The Lone Leader Weekly

15th Feb 2023

Quiet Courage Is All Around You

Getting on. Not complaining. Without an audience.

#1. Expertise x Honesty.

Your growth will come from deeply informed and brutal facts in a world of gloss and no substance. This is the seed of resilience and the path to success.

#2. Give Up On Guilt, Not Yourself.

We use guilt as a weapon against ourselves. Not enough time, not enough attention, not enough, not enough. To give up on guilt, you must first understand what is most important to you and do it.

#3. Face Reality. No Matter The Pain.

When we are backed into a corner we have two choices; we crumble and fall or we make a plan and start swinging. You may still lose, but you won’t regret trying.

It is not lost on me that life is hard, damn hard. But we assume that most have it under control. It’s a myth.

Life by its very definition is a process of birth, growth and death. In amongst it we have a rich desire to do whatever we can to self destruct.

The fragility of life is not lost on me as I write this. On my 43rd birthday I find myself grateful, yes, but also surrounded by deep pain. Living in Auckland we are in the eye of the storm, quite literally but also metaphorically.

Our ability to sustain prolonged periods of suffering seem not to have been tested as much as they have recently. Or is it the context that is more important and that we so easily forget.

At 43 I have seen war, but not on my doorstep. In my life I have seen global financial collapse, a global pandemic, but have kept my life, I have witnessed cancer in its worst form, but have survived it myself.

But there was never a reason to quit.

I fear however the reasons are getting easier, to give up, to throw in the towel, or worse, never start.

In the past three days I have see what resilience looks like, stared it in the eye and understood what courage looks like and I am inspired.

From my running partner completing his first 100km race, to a mate on the verge of losing his home due to recent weather events, at no point did I see defeat in their eyes.

These are special people, my people, inspirational people that don’t do life by halves. The get on, they get defeated, they get up and then they get on again.

They are people of action, courageous people that make me want to be better, to try a little harder, to make a difference, because they are testing the theory, that life is indeed hard, but it is with context we must learn these lessons.

Our lives are a deeply personal journey, where your difficult may be easy to me and vice versa. We do not have to travel to gather water each day to survive, yet we complain that we have to wait for our $5 coffee, children are used as slave labour but we complain when the new iPhone sells out.

Whether we have empathy for those that suffer beyond our view or not we live in a world that increasingly trades on our inability to cope.

The cotton wool is becoming so abundant that sharp edge traders are going out of business.

To be resilient is to embrace failure, over and over and over. To deal with what is in front of you in that moment with courage, and practicality, but above all with vulnerability.

When you allow yourself to be open to the cruelties of life, you also create a space for the deeply special and overwhelming opportunity for success.

When we accept this is not happening to US and that we are not all that special, we allow our humility to drive our actions.

It could be worse. It’s not that bad. I’ll find a solution.

All speak to the acceptance of our insignificance and our ability to stay in the moment a little too long.

Your life, and that of your loved ones is the only value that endures, until it doesn’t.

So take that time you have, take the hit, but stay focused on the path forward.

Surround yourself with courageous people that know shit is gonna come, but they accept that is life and that there will be a way forward, even if it’s not what you originally expected.

I feel honoured to be surrounded by people who have such courage, focus and passion for life, it not only makes them stronger, but it makes me stronger knowing it is all but a moment in time and that this, too shall pass.

When you are a lone leader you are already exposed to the courage you need to progress, but you need that little voice that tells you are weak, or that you can’t do this, to shut the fuck up and watch.

Watch how you overcome, how you defy the odds, no matter how small. How you brush yourself off and say no, today is not the day I quit.

Today is how I learn. And learn I will.

Until next time, courage.


What next?

Subscribe to The Lone Leader Newsletter

Each week you will receive 3 powerful leadership and strategy tips that you can action today.