It’s July 4th, Independence Day, and Americans all over the country are planning and preparing to celebrate the birth of this great nation. Reflecting on the Revolutionary War over 225 years ago, I think about the immense courage the revolutionaries had to muster to take on imperial Britain. The sheer audacity and defiance exhibited by those early American patriots is truly staggering.
All the whispers and rumors of war became reality for the colonists very quickly. Fear had to morph into great courage so that they could achieve independence from an oppressive mother country. Great sacrifice, bravery, and integrity gave way to a new breed of freedom and a liberty never before manifested on the face of the earth.
20 Seconds to Greatness – Every Day is Independence Day
The other day, while engaging with my Facebook friends, I came across a meme on the profile of a young lady who has read a good number of my books. She didn’t know who created the meme, or where she had gotten it, but it struck me as simple, yet profound. Here’s what it said:
“Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery and I promise you, something great will come of it.” ~Author Unknown
We face challenges, both large and small, every day in our lives – challenges that burden our minds and hearts and rob us of personal independence from worry and anxiety. By claiming your twenty seconds of insane courage, you can make every day your own personal Independence Day.
Maybe it’s something as small as making a phone call that you’ve been dreading. Or perhaps it’s clearing your digital and physical desktop of the correspondence and other clutter that’s been taunting you as you try to work. Some people may feel a surge of glory and independence when they just take 20 seconds to simply start what feels like a monumental task – one that they’ve been putting off for one reason or another and now it’s become an albatross.
A short while ago, I wrote about the 10 Commandments of Transition and in the post, I talked about the unexpected and unplanned challenges that inevitably come up in our lives. These transitions can leave us paralyzed and broken, if we allow them, or they can become a liberating path to a new life adventure – one we never would have experienced had the milestone event not occurred. Coping with life transitions in healthy, mindful ways can help us gain independence from the potential burdens and pitfalls that could happen as a result of them.
Just Embarrassing Bravery – We All Need a Little Now and Then
So on this year’s 4th of July…I ask you join forces with me in taking twenty seconds for just embarrassing bravery and let’s see what it brings.
- Dare to speak up for injustice when it rears its ugly head in holiday traffic
- Stand up to that bully who’s hogging the hotdogs at the family picnic
- Surrender your prime spot watching fireworks to someone less capable of acquiring such choice seating
- Tell someone how much you care about them—and why—with no expectation of hearing anything in return
- Take the plunge on that seemingly oppressive task…it only takes a spark and, who knows, it may be dynamite
- Congratulate someone on a job well done. Don’t know what it is but people don’t seem to do that often enough these days.
There is no such thing as small revolutions, only small minds. Liberate your mind for twenty short seconds and let’s see where it leads. Courage is a curious thing—in that, once you’ve exercised it, you realize that you didn’t have that much to be afraid of in the first place. Twenty brave seconds may morph into twenty minutes and beyond.
Our former American Poet Laureate, Maya Angelou, agrees. Her thoughts on courage as a virtue are poignant:
“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
I hope that I’ve ignited a spirit of bravery in you—if only for twenty seconds. Please share with me your personal acts of independence. I would love to learn about them and how you’ve let your freedom ring.
Image credit: dapoppins [dot] com, blackdaylight [dot] bandcamp [dot] com