to be brave.”

This profound truth is what allows extraordinary success to be created. Think of stories you’ve heard about how a loving mother does extraordinary things to save her child from extreme danger. The same is true of you and your efforts to create success. If you truly love what you are pursuing you will face any and all dangers to protect that dream.

The more you love something the braver you will be in the defense of it.

The philosopher Thomas Aquinas made an interesting observation that fits very nicely with this idea of love and courage being connected. Typically most people think of courage as an act of combat or conflict. Aquinas suggested that courage was actually more about endurance than attack.

Personally I like this idea. We often hear people say that the first step is always the hardest to take when it comes to creating greater success or making change. I don’t believe this is true. Starting is pretty easy for most people. The hardest part about creating success is sticking with the task and finishing.  According to Aquinas he would agree that it takes more courage to stick with a task and endure than it does to rush into the fight.

My challenge to you is to first find love. Discover what is it that you really love and you will immediately gain power to find courage when you need it. And secondly, get committed to endure. Expect that adversity and challenges will come as they always do. But decide now that you will be courageous and endure.

Douglas Vermeeren

Douglas Vermeeren,

Douglas Vermeeren has conducted extensive research into the lives of more than 400 of the world’s top achievers. Douglas Vermeeren knows what they did to get to the top and he can show you how.  He appears regularly on ABC, FOX, CNN, CTV, CBC and is known as the modern day Napoleon Hill. He is the author of 3 books in the Guerrilla Marketing series and is the creator of the hit personal development films The Opus & The Gratitude Experiment. His results based coaching program MAXIMUM RESULTS is currently among the fastest growing in the nation and franchises are now available in selected markets! If you want to make more money as a coach please contact us. For more information on Doug and his programs go to or

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Written by douglasvermeeren

June 7, 2013 at 11:14 pm

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