A key moment in the life of legendary “Simpsons” writer George Meyer occurred at Fox one day when Matt Groening invited Meyer to have lunch with him and the artist R. Crumb, whose work Meyer loves. Crumb carries a sketchbook at all times, and he let Meyer look through it. ‘When I gave it back to him,’ Meyer said, ‘I thanked him for letting me see his stuff, and he said, with a really sheepish look on his face, “My life is an open book.” For some reason, that statement was like a trigger in my mind.’
Meyer spent an entire session with his psychologist during which he would dissolve into racking sobs every time he tried to say that sentence — a session he believes was the turning point in his therapy. ‘Up until that moment, I guess, my life had not been an open book, and I hadn’t had the courage to risk being myself, or to put myself out there in an unedited way. It was a very powerful experience. Now I can’t sob like that, even as a party trick.’
I hope this third and final installment on courage IS an open book to all who find it. WE, all of us, gain important personality facets through example and the impression those examples make in our minds. For example, there are real life heros who demonstrate bravery.
For lack of personal examples within our own lives, we look to celebrities, historical figures or even fictional characters to inspire our courage in the form of anecdotes. We are inspired by stories that resonate with us at a deep level.
In the following segment, Jim McElwee elaborates upon courage as a relative concept. As in the anecdote on George Meyer, he was emotionally engrossed about a “fear” that most others would consider inconsequential. All things relative, let’s “open the book” on bravery and courage:
Today I’d like to finish up our lesson on Courage. Mark Twain once said, “Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it.” And this quote essentially summarizes exactly what we are going for in this final lesson. Fear cannot be eliminated entirely, and if it were we would lose a very valuable asset. But courage is our ability to master this fear and act past it in order to live a more fulfilled and free life.
The act of being afraid is not the same as allowing the things we fear to control us. Fear can be extremely useful, in fact. If we see something we want to avoid often this avoidance will manifest emotionally within us in the form of fear. But what if something we want is just beyond the things we fear? What if you know you must overcome your fear if you are to lead a more fulfilled life or achieve your goals?
Often this same courage is essential when it comes to self preservation. No one wants to be caught in a situation where they need to overcome their fears to survive, but many people find themselves in situations just like that. During a fire, for example, many firefighters discover groups of people who perish simply because they were overcome with fear rather than the drive to save themselves. In the name of self preservation many people would have ordinarily been afraid of fire, but as this and many other examples demonstrate, overcoming this fear could have actually saved the people involved.
The same could be said for many aspects of life including birth. Many parents encounter a moment of fear just as a baby is about to be born. Of course they must overcome this fear (or be crippled by it) through bolstering their own courage. Of course our entrainment therapy is most effective at helping you push through obstacles that you would ordinarily be afraid of by using Courage Isochronic.
To tell the difference between courage and a simple lack of fear, we must first understand that fear is the overcoming of an obstacle that stands in our way. People fear many things, but perhaps the most common fear people feel is the crippling fear about the uncertainty of life. So many elements of our lives are uncertain that we naturally seem to spend a lot of time wondering about the uncertain elements. Many people never overcome this fear and spend their lives isolating themselves from the outside world. Courage is most important to those who suffer from this form of social isolation.
And of course there is very good reason to be concerned about too much fear. In addition to isolation, and inaction in an emergency, uncontrolled fear also manifests by generally reducing the quality of life for all those afflicted by it.
But why is it important to understand this difference? Now that we have a better understanding of the difference between a lack of fear and courage, it’s easier to take a very important step forward: recognizing the courage within yourself. When you act courageously while still afraid it’s important to recognize this. By recognizing the courage that resides within you, you can get that much closer to properly forming a self image where you reliably have the ability to overcome this fear.
Our entrainment therapy is also designed to help with this process as well. By recognizing yourself as a brave individual, you help yourself get that extra boost when trying to overcome adversity in the future. If you’re ready to stop living in fear, you can use our courage entrainment therapy such as Courage Binaural.
I hope you found our guide on courage helpful. Fear is often a dangerous limiting force that keeps us from living fulfilling lives. By mastering our fears we get that much closer to becoming the people we truly want to be.
Have a safe and enlightened journey!
Our self image is formed through perspective. Our perspective is formed from emotional and logical impressions by those who inspired us – or in other cases – traumatized us when we were young into a life of bravery or a life of fear.
I find it strange that Jim never mentioned bravery once in his sermons. There is a difference between bravery and courage: Bravery is morality of deed while courage is morality of mind. Let’s examine bravery and courage for deeper insight with an excerpt from Emei Baguazhang Theory and Applications:
Courage is ofen confused with bravery. Courage originates with the understanding that comes from the wisdom mind. Bravery is the external manifestation of courage, and can be considered as the child of the wisdom and emotional minds.
For example, if you have the courage to accept a challenge, that means your mind has understood the situation and made a decision. Next, you must be brave enough to face the challenge. Without courage, the bravery cannot last long. Without the profound comprehension of courage, bravery can be blind and stupid.
Daring to face a challenge that you think needs to be faced is courage. But successfully manifesting courage requires more than just a decision from your wisdom mind. You also need a certain amount of psychological preparation, so you can be emotionally balanced; this will give your bravery a firm root to endure.
Frequently, we do not have enought time to think and make a decision. A wise person always prepares considering the possible situations that might arise, so that when something happens he/she will be ready and demonstrate bravery.
There is a story from China’s Spring and Autumn period (722-481 B.C.). At that time, there were many feaudal lords who each controlled a part of the land and frequently attacked each other.
When an army from the nation of Jin attacked the nation of Zheng, the Zheng ruler sent a delegation to the Jin Army to discuss conditions for their withdrawal. Duke Wen of Jin made two demands:
- First, the young Duke Lan be set up as heir apparent;
- Second, the high official Shu Zhan, who opposed Lan’s being made heir apparent, be handed over to the Jin.
The Zheng Ruler refused to assent to the second condition.
Shu Zhan said, “Jin has specified that it wants me. If I do not go, the Jin Armies that now surround us will certainly not withdraw. Wouldn’t I then be showing myself to be afraid of death and insufficiently loyal?”
“If you go,” said the Zheng Ruler, “You will certainly die. Thus I cannot bear to let you go.”
“What is so bad about letting a minister go to save the people and secure the nation?” asked Shu Zhan. The ruler of Zheng then, with tears in his eyes, sent some men to escort Shu Zhan to the Jin Encampment.
When Duke Wen of Jin saw Shu Zhan, he was furious and immediately ordered that a large tripod be prepared to cook him to death. Shu Zhan, however, was not the least bit afraid:
“I hope that I can finish speaking before you kill me,” he said. Duke Wen told him to speak quickly.
Relaxed, Shu Zhan said, “Before, while you were in Zheng, I often praised your virtue and wisdom in front of others and I thought that after you returned to Jin you would definitely become the most powerful among the feudal war lords. After the alliance negotiations at Wen, I also advised my lord to follow Jin. Unfortunately, he did not accept my suggestion. Now, you think I am guilty, but my lord knows that I am innocent and stubbornly refused to deliver me to you. I was the one who asked to come and save Zheng from danger. I am this kind of person:
“Accurately forecasting events is called wisdom,
Loving one’s country with all one’s heart is called loyalty,
Not fleeing in the face of danger is called courage,
and Being willing to die to save one’s country is called benevolence.
“I find it hard to believe that a benevolent, wise, loyal, and courageous minister can be killed in Jin!”
Then, leaning against the tripod, he cried, “From now on, those who would serve their rulers should remember what happens to me!”
Duke Wen’s expression changed greatly after hearing this speech. He ordered that Shu Zhan be spared and had him escorted back to Zheng.
There is another story about a famous minister, Si-Ma-Guang and his childhood during the Song Dynasty. When he was a child, he was playing with a few of his playmates in a garden where there was a giant cistern full of water next to a tree.
One of the children was very curious about what was in the giant cistern. Since the cistern was much taller than the child, he climbed up the tree to see inside. Unfortunately, he slipped and fell into the cistern and started to drown.
When this happened, all of the children were so scared, they do not know what to do. Some of them were so afraid that they immediately ran away. Si Ma-Guang, however, without hesitation, picked up a big rock, threw it at the cistern and broke it. The water inside flowed out immediately and the child insided was saved.
This story teaches that when a crisis occurs, in addition to wisdom and a calm mind, you must also be brave enough to execute your decision.
As you see, bravery is the manifestation of courage and wisdom. The intention of bravery is morality of deed. But did you notice the common thread between the two above stories?
What is the golden thread connecting all acts of bravery?
In any act of bravery, we have deep consideration for others because we care for the well being of the people around us. When we are brave, we want to protect others for the greater good.
In Shu Zhan’s case, he was prepared to die, but he was also an extremely calculating statesman who chose to speak the words that needed to be heard by the statesmen around him.
Whether he lived or died, he knew that those who were benevolent, wise, loyal, and courageous would be protected. His act of bravery not only saved his life, but the lives of his countrymen in Zheng and anyone who might be subject to ridicule in Jin for the same.
By the same token, Si-Ma-Guang was also prepared. What happened at that cistern was spur of the moment, but Si-Ma-Guang knew his capabilities and he knew what had to be done to save his playmate; he had deeper consideration for the life of his playmate than taking blame for breaking anything.
As you see, being brave is NOT about taking stupid, needless risks. Bravery is NOT about showing off to make a name for yourself. Any weak-minded, weak-willed interpretation of bravery is notwithstanding.
Bravery is manifested when you are prepared to protect and help others in the name of good. Bravery is about helping others into a brighter, healthier life. Bravery is about saving lives however, wherever and whenever you are capable..
Bravery is as simple as supporting a good cause in spite of the opinions of others. Brave people are prepared to protect and defend the lives of their loved ones. Brave people tend to protect anything life positive; the basis of true bravery are life positive morals.
Who was the Hero?
When a life positive change happens, we should ask ourselves, “who was the hero to make that change?” Then we can follow that example to inspire our courage.
For example, who was the hero in that small anecdote about George Meyer?
Mr. Crumb chose to be brave and make his life an “open book” through his art. His words were simply a key that opened the lock within George Meyer’s mind. Recall the invisible barriers I discussed in the previous post on courage? When you resonate with another person, all it takes are a few honest, well chosen words to unlock those barriers.
When you choose to be brave by being open with your talents to the world, you will always find others who resonate with you. Even politicians know that all it takes is “words” to resonate with others. But how many politicians choose to be brave by putting the welfare of the public above their own?
What matters is that you are one of the few, brave people who have chosen to come this far. Please prepare yourself for whatever acts of bravery need to be accomplished to protect the health and well being of your loved ones. Please use the self improvement tools at this sight to help prepare yourself. Thank you for your time.
Randolph Fabian Directo