Courage is a moral quality; it is not a chance gift of nature, like an aptitude for games. It is a cold choice between two alternatives; the fixed resolve not to quit, an act of renunciation that must be made not once but many times by the power of the will. (Lord Moran, The Anatomy of Courage)
As I said last time, I have developed a mantra for myself. Mantras are utilized by people or organizations to bring about transformation. They give direction and purpose in the quest to better oneself. I have developed one that I like…it has grit to it. It is a four-pronged attack and each of the words representing the four prongs have depth to them. It is hard to glaze over any of them. Resolve. Renew. Relive. Rethink.
Today I want to dive into the first one, resolve. It is a power word. An action word. Re-read the quote at the top. I really like the parallel between courage and resolve that Lord Moran used. The first step toward change is the will to change. The determination to say that things are not going to be as they have been any longer. The inner tension that takes inventory of how things are and says that there is something better…that there is growth to be had.
As I broke down this part of my newly formed mantra, three components of resolve came to mind.
- Be disciplined. I am not a disciplined person. I enjoy freedom. That is a big cause to the problems I have experienced in life. Just this week, I let time slip away as I played a video game until 11:30. Problem was, I had to get up at 4:30 the next morning for work. Didn’t happen. I got to work basically on time, but I missed out on the things I would like to do so my day goes smoother. Routine is very good for me. It helps me live each day with a little more purpose. Self-control is another player in being disciplined. Whether it is eating that last piece of cake or getting up for work on time, you and I need to law down the law to our inner person (the Bible calls this our flesh). One way I am exercising the muscle of self-control is through fasting one day a week. It’s tough, but it makes a difference in the realm of self-control.
- Be accountable. There is something to be said about having some people in your life, especially of the same gender as yourself, that you answer to. Proverbs says that the way of a man is right in his own eyes, but God weights the heart. When we go it on our own, we will fall. I speak from experience on that. But when we allow another into our lives and give them full access, we begin to see things the way God sees them.
- Be responsible. Responsibility is doing things that need to be done even when you don’t feel like doing them. Balance the checkbook. Clean out the garage. Clean up your desk. There are so many things I could list here.
There are things before each of us that we need to be resolved about. Take a moment and think about what yours are. Then go on and take the steps you need to take to grab the bull by the horns.