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Showing posts with label Six Types of Courage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Six Types of Courage. Show all posts

Friday, April 20, 2012

Failure Is Always an Option

I have been reflecting recently on how often I hear, "Failure Is Not An Option." From earnest motivational posters to hard-bitten action films, this phrase is bandied about as if "failure" is tantamount to total annihilation, like the destruction of the planet Alderaan by the Death Star in "Star Wars." No, we definitely don't want that.

At the same time, I see chirpy messages like "Reach for the Stars!" "Go for it!" and "You Can Do It!"

So... which is it? It can't possibly be both! The command, "Go for it, but for heaven's sake don't fail!" seems perfectly calculated to cause an epic choke and an epidemic of anxiety. Oh wait, that's what we have, isn't it? It is axiomatic that we learn more from our failures than from our triumphs, so how have we made any result short of first place so toxic?  Of course we always want our kids to do their best, but are they always clear on the difference between doing their best and doing the best? 

I recently entered a national contest - never mind what it was - and spent some time studying past winners on the website with my daughter. The skill and expertise demonstrated in those examples made my effort look pretty amateurish, and the Lovely K. and I agreed that my chances of winning looked pretty slim given the competition. So why do it? Why even try? 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Courage Quotation of the Day

"Volunteering is an act of heroism on a grand scale. And it matters profoundly.  It does more than help people beat the odds.  It changes the odds."  ~ President Bill Clinton

Happy National Volunteer Week!  Do you agree with the above statement?  Which of the Six Types of Courage fortifies your voluntary heroism?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Plan B

I have two anecdotes to share today, and then something to say about them.

Last year, my friend B. shared a wonderful "Plan B" story about a day she spent with her daughter, who was then a young teen. I don't remember all the details, but I think the original plan was to take the train to New York City to see a Broadway show, and then shopping or some other treat. The timing was tricky though, because of other things on their schedule,  and B. decided they should have a Plan B - what they would do if the train was late, or the show was sold out, or any other monkey wrench in the machine. Long story short and indeed, the original plan fell through entirely, but they immediately switched to Plan B - which if I'm remembering correctly involved taking another train to Philadelphia and seeing an exhibit at a museum, and there was a second Plan B for the first Plan B which had to be implemented, because it was all on the fly - well, you get the picture. They had a fabulous time, and remember it fondly to this day as an adventure that unfolded one surprise after another like a series of gifts.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Parkour? Or Peace Like a River?

The subtitle for our blog talks about "challenges on the path ahead." I want to establish some working definitions for the purpose of today's post. Let's stay that "the path ahead" means whatever goals you have for your life, for your children, for your family. Let's then agree that "challenges" are whatever obstacles or barriers lie across that path as you move toward your goal. They might be physical challenges, financial obstacles, emotional barriers - roadblocks come in all shapes and sizes. Please hold these definitions while I digress a bit.

Just recently I read somewhere (and I'm afraid I can't give credit where credit is due, because I read a lot of parenting content on-line and I don't remember where ran across this) that being a good parent means making a choice between what is easy and what is right. I puzzled over this for a while and at last concluded that it sets up a false dichotomy. It implies that what is right is not easy, and because most of us prefer easy to hard, it further implies that we would rather not do the right thing - because we're lazy or scared or busy or tired or impatient or weak. But what if choosing what is right is also the easy choice?

I'm going to assume you know what is right - for yourself, for your children, for your family - and that your "right" may not look exactly like my "right."  But let's get back to the challenges and the path ahead. There will always be obstacles on this path toward what is right for you and your kids. So what happens when the road is blocked?