Becoming a Warrior: Courage

Mel Gibson in ‘Braveheart, the story of the life of William Wallace.

As I said in the last article, courage might be the easiest characteristic of a warrior to explain and to understand, but it’s probably the hardest quality to actually practice.

What is courage?

I’m not going to give a dictionary definition, that’s been done. By me. In the last article

Courage can come in many forms. It can be following a dream and seeing it to the end. It can mean persistence; even when everything seems to be going wrong and life is kicking your ass you keep moving forward.

Courage isn’t the absence of fear.

Actually, it’s the opposite. It’s recognizing that fear and facing it head on. We are all scared of something, but the difference between a warrior and a worrier is how we react to that fear. Are our actions dominated by fear? Or does fear motivate us to do more?

Courage is also risk. It’s risking losing it all in order to get it all. You can risk it all for the woman you love, you can risk it all for a career that you’re passionate about. Both are risks, but a warrior sees a lack of action in both situations as more as a risk than taking action.

Courage can also be doing what you know is the right thing to do, even when most of the people around you don’t see it the same way.

It takes courage to be the absolute best person you can possibly be.

Mediocrity is easy, there isn’t any risk involved, there’s no leap of faith in being average. Whether you’re thinking of your family, a loved one, a career path, even your health and physical appearance, blending in is easy, almost everyone does it, but why blend in if you have an opportunity to stand out and be extraordinary?

I have been blessed enough to have examples of warriors in my life since the day I was born.

My Dad’s a warrior. He has dedicated his life to helping people. I never understood it when I was younger, I just saw that we didn’t have as much money as my friends had, we didn’t have the same things that my friends had, I didn’t understand the fact that my Dad took care of his family before he took care of himself, and he helped other people before he helped himself.

It takes courage to do that. It also takes courage to deal with a snot nosed kid who thinks he knows everything and to not lose your cool in the process, and he has always done that.

My Mom’s a warrior. She came from a big family and helped raise her brothers and sisters in Italy and when they came over to Canada. She raised me and my sister – who both gave her hell – and never asked for anything in return. My parents went for their first vacation together last year, they sacrificed their ‘fun time’ in their first 25 years of marriage to take care of their kids.

My Mom’s Mom is a warrior, the lady beat German soldiers in the head with a frying pan when they barged into her house and drove them out during the Second World War! Her husband was a warrior, working a hard job at a steel mill his whole life to provide for his family. My Dad’s parents are warriors, and I’m sure their parents were warriors as well.

I’m lucky enough to have examples in my life of what it means to be a warrior, and I could go on for hours about how each of them have shown courage in their lifetime.

The thing is, we can all comprehend what courage is. We may even be lucky enough to see it first hand. However, it’s one thing to know what it is, but it’s a whole other ballgame to actually practice it in our own lives.

Don’t settle for mediocrity, don’t settle for average. Live with passion, love with passion, work with passion, and live life like it’s the only one you’re going to live. Because, well, it is.


Who are some warriors in your life?