Don’t Be Afraid: 10 Inspiring Quotes from Courage Is Calling
Some books you read, and you make yourself finish them because, well, you like to finish what you start. And then there are books that you take your time with because you want to soak up every word. That’s how I felt when reading Courage Is Calling: Fortune Favors the Brave by bestselling author, Ryan Holiday.
I chose the book because I’ve enjoyed other books by Holiday, and the topic of courage interests me. We’d all like to think that we’re courageous, but if we are honest with ourselves, there are times when we let fear hold us back.
In Courage Is Calling, Holiday opens with the story of Hercules who finds himself at a crossroads. As Hercules stood where the roads diverged, he had a decision to make. Which road would he take? On one road stood a beautiful goddess who promised all his desires would be met. On the other road stood a stern goddess that promised him nothing except what he would earn through his own hard work. It would be a long, scary journey complete with sacrifice, but it was a journey fit for a god. It would make him the person his ancestors meant for him to be.
Holiday poignantly tells the reader that Hercules’ story is all of our story. We’re all at crossroads. We all have choices to make, and those choices determine our destinies. They are choices between vice and virtue. Hercules chose virtue. In Courage Is Calling, Holiday shares that virtue consists of four components: courage, temperance, justice, and wisdom. In this first of four books in the series, he makes the case for courage.
Here are 10 inspiring quotes from Courage Is Calling: Fortune Favors the Brave:
- “The greatest moments in human history all share one thing – whether it’s landing on the moon or civil rights, the final stand at Thermopylae or the art of the Renaissance: The bravery of men and women. People who did what needed to be done. People who said, ‘If not me, then who?’”
- ‘To each,’ Winston Churchill would say, ‘there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.’”
- There is nothing worth doing that is not scary. There is no one who has achieved greatness without wrestling with their own doubts, anxieties, limitations, and demons.”
- “Be scared. You can’t help that,” William Faulkner put it. “But don’t be afraid.” It’s an essential distinction. A scare is a temporary rush of a feeling. That can be forgiven. Fear is a state of being, and to allow it to rule is a disgrace.”
- “When fear is defined, it can be defeated.”
- “The brave don’t despair. They believe. They are not cynical, they care. They think there is stuff worth dying for – that good and evil exist. They know that life has problems but would rather be part of the solution than a bystander.”
- “All growth is a leap in the dark. If you’re afraid of that, you’ll never do anything worthwhile.”
- “If fear is to be a driving force in your life, fear what you’ll miss. Fear what happens if you don’t act. Fear what they’ll think of you down the road, for having dared so little. Think of what you’re leaving on the table. Think of the terrifying costs of playing so small.”
- “Defeat is a choice. The brave never choose it.”
- “Do the hard thing now. Be steady and courageous today, in everything that counts.”
I hope you feel inspired to conquer your fears. Remember, it’s okay – “Be scared, but don’t be afraid.” Whenever you find yourself at a crossroads, choose courage.
Other books by Ryan Holiday that I’ve read and recommend: The Obstacle is the Way, Stillness is the Key, and The Daily Stoic.
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