My awesome wife and I respond differently to uncertainty. This artist brilliantly illustrates our two reactions in the picture. I easily juggle multiple plans. My wife looks longer before she commits, but she does not look back.
We’re a great team. In uncertainty, I grab opportunity and nimbly dodge risks. She avoids taking foolish risks and perseveres to make opportunity into reality. We love, trust, and encourage one another as we seek wisdom.
Wisdom enables us to adopt a measured, thoughtful, appropriate response to uncertainty. Seeking wisdom takes courage. Over the past week, I’ve been thinking a lot about courage. Here is my working definition:
Courage is the worldview that strengthens us so we face the danger, fear, and sudden, unexpected changes we encounter in life, in activities, or in our surroundings with poise, confidence, and resolution.
Do we need courage to win? I think so. Our world is certainly uncertain. We know that storms will come. Courage helps us ride out storms without losing our love of the sea. Without courage, we choose to stay on the sidelines and lose the chance to win the victor’s prize.
Can we measure courage? Possibly. How about mental toughness? Quantitative analysis of mental toughness is increasingly measurable. Mentally tough individuals act according to their convictions despite opposition.
Mental toughness doesn’t mean inflexible rigidity. Quite the opposite. It measures flexibility and responsiveness as much as strength and resiliency. Mental toughness means developing internal and external consistency before, during, and after the moment of truth.
If we need courage to win and if we can measure courage by mental toughness, then we have a victometric. When the pressure is on, who consistently shows courage and mental toughness? Ceteris paribus, they have an edge.
Bonus: this 3 page article has helped me bring these principles into my everyday work. The Pursuit of Courage, Judgment, and Luck