All It Takes is 20 Seconds of Insane Courage

Not too long ago I watched the movie, “We Bought A Zoo.” Ever since I’ve been thinking about one of the key messages of the film. Here is the clip (courtesy of YouTube):

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Fear is paralyzing. Fear has this amazing tendency to prevent us from finding joy and self-fulfillment. Fear, which I believe to be the opposite of faith, is a tool used by all those forces (seen and unseen) that want you to be miserable.

I am a person who believes in taking risks and following my gut feelings. This has on occasion led me to misfortune but more often than not it has paid me back endless dividends. I can think of several really important turning points in my life that fear tried to prevent. Among those I can remember the choice to marry my wonderful wife, serve a mission in Brazil, drop out of college, and start a large number of business ventures.

Dale Carnegie taught that when we are faced with a difficult decision we should first ask ourselves, “what is the absolute worst case scenario.” If, it really isn’t all that bad then you should move forward right away. If it isn’t so great then you should next consider the odds of the worst case scenario actually happening. How likely is it really? Lastly, if and when you chose to proceed, you should do your best to limit the potential risks of that scenario.

None of this however fully explains the genius of this line in the movie. We all know that fear is difficult to overcome. We all know that it prevents us from doing much that is wonderful in life. The real lesson to be learned here is that it takes very little courage to overcome the fear. We don’t have to be the strongest people or have superhuman conviction. All it takes is 20 seconds of Insane Courage. Twenty seconds is very little.

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