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Courage Archives - Page 3 of 13 - The Meaning Movement

Category "Courage"

Choose Your Story

Picture this with me: a large elephant chained to a small post in the ground.

Maybe you’ve seen a similar sight? It’s a powerful visual. Why would a large and powerful elephant be held captive by something so small and insignificant?

It’s because of what that elephant has come to believe about himself and that post. If you tie an elephant to a post when he’s young, he can’t get away. If you do this regularly while he grows, he’ll continue to believe that he can’t escape, no matter how large he becomes.

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Balancing Self Care and Hustle

- - Courage, Desire, Tools, Work

When I was a kid there was a time when no one could get enough of Tetris. It may have been the first truly addictive video game (later followed up by Mine Sweeper— raise your hand if you’ve spent your share of hours on either!). I remember being at family gatherings and my full grown uncles and teenage cousins would pull out their Game Boys and pop in the Tetris cartridge.

They were hooked.

The idea behind the game is simple, these blocks keep coming and you have to find ways to make them all fit. Sometimes there isn’t a perfect place for them and they stack up a bit. But if you’re good, you can catch up a few blocks later.

Re-framing Balance

I had a conversation with Rachael Ellison some time ago. She helps businesses become parent friendly and helps parents advocate for themselves in the workplace. In our conversation I asked her about the idea of work-life balance.

She replied simply, “No. There is no balance.” And went on to talk about other metaphors that are better suited for the struggle.

She mentioned the game of Tetris.

There are times when you have to work more than you should. And there are times when you have to do other things more than you want to. There are times when the blocks stack up and you have to trust that you’ll catch up a few blocks later.

Playing Tetris With Your Life

For the past two months I’ve been struggling through the transition from hospitalization to home life. Everything came crashing down on me two months ago with an emergency surgery. It was as if life put up a road block and said, “you have to stop everything.”

And stop everything I did.

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How to Find Your Breaking Point

You know the saying about the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s used when things add up to more than a person can take. It often refers to negative events stacking up; inevitably there’s one that pushes things beyond capacity— “the straw”.

It’s when you reach the tipping point and just cannot take it any more.

Things fall apart.

I recently read about how our breaking point is further away than we usually predict. A helpful measure of your capacity for hard things is to know that when you reach the moment when you feel like you can’t take it any more, you’re only 40% done.

So when you feel like you can’t run another mile, you may have a few miles left. Or when life falls apart and you think you can’t go on, you likely have a lot more to give.

Here’s what this means: when things get tough, there’s a time to stay the course and there’s a time to quit.
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The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy — Why You Make Them and How to Stop

I was talking with a friend about his business the other day. He’s wanting to scale things up and make a little more income. I suggested he try something he hadn’t done before. It would be a bold move on his part, but it would be unlike anything else in his field.

He bristled and went on to tell me that he couldn’t do that and all the reasons he had for it.

I wasn’t going to push him further than he wanted to go (this was just a friendly conversation after all), but he left the conversation just as stuck as he was before.

I left feeling frustrated. If you ask me for my opinion and ideas, don’t blame me if they’re too hard or scary for you. (After all, if you want to go places that other people are not going, you may have to take a different path to get there.)

I was annoyed that there were options right there in front of him, but he wouldn’t take them.
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The Microphone

Picture this with me: You’re escorted from a posh waiting room down a few nondescript halls to a curtain. Behind it is a dark stage holding only a microphone on a stand in the circle of light cast by spotlights.

Peeking through the curtain— your eyes fighting against the spotlight— you catch a faint glimpse of faces in the crowd. Light reflecting off of someone’s glasses. Small movements here and there.

You pause to listen and hear the gentle murmur and rustle of this audience waiting in anticipation.

How many many people are there? I’m not sure. 400? 5,000? 28,000? The number matters less than their intent, which is to hear what you have to teach them. To learn what you have to say.

They’ve come to hear a short program, only a few sentences in length.

The stagehand escorting you tells you you’re on in 1 minute as the host steps up to the microphone. You hear her begin your introduction.

And now it’s your turn.

You walk bravely and confidently to the mic to say your piece. To speak your truth.
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