“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of mind next to honour” ~ Aristotle

When I look around myself, I find a good number of people who at some point of time in their lives have thought of doing something meaningful either for themselves or for others but in most cases, the thoughts have just remained as bare thoughts. The intention has been there but the success was never achieved. Of course, for success to materialize along with intention, skill is equally important. (Read more about Intention and Skill here) But in spite of the right intention and effort to acquire the skill to match their intentions, the envisioned goal was not achieved. The reason I think is simple, it is because of missing courage to go that extra mile and nail the act.

It has happened to me a few times that I have intended to do a charitable act, I have had the resources at my disposal, I have looked at the intended recipient and empathized about them in my heart. But in the end, I end up not doing the act.

The only reason that I could narrow down was courage. The courage to free myself from the conditioning, the courage to say no to the logical questions that the conservative mind throws up, the courage to come out of my shell, the courage to stand up to my intention against all odds.

In the above scenario, I have ticked all the boxes of the good virtues required to do good for others i.e. kindness, empathy, and compassion, but I missed one of the most important virtue that eventually determined the completion of the act, i.e. courage. This reminds me of a very practical quote from American poet Maya Angelou.

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”

Consistency is very important to achieve transformational change. A one-off act can be done in the rush of emotions, but to champion any virtue, consistency is equally important with courage. We will always have many people with the right intention around us in this world, it’s time to work on skill and most importantly gather the courage to execute the act to achieve the envisioned success.

Don’t Hesitate, Don’t back off, Build the Courage to be Kind!

Best of Luck!

Rajesh Kodukula