I want to meet someone who is my kind of brave. The kind who nervously worries what everyone thinks of them. The kind who stand paralyzed as they calculate a million possible outcomes before taking a step. The kind who tremble at the scent of adversity. It is this kind of brave who I want to listen to. They know fear intimately. A day doesn’t go by when they don’t feel fear breathing down their necks. Don’t give me the calloused who aren’t swayed by fear. Don’t introduce me to the pretenders who act as if fear doesn’t matter.
No, get me in a room with the neurotic, sweaty, awkward, insecure bunch, and watch us change the world. What we lack in confidence, we make up for in tenacity to inch forward v e r y v e r y slowly. The foolish run into darkness without a flashlight. We make sure we have extra batteries just in case. Do you know why we’ll change the world? Because we’re somewhat prepared. We don’t allow fear keep us from making informed decisions. Fear doesn’t stop us from listening to other voices. It will not rush us from the painstaking process of waiting. Our ability to wait might just be our greatest strength. So, feel free to run past us.
You see, to us, it’s not a race. It’s a climb. We’re not dashing towards a 50-metre finish line. Instead, we have maps spilled all over our desks because we’re planning on how to climb the peak of Mt. Everest. It’s going to take a lot of time to prepare. So forgive us if we’re taking our time, but to us, trekking towards the impossible is going to require more strength than we can muster on our own. The majority of us know that we’re not going to make it to the top. But we’re going to climb anyway.
Some people think that courage is what allows people to do crazy things. But fear does that. Fear engages the lower-level midbrain to respond irrationally. The brave I want to be around operate from their cerebral cortex. It’s not flashy or headline-worthy, but it’s informed and balanced; responsive, but not reactive. You will not see us jumping from airplanes because of a dare. But you just might see us flying the airplane instead.
There are a million obstacles in our way and we know each of them very well. Reality is part of the equation that we’re trying to work with, not overcome. Maybe that’s why we’re so slow at getting started; we know full well the ramifications of our decisions. But that doesn’t mean we won’t start. Our greatest accomplishment isn’t measured by external success, but by the integrity of doing what we said we would do. (Even if it takes a long time.)
So please, if you know anyone who is this type of brave, send them my way and tell them that they’re not alone.