taking courage

I have not climbed Mount Everest

Courageouslife is a business that helps individuals and businesses to live courageously. Sometimes the work is about leadership, sometimes it is about gaining confidence or self belief. In most cases, we help people to become accountable and responsible for their own lives and actions.

Growing up, I was sold a vision of leadership I have yet to see fulfilled. I have come to realise now that to have consciousness is to have choice. Why do we know what to do, yet continue to elect not to do it? This question is at the heart of the practice of leadership, and leading the self.

Throughout history, we have awaited hero-type leaders to come and save us. Worldwide, our traditional stories, myths and legends are about our need for a hero or heroine; someone who is set apart, special, marked, destined. These stories describe our longing for a benign and ethical force to make everything all right, and give us our 'happy ever after'.

Nowadays, though rational and educated, we continue to displace our own potential, and set these expectations upon those in the public eye. We worship celebrity or deride politicians, cower in fear from the latest media bogeyman and love to hate the 'evil' corporations. We ask "where are our great leaders?" and shake our heads.

What is this word, leadership? It has the capacity to fill us with self doubt and worry - can I be a leader? Should I? Little me? The fear overwhelms.

Yet, considering our own ability to lead can also inspire, filling us with a sense of our own possibility and potential. We imagine having the potency to change and move others towards a different future - a future we all long for yet lack the courage or will to co-create. So in our longing we yearn again for the hero leader to come and fulfil our own impossible dream.

Now is the time to become the leader you long for. It will not come about by wishng it, or criticising others for not having it. If it is in us, we must make the choice to live it. And, to live a courageous life is not to set out to become a hero. To live a courageous life is to explore, feel, experience, and live out our humanity on full show; to move out and express the yearning we long for. To feel our fears, and do it anyway. Without fear, it is not courage. Without courage, we will not create the world we long for. This means stepping out of the shadow of the narcissist leaders we do not respect and become the leader ourselves. Usually, this also means putting oneself in service to something meaningful.

It is not our thoughts or intentions that define us, but our choices and actions in the world.

The Children's Fire

Service? In service to what? Love will not heal all. We have to live in the 'real world'.

I hear these mindsets a lot in my work. Those who believe the 'real world' is set may well be students of history, and therefore believe the world is fated to be the cauldron of conflict in the future that it has been in the past. The 'real' world is, of course, what we decide to make it, and those who talk in these terms just scared.

When those of us who do not seek power have enough power, the real world will change.

It was explained to me by a wise man: amongst the First Nation peoples of what we now call North America, there was a tradition of living with longer sight. When they needed to make important decisions, they would light a fire that represented the children, all of the children, including the planet's children, out to seven generations. This was called the Children's Fire, and no serious decision was made without it.

My wise mentor asks a question: what kind of society is it that does not consider the children? What kind of society, in fact, has no rudder to guide its thoughts? He never directly answers his own question, but silently we know the reply. It is our society.

Courageouslife is about the leadership of self in service to those who will come after.

If you doubt whether or not this is a viable conversation, look at some of our clients, who are very interested in it.
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