What Does It Mean To Be Brave?

To be brave means to show courage.

Courage means the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.

...the United States is the land of the free, home of the brave...

Clearly we are a dominant military power, but do we really show bravery as a nation anymore?  Are we brave?  Are our leaders brave?

Do we do this as a nation?  Do we go out to meet it?  Glory and danger alike??

At The Farm this morning we got into the most interesting discussion on bravery and what constitutes being brave.  That part of the conversation had nothing to do with politics...though I bring it out above because my mind went that way after seeing the actual definition of bravery (per Webster's). 

We were talking about being brave in life and in business.  We brought up Steve Jobs, a local budding entrepreneur we know, Wesley's latest venture....and we all debated what it meant to be brave.  BTW...I absolutely LOVE this family.  Just sayin'. :)

What does it mean to be brave to you?  Do you ever ask yourself, am I brave?  Do you even want to be brave?

I wonder....

Am I brave?

Let me say...I hope so. 

The truth is that before today, I am not sure if I had ever asked myself that.  Now, I have perseverance in spades, but bravery?!  I have never thought of myself like that.  Suddenly, I want to.

So now I am reading it again...To be brave means to show courage.  Courage means the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.

Sometimes I believe we show bravery just getting out of bed.  Seriously.  Maybe that is the point of all of our anger and frustration today with Washington and the like.  We are certainly not describing it this way, but the truth of the matter is that if you follow the definition above, most of us display bravery everyday of our lives as we work to pay the bills, be successful in our jobs, finish schools, work to better our lives, etc.  Then, you look at Washington who makes five times (just for my own local perspective) what the average Arkansan makes, has health care, retirement/pension, etc. locked down no matter how many terms they serve...and we can't get a lick of bravery out of them to withstand danger, fear, or difficulty in making the tough decisions that will move our country forward.  So here we all sit...rather stagnant.

I just got a text message from one of the people in the conversation this morning.  I guess I am not the only one still thinking about our conversation and what it means to be brave. :)

It is hard to live a life where you are following your gut on the path before you (road less taken or not), and live a life of passion and purpose.  That said, to grow and learn, you must always listen to others, glean from their wisdom and life experiences.  As someone just described to me...that is the tightrope.  Therein...lies the true bravery...following your instincts while also heeding other's opinions.

So many either follow their own path and everyone else be damned, completely in the zone, and ignoring anything other than their own voice. While the rest seem to simply listen too much to other's advice and lose their own instinctive knowledge and self in their fears, words, experiences, etc.  Only a few master the art of blending both...constantly self-assessing to determine what is working and what is not so as to get the best outcome. 

I sure hope no one read this believing I had solved the riddle of how to be brave. :)

The truth is to be brave in your own life is another part of your individuality.  What is brave for me to try might be easy for someone else.  What is brave for them, might be a cake walk for me. 

I want to be brave!  I can already, in the above, see where I am messing up today...I worry way too much.  I am at my personal best, and probably bravest (now that I look at it that way), when I am listening to my instincts (and not the naysayers) while also seeking solid feedback along the way (from people that I trust to be 100% honest with me...the good, the bad, and the ugly).

I also need to be more brave in stretching myself outside of my own personal comfort zone.  Writing this blog was certainly a stretch for me.  Submitting an article to be published was another.  Speaking in front of groups of people while exhilarating is certainly outside of my core comfort zone.  I need more of that in my life.  I have a voice.  I need to be brave in using it.

Well, as usual, I am blown away by where this post went.  My thanks to The Farm group this morning for stretching my mind.  Bravery.  Who knew? :)

Go do something brave in your life today.  I am betting...just betting...you will be glad you did. :) :)

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)