Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A to Z Challenge: Courage

After I took out my old dreams and took a closer inspection, I did some bold thinking and made some decisions regarding what I wanted from my life.

That's something that a lot of people who read self-help books do. They look at their lives. Think big. Take aim.

And stare at their goal through their telescopic lenses. Why aren't they taking the shot?


From what I've read, most self-help books make it seem laughably easy to go after what you really want in your life.

That's a lie. It's hard. Really really hard. And if you ask me, the hardest part about it is starting. Because most of us start from a status quo. Our dreams were probably set (or thrust) aside in order to attain that status. So when the status quo becomes unsatisfying and we have to change something, it becomes like a barrier.

Because face it. The status quo is the status quo because it was the path of least resistance.

Trust me when I say that my first steps to taking charge of my life were full of battles. Big ones and small ones. Parents fighting my decision (still do) because they paid for my tuition (even if basically insisting that I did something I didn't want to do), friends who thought I was insane (some still I do) for daring to decide that I'd go for a lower income and be happy than knowing that I had about fifteen years of mediocrity left before I blew my brains out in my Ferrari (not in a good way). People who settled into the status quo and who resent that I refuse to do the same.

And on... and on. But more on that tomorrow.

Point is... getting going takes courage. Lots and lots of it. Because many people have vested interests in keeping you from taking that first step. But there is hope for us.

See... one step leads to another. And another. And another.

And while that does not make the challenges go away, it makes dealing with them habitual.

All it takes is that first step. Or better yet: JUMP!
Photo by mdpai75

Is there something that you've been dreaming to do or years but haven't because starting was too hard?


welcome to my world of poetry said...

After 2 close berevements some years ago I read some self help books and believe me they worked.I took to poetry writing have had two books published, travelled 4 times to the US from home here in the UK AND LIFE IS GREAT.
I of course do get off days but please don't put self help books down Paul McKenna's books and cds made me the positive person I am today.
It was not easy going but with tenacity one can overcome anything and achieve anything.

C. N. Nevets said...

I believe what Misha was that most self-help books make it seem like things are easy. That already allowed for there to be exceptions. You say, "It was not easy going..." That suggests that the self-help books you used are probably not among those she was talking about.

Deana said...

Courage was my c word today too! You make a great point, getting started is so hard when it seems like the world is against you. I guess that is why it's called courage. And isn't it so worth it when you do follow your heart? Great post!

Claudia Moser said...

Good take on the theme, nice choice for the 'C'!

Sherri Lackey said...

Wow! That is a great post. I especially liked "The status quo is the status quo because it was the path of least resistance." That is so true! It is hard to swim upstream. I've experienced that and people do tend to look at you critically when you don't swim downstream with them. It gets lonely at times too when you don't follow with the status quo. I have never liked being alone, I still don't like it, but I'm adjusting to it nonetheless. I'm not totally isolated, there are those taking this lonely journey with me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

American in Norway said...

Great C word... :-) I have always been a risk taker.. a jumper if you will, I just hold my breath & hope for the best.. so far so good...
Good luck! :-)

Misha Gericke said...

I agree. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it by now. Sadly, that isn't the case, even though it would have been wonderful if it was. :-)

Misha Gericke said...


Misha Gericke said...

Yeah it feels lonely sometimes, but you aren't alone. The secret is in finding like-minded individuals. Tricky, but not impossible.

Misha Gericke said...

Yeah... after I turned my life around, that's the way I went to. I got so tired of locking myself into plans so that I couldn't escape and do what I wanted.

Kristen Pelfrey said...

Rock on with your courage and your life (and the A-Z Challenge!)

Jeremy Bates said...

You're exactly right!

I like Olympians as examples. I used to stay near a place that trained some ladies that later went on to win a gold medal. They worked hard for their dream!

Daily they were at the gym, practicing. They had virtually no social life, hobbies, etc. THAT takes a lot of commitment and courage, especially not knowing what the outcome might be.

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

I feel like I'm on the verge of being discovered with my play reviews and as a playwright. It seems overwhelming, but then I think, why not me?

Were you the one doing some freelance work, but it was ending? I've read so many new blogs. In any case, a friend of mine posted these tips, if you're interested.

Patty said...

I think people and self help books make changing your life seem easy because they encourage you to do one itty bitty teensy tiny thing. That frustrates me. That's NOT changing your life. It's not becoming the person you want to be. It's breathing deeper for 2 minutes every day. A small change- but not nearly enough. I'm happy to see you breaking the barriers and encouraging others to do the same.

Wendy G. Ewurum: Blog Author said...

I am so inspired Misha. This is such a great post I think you should write these more often. Self-help books make me feel inadequate to be honest but this makes me want to revisit my old dreams. Thank you.

Misha Gericke said...

Thanks so much! :-)

Misha Gericke said...

Yeah that is incredibly brave. I mean, it's an incredibly good example of basically committing everything to achieving a dream.

One that could come to nothing, but that the mere attempt would mean more than just thinking about it. :-)

Misha Gericke said...

No I don't do freelance work, unless someone specifically invites me to do it. Or asks me to do it as a favor.

But thank you very much for posting the link. The thought means a lot to me. :-)

Misha Gericke said...

I agree. Many people approach it as a change what you can sort of thing, but in reality, chasing dreams are frightfully "all-or-nothing" sort of things.

Of course, the passion that comes from that really makes taking control of one's life a lot easier.


Misha Gericke said...

Wow. I'm so thrilled to hear that you want to revisit your dreams. That's exactly what I was going for for this year. :-)