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Things to Think About: I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it

Things to Think About

By Pepper de Callier

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”   Nelson Mandela

How I wish I would have read this quote much, much earlier in life.  Like so many, I didn’t understand the concept of courage.  In my thinking, someone who had courage didn’t feel fear.  They just did things—incredible things—and then waited for the next scary challenge with absolutely no apprehension.  Courage may appear that way in comic books, movies, and in conversation when there is no threat, or existential challenge facing one, but it’s not that way in real life.  Let me put it another way: sometimes the only difference between a brave person and a coward is one step.  The brave person, while being just as scared as the coward, refuses to be frozen in place, in not doing anything, and takes that one step forward.  They know that after the first step—creating momentum—the rest becomes much easier.  Is there someplace you could show some courage today?

Good luck on your journey.

Till next time…

About the Author: Founder and Executive Director of Prague Leadership Institute, which was named “Best Corporate Leadership Coach Europe—2015”, by U.K. based Corporate Vision, Pepper de Callier, is one of the most respected senior executive coaches and authorities on leadership in Europe. Learn more about him at