"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~ Mark Twain (1835-1910)
"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started... and know the place for the first time." ~ T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)
"Once I knew only darkness and stillness... my life was without past or future... but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living." ~ Helen Keller (1880-1968)
"Courage is a cold choice between two alternatives, the fixed resolve not to quit; an act of renunciation which must be made not once but many times by the power of the will." ~ Charles Wilson The Anatomy of Courage
Exploration CourageWe can explore life with courage, experiencing the adventure and joy in discovering our potential, or we can choose to stay on familiar shores. In that "safe harbor" which Mark Twain mentioned, we have less risk. Even the pain of error and promise of regret become comfortable friends; they feel safer than leaving the old for the new.
Yet exploration courage always comes down to a choice, a decision of virtue to stay where one is, or to move ahead to a new challenge because something is more important, more essential than fear.
On what can one base such a decision?
We carry with us some very accurate compasses to guide our choices. They are our values, principles that determine our actions each day. We cannot see or touch our values physically. However, we know them deeply and honor them because they define who we are as individuals.
As examples, one might value peace, integrity, creativity, family, compassion, adventure, spirituality, wellness, autonomy, knowledge, or courage. When we act in accordance with our values, we feel that we are acting with purpose.
As we change over the course of years, some of our values also change. We keep most of our core values, drop others, and add new ones, reordering their importance. Often, the decision to take a virtuous and courageous action will involve timing.
In her article, The Art of Courage (Vogue, October 1, 1952), Victoria Lincoln insightfully wrote, "This is the art of courage: to see things as they are and still believe that the victory lies not with those who avoid the bad, but those who taste, in living awareness, every drop of the good."
What do you value, and what would you explore if your heart called you to reach your highest potential?
Explore and enjoy your unique talents - gifts of your Creator. Look forward in faith, keeping the best you would envision for your life as your predominate thought. See, feel, and taste today's good with gratitude, Explore with courage, and enjoy the journey!
Wishing you blessings and success!
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