There is a big difference between the idea of courage and being courageous.

It is one thing to think to yourself, “I’m going to do this thing — I’ve got to do it.” Declaring an intent to do something courageous seems to be the relatively easy part.

It’s another, far more challenging thing entirely to be moments away from executing a pivotal decision or action only to find yourself needing to first contend with a sudden and palpable surge of adrenaline, doubt, and fear.

I’ve been sitting here for the last hour trying to think of an elegant response to the question of how one should prepare for being courageous, but I’m not sure it’s something you can truly prepare for.

To be ready to be courageous is, in a very ironic way, to give up on needing to be ready.

Doubts and fears will always exist.

Instead of trying to console them, sometimes you just need to say ‘f- it’ and swing for the fences.


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William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (