Thursday, October 30, 2008

"The Courage to Try"

Often, what is most essential in creating an extraordinary life is what is needed to get started. We call this the courage to try: courage to discover who we really are and leave what is comfortable, safe, and known. Courage to act on our convictions. Courage to see our dreams played out against the backdrop of the world. Courage to fail. Courage simply to begin.

For Anita Sharpe, courage meant walking away from a prestigious job at the Wall Street Journal at the pinnacle of her career to pursue her calling and start a magazine and company focused on helping people pursue worthwhile work and lives. For Cory Booker, it was leaving behind a world of comfort and moving to a housing project in Newark to join the front lines of a battle against poverty. For Mary Cutrufello, it was about reviving her musical career after being sidelined for years by illness. For Karin Weber, it was reinventing her life at sixty and embracing all sorts of new adventures. These life entrepreneurs acted in spite of their fears. Indeed, without fear, courage is impossible.

We often confine our thinking about courage to fields of battle and acts of valor. But there is also a personal courage that requires a willingness to start taking action even in small ways that get us moving in the right direction.

*Excerpted from Life Entrepreneurs: Ordinary People Creating Extraordinary Lives (Christopher Gergen and Gregg Vanourek, Jossey-Bass, 2008).*

Gregg Vanourek, one of the authors of this great new book Life Entrepreneurs will be with us tomorrow (Fri, Oct 31) at the Denver IDEA Café. 2 to 3:30 p.m. Panera Bread, 1330 Grant St. here in Denver. Free and open to anyone starting a new career, campaign, or new business. More information and RSVP at

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