Is Your Backbone Made of Courage?

Ugh.  I had big plans to write an amazing post based on the following excerpt from The Edge: The Guide to Fulfilling Dreams, Maximizing Success and Enjoying a Lifetime of Achievement written by Howard E. Ferguson.  But…taking year-end inventory at both studios and receiving several shipments of new clothing which then needed to be entered into inventory, took entirely more time than I thought.  So, I’ll leave you to read Ferguson’s own brilliant words…

If desire is your wishbone, then courage is your backbone.  Your backbone gives you the gumption, the get-up-and-go, the guts to excel, the incentive to make any dream you dare to dream come true.

It’s easy to be ordinary or mediocre, but it takes courage to excel, to be different from the crowd.  That’s why not many people can do it.  The rewards are great, but so are the risks.  It takes courage to sacrifice; to work long, hard hours when you could be relaxing; to work out when you’re tired or sick; to focus on being the best you can be when there are so many distractions; to seek out tough competition when you know you’ll probably get beaten.  It’s easy to be average, but it’s hard to be the best.

It takes courage to stand by your convictions when all those around you have no convictions.

It takes courage to keep fighting when you’re losing.

It takes courage to stick to your game plan and the unrelenting pursuit of your goal when you encounter obstacles.

It takes courage to push yourself to places that you have never been before physically and mentally, to test your limits, to break through barriers.

It takes courage to run a marathon, but then how would you ever know how far you could run if you never tried?

It takes courage to try to be the very best you can be when others around you settle for mediocrity.

I firmly believe we are put on earth to be tested—to be challenged with adversity and to see what we can accomplish.  The successful person is the one who continually faces the problems and challenges that life brings—and overcomes them all, no matter what the obstacle is.

I also believe that most people have far more courage than they give themselves credit for.  When tested, people find they have the courage to look deep into their souls; and do things they never thought possible.  This amazes most people, who initially don’t believe they have much courage.  We all have it—we just don’t realize it.

Most people are completely unaware that they possess this type of courage.  Why?  Because if they were aware of it, they’d have to test it—and that’s risky.  So most people play it safe and don’t risk “Going for it.”  They’re afraid of going into the unknown.  There are no guarantees.

Unfortunately, people frequently tell you things can’t be done before they tell you things can be done.  They’re what we call “SNIOPs”—people who are “Susceptible to the Negative Influences of Other People.”  It’s easy to be negative because it’s safe and deals with the known.  It’s hard to be positive because it means taking risks and deals with the unknown.  It takes courage to succeed.

Sebastian Coe (distance runner, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist) used the word “courage” to describe what it will take to run the super mile.  He didn’t say mental toughness—which is what you need at the end when your legs are dead and your lungs are bursting.  Most good athletes can handle this; they can fight through the pain barrier.  What Coe is saying is that you must be courageous—you must be brave enough to push yourself at the beginning when you’re not hurting, knowing full well that by doing this, the more you’ll hurt at the end.  That is courage!

2-29, The Edge: The Guide to Fulfilling Dreams, Maximizing Success and Enjoying a Lifetime of Achievement, Howard E. Ferguson (This is one of my favorite books. So many great quotes and bits of inspiration.)

How could you not be totally pumped up to take over the world after reading this?!  After typing it, I’m starting to understand why an ex once told me that I did so much all the time that it made him feel bad about himself.  All I can say is, when courage is your backbone, you can’t help but just go for it!

Next week I’ll get back to actually writing and let you know all the books (and even a magazine) I’ve been reading as well as some great podcasts I’ve been listening to.

Until then, stay on your toes!

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