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Things to Think About - A Little Known Secret About Courage

By Pepper de Callier

I have found, with the people I work with, that oftentimes courage is a key part of their journey to become a better version of themselves—the them that they really want to be,  Whether it’s in business, in leadership, or in their personal lives, courage, at one time or another, comes into play.  It could be needed to try something new, or to accept a challenge that will stretch them to the limit, or just to say I’m sorry to someone. Unfortunately, though, I find that the great majority of us don’t really understand where courage comes from.

Recently, while reading Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent new book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, I came across a particularly elegant explanation of courage and how it looks in the everyday lives of regular people like you and me.

“Courage is not something that you already have that makes you brave when tough times start,” Gladwell writes. “Courage is what you earn when you’ve been through the tough times and discover they aren’t so tough after all.”

Think about it, we tell our children that ghosts, gremlins, monsters and bullies are never what we thought they were when one finds a way to confront them.  Why should life be any different as an adult?

Till next time…

Things to Think About Series by Pepper de Callier:

Things to Think About (By Pepper de Callier)
Who you are speaks so loudly, I can’t hear a word you’re saying
The secret to success is to maintain enthusiasm between failures
When you are the anvil, hold you still.  But, when you are the hammer, strike your fill
Success is getting what you want.  Happiness is wanting what you get
I am not an Athenian, I am not a Greek, I am a citizen of the world
When I’m afraid of losing, I never win
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear
Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, ... 
How hard it is, sometimes, to trust the evidence of one's senses! How reluctantly the mind consents to reality.
We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are
It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves 
If you believe everything you read, better not read 
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care
Winning is as much about attitude as aptitude especially when the chips are down 
The human mind treats a new idea the same way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it.
Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd 
If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, you don't understand it yourself
There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts 
Go beyond the dominant voices to ask, ‘Who are the missing voices. 
Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you'll ever regret

About the Author: Pepper de Callier is one of the most respected senior executive coaches and authorities on leadership in Europe. Learn more about him at


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