John Glenn just passed away. Senator Glenn was the very definition of an American Hero.
Before his distinguished career in the United States Senate, he was a combat fighter pilot. Oh, and he was the first American to orbit the globe from space in 1962.
And he went up on the Space Shuttle for nine days in 1998 when he was 77 years old.
When I think of what John Glenn represented, one word comes to mind.
It took courage to pilot planes in combat. It took courage to serve in the Senate. And it took a ton of courage to get strapped to what’s essentially a hydrogen bomb and orbit the globe from as high as 162 statute miles in altitude. And do it again 36 years later for a week and a half at an age when most are drawing Social Security.
I was acknowledged on a recent coaching call for my courage. And I have to say, it landed kind of strangely. What I’m doing doesn’t seem like courage. It feels like something I’m supposed to be doing. That I’m supposed to be this way.
And I was further acknowledged for my courage when I was doing something so deep inside my comfort zone that I knew exactly what I was doing. But I did it in a different way that I normally do. But I drew a lot of power from this thing.
What’s my point?
My point is that, it takes courage to do what I’m doing. And while I’m doing things that don’t put me in physical danger (or so I think) I’m doing a lot of big things that require me to tap into something outside of me.
Think about it, I’ve had a lot of stuff thrown at me in my life. Life-threatening health problems, job loss, relationship trauma, loss of love, and losing my parents at a relatively young age.
I mean, I’m 39, but some people my age still have living grandparents. I haven’t had a living grandparent since 2008.
But I’m in better shape today than I have ever been in my life. Physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. I’m developing better relationships than I ever have. And I am creating a life and career for myself that I have pride in.
Even though I had a visceral reaction to that acknowledgement, I really am courageous. Living a life of my plan isn’t easy. The easy way out is to settle for what’s available. The way I’m going – developing a life that I can have pride in – isn’t the easy way. It’s difficult and challenging.
But the life I’m going to create will be worthy of me. I’ll love who I am and be loved for who I am.
Creating your life is courageous. Letting your life create you is easy.
Settling for what you can get is easy. Owning your life and every aspect of your life is courageous.
I’m not saying to compare me to John Glenn. I’m just saying, there are many different ways you can practice courage.