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Courage to press on
in challenges and the mundane
I had some time for daydreaming this week as I painted 51 eight-foot 1” x 4” boards.
Why? After negotiating for nearly 20 years with the deer and sundry wildlife over the vegetables in the garden, we decided it was time to draw the line—or fence. A fence with 50 boards and one extra.
Slapping a paintbrush back and forth for several days affords ample opportunity for allowing the mind to meander. I also found time to listen to the birds and the mating sounds of the green tree frogs.
Amid paint and nature, I pondered how living your fullest life doesn’t come without challenges. We need the courage to press on.
Even when you approach life with optimism and hope, something happens that rocks you to the core. A chiding voice swells up within your head to remind you of your imperfections.
Frozen in fear, you stop. You start second-guessing yourself.
What can we do to summon the courage to press on? While rotating the painted boards, I considered three approaches to dig out of the quagmire of self-doubt.
1. Fight Resistance. The annoying voice in your head convinces you that you’re not good enough or don’t have the strength to face whatever obstacles just dropped in front of you. You probably need number two on this list.
2. Up Your Grit. When we nurture a mindset of possibility, resistance has a harder time gaining a foothold in our thinking. Grit builds our defenses and prods us to take the next step—and the one after that.
3. Create Habits. Think of habits as a way to stay the course. Even a few small routines can make a difference in our attitudes and ability to face each day with humor, courage, and perseverance. Start the day with a walk or other form of exercise. Read something inspiring. Give a hug—that always makes my day better.
As I put away the paint and gave the brush a final cleaning, I realized that even mundane tasks require the courage to press on.
Angela Duckworth explains grit, the power of passion and perseverance.
Trust yourself as you listen to Unconditional by Arcade Fire.
“Building better habits isn’t about littering your day with life hacks…It’s not about achieving external measures of success like earning more money, losing weight, or reducing stress. Habits can help you achieve all of these things, but fundamentally they are not about having something. They are about becoming someone.”
—James Clear, Atomic Habits
Find a little wonder this week. During a break from painting, this hibiscus bloom caught my attention.
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