You cannot control your externals, but you can control how courageous you are in life. And the more you exert your courage in life, the stronger you will become.
Why I love street photography
What makes street photography great? Because it takes courage to shoot street photographs!
Are photos more valuable when they are more difficult to shoot, because they require more courage to shoot?
“I only got two things in my life. My word and my balls.” – Tony Montana (Scarface)
This is my idea:
In life, you cannot control what gifts you were born with. You cannot control who your parents are, you cannot control how rich you were born, and you cannot control what environment in which you were raised.
However what you can control is this:
Given your certain situation in life, you can control how courageous to be, or not to be.
You can control your courage
Once again, you cannot control externals (your body type, your sex, your race, your ethnicity, your birth, where you were borne tc)– but you can control the degree of courage you exert in your life.
For example, you have the power to say whatever you want. Nobody can shackle your mouth. But the question is this:
Do I have the courage to stand up for what I truly believe in, and do I have the courage to say “yes” to my own needs? And do I have the courage to say “no” to what I hate, despise, or don’t believe in?
How did the ancients show their courage?
In the past, I think more people exerted courage via war and battle. The worst disgrace you could have as an ancient soldier is dying with a wound in the back– because it meant that you were running away from the weapon (or perhaps, someone played dirty and killed you from behind; something not noble).
If I were an ancient Spartan, I would want to die with the spear thrust directly through the front of my chest.
Indifference towards what you don’t care about; stand for what you believe in.
What do you stand for? What do you care about, and what don’t you care about?
My simple suggestion:
Ignore/disregard what you don’t care about. Be indifferent towards what you don’t care about.
However, have courage in what you truly believe in life.
Practical ways to be more courageous
- Show your courage in life by saying “no” to what you don’t believe in.
- Show your courage in life by calling out bullshit that you consider bullshit.
- Have some personal ‘skin in the game’ when you are courageous. Ask yourself: “What personal downside can I suffer as a consequence of standing up for this?”
- When in doubt, take the more uncertain, risky, or scary option.
Do you have a heart?
You already have courage. Courage literally means ‘heart’ (coeur).
Your heart is stouter than you think.
Believe in your steel heart; and know that even fire cannot wound you.