Evansing – Heart of the Irish Kingdom
Courage and strength are essential to living a successful life. Without these qualities the problems of life will wear us down and cause us to abandon or avoid what is necessary for fruitful and meaningful lives.
Courage and Strength and Great Resolve
In the following excerpt from Evansing we note Carson’s willingness to take on something difficult: “News of this young boy missing especially touched Carson. He’d had a close call with his eight-year-old brother the year before. He remembered the torment his family went through when his brother had wandered into the forest. The searchers found him three days later in a very dehydrated condition. His little brother would not have lasted another day.
So with great resolve to make a difference, Carson first went to the parents to ask for some information regarding their son. They were ambivalent about talking to someone from Evansing, but their love for their son overcame their prejudices. Carson gleaned that their son liked to go into the nearby streams. Together they studied drawings of where the streams were located and a description of the terrain. They weren’t deep or fast streams, but if Josh had gone into one, he could lose the hunting dogs engaged in the search. It seemed as though Carson had a sixth sense about where Josh had gone, for he headed in a direction where nobody considered looking. It was a particularly forlorn area and difficult to enter. The entry though was a stream that wound its way through the middle of that area.”
As we note it was with “great resolve to make a difference” that Carson undertook a difficult and as we later discover a dangerous mission to rescue the missing boy.
Courage and strength will always be necessary to engage the tasks or processes necessary to refine us to be who we need to be in order to create a large life. In the course of doing the difficult the hidden treasures that lie within us come to the surface. New genius is discovered which leads to the joy that comes from satisfaction realized.
Cultivating joy is an important component of being strong. The Bible says, “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” We all feel able to do most anything when we are in a positive frame of mind and emotions. Joy is an integral part of this. Getting focused on something good or perhaps dancing in our cubicle, whatever it takes, are useful for restoring joy.
Facing our fears is a way to build our courage to do the tasks or pursue the projects that may at first even appear to be impossible. This doesn’t mean that you take on the giants in the land right off the bat. It may simply mean you join a Toastmasters group and begin speaking on a regular basis in front of a group of people. This will build your courage and strength levels as it is commonly stated that public speaking is one of the most common fears. Another way is take on a leadership position in an organization. This extra pressure will strengthen your inner being resulting in a new ability to take on greater challenges. A key here is to get relatively comfortable with discomfort. In other words, embrace the discomfort. You choose to value the benefits of the desired outcome as more important than the discomfort experienced to achieve it. In other words, as I heard Dennis Waitley once say, “Winners value pleasing results more than pleasing methods.”
Here we have a major stumbling block to great achievement. Often people want to achieve greatness without the pain and discomfort of the journey to get there. That is living in a fantasy.
What would we think of an explorer in the 1700s in North America who didn’t like the idea of being uncomfortable? Naturally we would think he is being unrealistic and would question whether he should be considering a vocation of explorer. It’s like a missionary being sent to a small village in Africa who doesn’t like dirt. The prognosis would not be good for them to stay long.
If you struggle with doing what you believe you are meant to do, then it may be one of two issues at work. First, it may not truly be what you are meant to do. Sometimes we can fall in love with an idea, but it doesn’t necessarily mean our heart is really in it or that we are well suited for it. Parents or other significant influencers in our lives can unduly push us in a direction they want us to go, but we at a core level do not. Second, you may have an attitude of futility. If you do, there will be an invisible barrier radiating the message, “What is the point? You will only fail anyway.” In this case, place your hands on your head and then say these words, “I demolish the stronghold in my mind, heart, soul and spirit of futility. I replace it with expectancy and anticipation of success.” I just did this myself and I broke out laughing and laughing.
Courage and strength and great resolve to make a difference is necessary in order to live a life we can look back upon and say we truly lived the life we were created for. Start developing a mindset of “Yes, I can do that” whenever considering the achievement of a new important goal. Progressively your automatic response of “I can” will replace the old automatic response of “I can’t.”
Another book you can read on Courage is called: “Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously.” I haven’t read it personally, but it does have high rating reviews. It is available at http://www.amazon.com.
Unlimited - Anything is Possible
Decision making wisely establishes the cornerstone for a successful life. All of us experience the joy and the pain from our past decisions. Therefore it makes sense to want to understand what affects our ability to make wise decisions.
Fear-based decision making
Emotions influence our decision making. Decisions made when fearful will almost always produce regrets. As a result, we want to avoid making important decisions when struggling with fear.
Having awareness of fear-based thinking can be difficult to identify. Awareness of fear can be especially difficult to uncover for the person who has grown up with living a fearful life. Fear distorts one’s thinking so what appears as a wise basis for a decision can actually be foolish. Wisdom for a person with that background would be to ask someone they trust for their opinion as to a particular decision. In addition, they should make a practice to ponder and consider their true motive for a decision.
I will give a personal experience. Some years I received a phone call from a friend who was all concerned, even fearful that I needed to lock in my mortgage rate as the rates were going up. I got caught up with the fear and decided I needed to move quickly. I had a variable rate mortgage, which was low interest. Given the high level of government debt in USA and Canada, it would not make sense for the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates, but some so-called experts stirred up fear about rising interest rates. So, I got caught up in a whirlwind of locking in my mortgage and paying significantly more interest. This resulted in thousands of wasted dollars on paying needless interest. This is a classic example of how fear overwhelms our sense of rational thought and motivates us to take steps we regret later. As the saying goes: Act in haste, repent in leisure. Fear does that.
Selfish motives decision making
Sometimes others with selfish motives can influence us to our detriment. They may seem like they have our best interests at heart, but truly they do not. When my parents went through a divorce, my father decided he should sell all his real estate. He had several rental properties he had acquired over a number of years. He showed great expertise and a willingness to be stretched financially to accomplish this. However, in a moment of vulnerability at a stressful time, he lost it. Yes, he got the money, but he lost out on future cash flow and the increased values of those properties. He often expressed regret at what he had done. For whatever reason, he never purchased rental properties again.
He had engaged a realtor to handle the sales. The realtor stood to gain significant commissions on the sales. My father shared with the realtor how he was reconsidering whether to go through with the transactions. He had initiated the divorce and now he had second thoughts about going through with the divorce. According to the realtor, my mother had shared with him some rather uncomplimentary thoughts about my father. When he said that my father went ahead with the transactions and the divorce. Even if what the realtor said was true, his motivation at that moment was his desire to make commissions. His selfish motive prevailed over an opportunity to encourage reconciliation between my parents.
Exuberant decision making
We must exercise caution when experiencing emotions of great exuberance and joy. It is easy to make rather risky decisions when in such a state. This results from a feeling of invincibility. The resulting belief causes one to decide they can handle whatever risks they feel good about in the moment. Prudence dictates waiting until one has come down from their emotional high before making a critical decision.
A state of high exuberance reduces the capacity to recognize the danger in making a decision at that time. This may in some ways seem hard to appreciate. But a person in such a good mood does not easily accept a cautionary warning. Wisdom says one should slow down and ensure one can make a wise decision. Asking the opinion of a wise friend or advisor can also aid in such a case.
I will share another personal experience. Some years I ago I attended a seminar in Houston. Lots of hype on the possibilities of their services. It required a very significant investment, and I decided to sign up. Then I discussed it with a friend who brought me back to earth about the risks and advisability of such an investment. After further reflection I decided my friend was right, and I chose to not make that investment. When I have thought about that later I am glad I did not pursue that so-called opportunity.
Wise decisions require awareness of one’s emotional state. Extreme highs and lows can lead to poor outcomes. Discerning the motives of others influencing us is also very important.
May your reading this blog create an increased awareness any time you are making a significant decision. Choose wisely!
Beyond Evansing – Courage of the Irish Kingdom
The sequel to Evansing – Heart of the Irish Kingdom has a special focus on Edwin the courageous leader. He has especially stretchy experiences that test his courage. We all have seasons when life is pushing us to keep going and face challenges head-on. During those times we may be tempted to put the covers over our head and stay in bed. Nevertheless, we got up and decided to face the world and do our best. Being courageous means facing our fears of whatever form they come in. Edwin had to face a wide array of obstacles and difficulties that at times threaten to push him to despair. He chose to demonstrate courage.
Edwin encounters situations way over his head requiring him to stay calm and encourage himself. One such circumstance especially tested him. This involved almost all his men including Percival disappearing without a trace. He only had several men remaining and had to make a tough decision under pressure to recover the missing men. He did manage to find the rest of his men and Percival. Unfortunately, that decision now led himself and his remaining men also into the same dark place as the others. Edwin had allowed pressure to cause him to make a hasty decision against his values. This happens to all of us where we experience a need to solve a problem and take an expedient course of action. Often a better solution existed if we had considered our options a little more closely.
Sometimes we will hear news other than how we would like it to be. Edwin had received encouraging news from a friend of Percival. But wait something was missing. What about Orla his daughter? There had been no comforting assuring news about her. Edwin struggled with keeping his calm about this disappointment. It required him to display the courageous leader within. Edwin’s choice to stay calm and focus on what needed to be done empowered him to be an effective team member in the pursuit of Orla’s rescue. When emotions run high and scary thoughts of worst-case scenarios bombard our minds, we need to ensure we make the right choices. It is never good to make an important decision when we are in a state of fear and anxiety. We all can relate to regretting those decisions we made in times of fear. Yet fear is a powerful trigger to decide on something. That is why car salesmen or realtors will ensure we know someone else is coming to look at the same car or house. They want us to know it won’t be available long and we may miss out.
Demonstrating courage when others do not can be a singular route for distinction and success. During the War of the Spanish Succession, the Duke of Marlborough demonstrated great courage as he continually looked for opportunities to engage the enemy. Conversely, most of the leaders of their allies wanted to mainly conduct a defensive war. Their motivation stemmed from fear of defeat. The Duke had to face many demoralizing situations where he wanted to go on the offensive but had to stand down because of overseeing leaders refusing to give him permission. In this case the Duke had to demonstrate courage not only on the battlefield but also in his relationships with his allies. By doing so he gained the opportunity to have his sought-after freedom on the battlefield. This led him to celebrate victory at the Battle of Blenheim which led to the defeat of the French and their allies.
When Joshua led the Israelites into the Promised Land, he undoubtedly felt the pressure of being in a difficult situation. The land they had been given contained fierce inhabitants in fortified cities and well-armed soldiers. The people he led were poorly armed and had little military training. Three times in the same passage he is commanded to be courageous and even very courageous. Along with that he is commanded to be strong and vigorous. This gives a clue how determining to be strong and vigorous helps to create an attitude leading to courage. We may not have someone commanding us to be strong, but we can command ourselves to be strong, vigorous and very courageous. Our minds, hearts and bodies respond to our words. As we feel new vigor and energy it fuels our capacity to face difficult tasks, situations and people. I have a close friend who says we don’t ask for an easy path; we ask for strong shoes. I like that. I often say something like this, “Lord, I ask you to give me strong shoes.”
Joshua was also commanded to be not afraid or dismayed (discouraged). Fear and negative thoughts will rob us of strength and courage. It is mandatory to refuse those kinds of thoughts. If we struggle to resist those thoughts, then we have another opportunity to use our words to snap out of it. For example, we could state something like this: “I renounce and reject all fear and anxiety. I choose to be cheerful, joyful and expectant of a good outcome.” Keep doing it until you get the release and start feeling calm again or at least calmer. Remember the power of choice. If you have chosen to fear you can also choose to reject fear and then choose courage. Recently, I got a revelation of being the President of my future. I have presidential authority to make choices to create the future I am meant to have.
Edwin had to demonstrate courage in circumstances where much was at stake. He didn’t always respond perfectly but he always recovered his ability to stay strong. May you increasingly recognize opportunities to act with courage and gain the fruits of success.
wHY tHIS bLOG?
TO ENTERTAIN AND INSPIRE CHANGES LEADING TO A BETTER LIFE. MY HOPE IS FOR EVERY READER TO BE ENCOURAGED AND STRENGTHENED. ALSO TO INFORM ABOUT MY BOOKS AND RELATED ACTIVITIES.