Have you seen it? It's everywhere. I hope you find it as noble and inspiring as I do. What is it? It's the quiet courage that surrounds us at this time of year. Where can you see it?
- It is found in the young girl going into middle school for the first time. She hopes she will fit in, be liked by the other kids, maybe even be popular. She hopes, but she doesn't know. She is genuinely anxious. But still she goes. Quiet courage.
- It is found in the high school and college graduates who must look for a job. They took the summer off but now it's time to put together a résumé and start interviewing for a job. They are simultaneously hopeful and frightened. But still they go. Quiet courage.
- It is found in teenage boys going into their first year of high school. They've heard all the urban legends about what the upper classmen make the freshman boys do. They don't know how to separate truth from fiction. And, while trying not to show it, they are scared. But still they go. Quiet courage.
- It is found in parents taking a child to college for the first time. They arrive at school, unload the car, set up the room, and hook up the computer. They go shopping for sundry items, go out to dinner, and keep making small talk. Finally, when they can stall no longer, the moment comes when dad says, "Sweetheart, it's time for us to go." After tight hugs and long kisses they go separate ways. The parents get in the car and are sad. The child is sad too. But, as he or she walks into the dorm room, that sadness is instantly joined by self-doubt, loneliness, and anxiety. But still they go. Quiet courage.
- It is found in young children going to their first day of school. For years they have repeatedly been told by mom and dad, "Don't speak to strangers and never get in a vehicle with them!" Now they find themselves getting on a bus with a stranger while mom and dad stand there smiling, crying, waving, and taking pictures!
There is so much the child secretly wonders about: What do I do when I get off the bus? How will I know where to go? And, at the end of the day, how do I know what bus to get on? How will I know when I get to our neighborhood? How do I know where our house is? Will mom or dad be there to meet me? There is so much they don't know. But still they go. Quiet courage.
Not motivated? Wish you could blow off doing what's necessary? Tempted to coast into the Fall? Finding it more attractive to quit your business rather than crank it up? Wishing that massive success could come with minimal effort? Longing to avoid the inevitable hassles encountered on the road to uncommon success? Are you feeling some entrepreneurial loneliness, anxiety, or doubt? Welcome to the club. Look around you. You are surrounded by heroic, wonderful, quiet courage. Millions of people are experiencing the same things as you. But still they go. It's your turn to join them.
Committed to your quiet courage and unmistakable success.
Tom Barrett, Ph.D