“Everyone is a genius.” Einstein says, which means everyone has the potential to succeed. But unfortunately, not everyone has the courage to fail. People don’t have guts!
Yet, failure is a prerequisite to success. And to be open to failure, it takes courage. For instance, scientists know that every failed experiment is one step closer to success. But without the courage to fail, scientists would never succeed in their discoveries.
Likewise, warriors know that courage, above all things, is the first quality they need at the war front because when an army is about to lose a war, the first thing they lose is their courage. Winston Churchill confirmed this when he said, “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.”
So to truly succeed, you need courage. And it is not that people are not gifted or special but they lack the courage to prove it. Yet, a man is first defeated within before he is in reality and life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. How?
To speak against the erroneous views of the public. It takes courage! To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you someone else, it takes courage. To pitch your ideas to prospects knowing they might not buy them. It takes courage. To do a video on social media with your face boldly revealed, it takes courage. To take constructive criticisms and not be overly defensive, it takes courage. To confront a superior or mentor who is doing some wrong, it takes courage. To humbly apologize for your wrongs, it takes courage.
When you fall, you need courage to stand back up. When you fail, you need courage to keep on trying. Vince Lombardi once said, “Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts.” And don’t miss the point. Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t even have strength.
Yet, in the success equation, courage is non-negotiable. Because you must have the courage to get out of your comfort zone. You must have the courage to oppose a general opinion without fear of being wrong or opposition. You must have the courage to do sales or sell yourself at all times. You must have the courage to try out a new skill without the fear of failure. You must have the courage to stand before a thousand and reiterate your belief in yourself. You must have the courage to face the camera and air your voice rather than die with an untold story inside of you. You must have the courage to stand out if you really want to make a difference.
However, most unsuccessful people today are not those who have tried and failed but those who are scared to fail because they lack the courage. Because according to Paulo Coelho, “there is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” And it has crippled their minds and destroyed destinies. Amazingly, courage does not mean one does not feel fear. Nelson Mandela explained, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Similarly, leaders need courage to step out and lead; to revive the hopes of people where there’s no hope and to stir up the human will in the face of defeat. No wonder Thomas Jefferson said, “one man with courage is a majority.”
Walt Disney said, “All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them,” but he who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life. One who loses wealth loses much. One who loses a friend loses more. But one who loses courage loses all. Courage is the thing. All goes if courage goes.
So the question is, do you really have the guts? Do you really have the courage to fail to succeed?