“What do you care what other people think?”

One of the most prevalent human frailties — one that begins in childhood and stays with us the rest of our lives — is a concern about what other people think of us. To a 10-year-old, it might be what the other kids will think of her new tennis shoes. To a teenage boy, it [read more]

Going alone: an underappreciated strategy for not missing out on life

Glenda Cecil was born in 1908 in Parker City, Indiana. When she was still a young girl, around the age of twelve, she was invited to attend one of the biggest Christmas parties in the county. Everyone was excited to attend because word had leaked out that the hosts planned something special for the evening [read more]

The life of a “smart coward”: Being courageous without getting your nose broken

While being courageous can clearly get you places in life, it can be comforting to know that it’s not an absolute requirement. In fact, one of the most successful people I know is a self-described coward. According to Jim Bangel, “the stories of my cowardice are legion” among his family and friends. And it all [read more]

“Should I stay or should I go?”

If a group you’re a part of does something you don’t like, do you leave the group, or do you stay and fight to change it? That’s today’s question. Chrissy (not her real name), a native New Yorker, always thought courage was about not going along with the crowd, especially when the crowd was doing [read more]

When good parenting means pushing your kid off the boat

One of the most common fears young people face early in their lives is trying something new. The uncertainty and apprehension of failure can be crippling. And if it’s not overcome as a child, it can haunt someone throughout life. One person who’s earned some valuable wisdom struggling to find courage is Kerri Whitfield. Moving [read more]