Courage. Do You Have it or Do You Want it?

Have you ever seen the movie the Pursuit of Happyness?  Don’t worry, if you haven’t, this won’t spoil it.  Will Smith’s character, Chris Gardner comes across a well-dressed man who drives a Ferrari.  Chris becomes flabbergasted with excitement and curiosity and decides to ask asks the man what he does for a living.  The man tells Chris that he’s stockbroker.  Chris immediate becomes compelled to follow that same career path. I personally found that scene to be quite motivating.

That scene with Chris and the Ferrari was very similar to an incident that occurred to me many years ago (before the movie). When I first got into personal development, I was very excited and eager to succeed in any way possible.  As I was stepping out of my car at a nearby restaurant for lunch one day, and a brand new silver Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren pulls up beside me.  A man in his 40’s opens the door and steps out.  He starts cleaning the smudges on his car like a hot shot.

I really wanted to ask this guy what he did for a living but then again I was a bit scared to talk to him at the same time.  I had a full debate inside my head, “Should I ask him and he might blow me off in front of all these people (people were eating around along the sidewalk tables) or should I just ignore this and move one?”  First I was convincing myself to move on, which is what most people would normally do, but then, after what seemed like ten minutes of arguing in my head (probably closer to 1 minute) I made a move.

As the man starts walking toward the restaurant area, I excuse myself to get his attention.   As he turns around, I’m thinking that I’m about to get the most amazing advice in the world. I just got the courage to ask this millionaire super successful dude a question and I knew for a fact that he will enlighten me with some wisdom that will change my life forever.  I asked him, “sir, I’m curious, what exactly do you do to get a car like this?”  The man says, “I’m just a mechanic kid, ask that question to Fletcher Jones.” The car belonged to Fletcher Jones, of Fletcher Jones Mercedes Benz.

Even though some people chuckled beside me, I was surprisingly not embarrassed.  This was due to me having the courage to change my mind to do something I didn’t want to do.  After this day, I transformed myself into someone who isn’t afraid to talk to someone, do something, or go somewhere.

Courage is something that many people don’t have which explains why most people don’t get what they want. What are the careers that you want to pursue, the people you want to talk to, and the things you want to do, that you cannot do because you THINK you lack the courage?

How can you convince yourself to change your mind?

30 thoughts on “Courage. Do You Have it or Do You Want it?

  1. varinder

    Hey AJ,

    Your post has a very deep meaning. This word ‘courage’ can do wonders for everyone. It reminds of one story that I read about great Swami Vivekananda, I am sure you might have read about him, if not then google his name. The story goes like this…once Swamiji was wandering as a wandering monk near Varanasi-India. Suddenly, he saw some monkeys trying to attack him. These monkeys around Varanasi are like real brutes. Out of fear, Swamiji started running. These monkeys saw Swamiji running, also started chasing him and the more he ran, the more these monkeys came near him. Suddenly, he heard a voice from nowhere saying, “Face the brutes.” Swamiji suddenly stopped and stood still. Seeing him, monkeys also stopped chasing him and when he turned towards monkeys, they started disappearing.

    1. AJ Kumar Post author

      I have heard of this story and it ties in perfect with ‘courage’, thank you for sharing it! I usually explain my posts through events or experiences that happen to me, and because so many people can relate to me (a person trying to make it in this world), it makes it all the easier to comprehend.

  2. Anita

    Great post. That’s why there are the people who talk about what they want to do, and then others who are doing exactly what they want. The first step towards having courage is facing your fears…which many people struggle with. So I guess the question is: how can people learn to face their fears?

    1. AJ Kumar Post author

      This is what I usually tell someone who needs a dose of some courage. Like Nike, just do it. Sometimes or even many times, people need someone to help them with a push.

  3. tom

    Great post AJ.

    I think in situations like that, the first person that has the courage to speak out, it makes him look totally different from the rest.

    Even though the rest of the crowd would jump in and ask questions. He still holds the best position.

    I think it all goes back to, stop planning and making it perfect, and just do it and perfect along the way.

    Too many people sit around waiting for something to happen, the right time, etc.

  4. Harnish Goradia

    Good post AJ. Courage is inherently a requisite in any entrepreneurial venture or for becoming a leader in any field one may choose. We are embarrassed by our own reactions to other people. We change our mind and thoughts to face the music and we will have the courage to do anything (legit hopefully of course). That in turn will spur so many things that can lead one to meet the top most person, handshake with the actor they aspire to be, the vc that needs to fund their start up etc.

  5. Jim "Genuine" Turner

    So I suppose I have to ask now. Is that your car?
    This is a great post and I love the story of Chris Gardner. One man’s war against life to be a man that can take responsibility for a child. That is the courage in my mind. Being able to take that next step forward when it would be easier to throw your hands up and give up. I would love to someday speak to Chris and let him know my thoughts of his story. Perhaps I will go and see if I can make that happen.

  6. James Seay

    Great story! I think that we all lack courage at those important moments in our lives. Successful people are able to garner that courage when the going doesn’t look so great. Thanks for sharing! I will sharing with my followers on Twitter….

  7. ChrisHopf

    You know, courage can even be as simple as that willingess to say a cheerful “hello” to a complete stranger in an elevator or you walk by on the sidewalk. It is amazing (and too bad) that many hold back a simple hello now days out of fear of not getting a kind response in return or fear that others will consider you a bit strange (unless you really are strange).

    I was walking with two co-workers on the beach-walk in Hollywood Florida a few weeks ago. I’d say “hello” or “hi” to occasional folks we walked by and 90% of them looked at me like I was little strange or just ignored me. In fact, my co-workers wondered if I was going to stop due to the unfriendly people. But you know what, that 10% that said a cheerful “hello” back or asked where we were from, for them it made a difference in their day . . . and my day as well.

    Do at least three courageous acts each day . . . it gets easier after each one. Even if you begin with saying hello to someone you usually don’t talk to very much. Thanks for the post.

    1. AJ Kumar Post author

      Great idea…something as easy as hello. Your right, try this 3 times a day if you don’t already. This can set you up for more courageous acts later.

  8. Article Spinning

    Hmmm, very deep. Yes, you are right there. Courage is that which separates the winners from the losers. Winners have the courage to keep keeping on, that’s mostly why they win. It’s not that they are necessarily more intelligent, stronger or smarter than those people who don’t succeed. They just have more courage. Thanks for sharing this, AJ.

  9. Carla

    That goes to show you the things we see are not always as they are. A guy/girl driving a ’80s Honda Civic could be that millionaire you’re seeking. (Back to the point) Courage to put yourself out their and risk possible humiliation, embarrassment or perceived failure is what separates the doers from the dreamers.

      1. Article Spinning

        There are VERY few people like Neil out there – young, rich but doesn’t flaunt it. Very few, I tell you. I see you are also as young, one year younger actually, than Neil. So, who knows? Maybe you are also hiding your millionaire status by driving in your mom’s old civic, 😀

  10. Dav

    Hey AJ,

    Thanks for nice topics and writings. I have a question,

    What made you into personalty Development? Any particular personal reasons or you want to change the world or may be just the money in it?


    1. AJ Kumar Post author

      Thanks Dav.

      I got into personal development kinda of randomly I guess. I started when I was 17 and worked for an amazing company called The Mike Ferry Organization. Ever since, I’ve been VERY interested in being an “interesting guy”, so I’ve been teaching myself since.The business has become so corrupt and saturated by phonies who charge THOUSANDS for courses that sell you into more courses.

      After being appalled by that, I decided to do provide most teachings on this blog. I don’t plan on making a living off personal development, but I do however plan on USING my knowledge and skills to make it in Hollywood (out of all places right 😉 ) My dream is to create a new reality and convince people to FEEL a certain way. And I want to do that via acting.

      Which is what I’m working on right now.


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