Thursday, November 10, 2016

#5MinutesStrong #CourageVsBoldness

The Difference Between Courage and Boldness
I read a wonderful piece from Brett and Kate McKay on this topic, and I wanted to share it with you. They note that for the Greeks, the word andreia meant both courage and manliness. Courage was the sine qua non of being a mature man; the two qualities were inextricably intertwined. Thrasytes, on the other hand, meant boldness, and was more of a boyish trait.
Acting with the boldness can occasionally be useful even for a grown man; sometimes impulsive, even reckless action is needed to seize a fleeting opportunity.
But where boldness exists, it must always be coupled and harnessed with courage; courage must be the prevailing quality of a man’s character.
Boldness Is Impatient and Fickle; Courage Is Steady and Enduring
Boldness honors two things only: novelty and success. It feeds on them and without them dies. Boldness is impatient. Courage is long-suffering. Boldness cannot endure hardship or delay; it is ravenous, it must feed on victory or it dies. Boldness makes its seat upon the air; it is gossamer and phantom. Courage plants its feet upon the earth and draws its strength from God’s holy fundament.
Many men and women today often approach their own battles with a mindset of boldness. They get a great idea for business or feel fired up about tackling a new goal. For a few weeks they feel a burning passion and excitement to do what it takes to make their new venture a reality. At first there’s lots of “sexy” stuff to do — prospect, choose a weight loss plan, design a new approach to sales. They may find a little initial success, and feel as though they’re skimming through the water, the foam from the waves flying in their face. It’s exhilarating. Victory seems just around the corner.
Then setbacks arrive. Their initial success reaches a plateau. It starts taking a lot longer for things to get going than they anticipated. And there’s a lot more work than they expected. Hard work. Boring work.
Time goes on. They start working on their project less and less. Then they start ignoring it altogether. They make excuses. It feels like a slog, and shouldn’t something you’re passionate about be fun? They decide the problem isn’t their work ethic but simply that they’re pursuing the wrong thing and need to do something else. They get another burning idea; the excitement returns. For awhile. And then the cycle repeats itself.
These guys and gals have thrastyes or boldness, but but not andreia or courage. They have the boldness to start things but not the courage to finish them. When the hot sun of hardship and doubt rises over their project, their motivation evaporates. They have not developed the patience to stick with something when the initial excitement fades — the grit to push through difficult plateaus. They ravenously feed on newness and instant success, but have not learned how to sustain themselves on the sustenance of incremental progress — to switch from the fuel of beginning to that of building.
Boldness is Impulsive and Reckless; Courage is Prudent and Prepared. Boldness Is Prideful; Courage Is Humble. Courage requires discipline, self-mastery and humility. Men and women who lead with audacity, rather than courage, think they are special and entitled, and believe success comes more from inherent talent than effort. They want to do fame-garnering and heroic deeds right off the bat. They feel they were born ready for glorious exploits. Grunt work is beneath them. Practice is unnecessary. They want success without sacrifice.
They see the spectacle of the stage, without grasping the behind-the-scenes work it takes to put on the show.
They want to experience the satisfaction of fullness, without the pangs of hunger. They are gods, and why should a deity bother getting down in the lowly muck of mastering fundamentals? Why should a god have to take an entry-level job? Why should attaining wealth require any more than four hours a week? Why should someone as special as themselves take things step-by-step instead of jumping right upon the throne? In the rush to crown themselves, the bold stumble over their hubris, and forget that courage in the quiet and dullness of doing the 10 Core Commitments everyday, is the prerequisite to ascending to the clouds.
Boldness Seeks Glory; Courage Seeks Honor: Many modern men and women enter their lives on this kind of personal ambition, and care nothing for how their exploits and foibles affect other people, and their country. They do whatever they want — whatever is best for themselves, gratifies their desires, and flatters their flaws. If cheating will get them to their goal, they cheat even if it hurts innocent bystanders. If the standards and ideals of manliness are too difficult for them to reach, they disparage them, or move the yardsticks in order to include themselves. If they feel like collapsing in self-indulgent pity when their friends and loved ones need them, they indulge this urge, bringing others down with them.
Such men and women have boldness, in the sense they “audaciously” do whatever they feel like doing. But they lack the courage of honor — the commitment to strengthen and uplift their fellows, celebrate a code of ideals, and respect others enough to do the right thing, even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.
Boldness is Blasphemous; Courage is Reverent: Even in our age of secularism, respect for forces greater than ourselves is needed. The courage of reverence humbly recognizes that while we can strive all we want for a specific goal, sometimes the fates or the gods have another outcome in mind. There’s a courage in striving to be your best, but also a courage in letting go of the false reality of total control. There’s a bravery in fighting to shape your destiny, and also in learning to as Nietzsche put it, amor fati — to not just accept your fate, but to love it.
Courage Is the Firewall Against Personal and National Decadence: for the North America to be a success, the Founders believed, individual women and men had to cultivate not only martial bravery, but the courage of endurance, control, contentment, discipline, reverence, and honor — courage that not only manifested itself on the battlefield but was exhibited in everyday life.Courage is deciding to stay home and work on your side business when your friends are going out; courage is eating a chicken breast and broccoli when you really want a Big Mac; courage is keeping your junky car instead of getting an upgrade, and using the money saved to pay down your debt and become financially independent.
Courage is digging deeper into pat media narratives instead of coasting with the masses to form a political opinion; courage is taking on small ways to serve in your community instead of deciding that if you can’t make a big difference, it isn’t worth trying at all; courage is choosing sincerity and earnestness over cynicism and apathy.
Courage is deciding to live virtuously in your day-to-day life, even when those who lack integrity seem to be the ones getting ahead.
Courage is a every human’s bulwark against physical cowardice and weakness. Courage is a country’s firewall against civic and moral decadence. Boldness produces hubris. Hubris calls forth nemesis. And nemesis brings boldness low.
Be Courageous.

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