I never thought I’d quote Oprah, but here it is.

I was wasting time yesterday, surfing the web for interesting things, when I came upon an NPR piece about one-liners. In it was a one-liner from Oprah Winfrey:

Having the courage to stand up and pursue your dreams will give you life’s greatest reward and life’s greatest adventure.

And I truly believe this. To me, life is continuous quest to do and learn and see new things. To pursue my dreams.

The Status Quo Trap

It’s easy to sit back and settle in for the long haul in a comfortable home with a comfortable job, doing the same things every day with the same people around you. You know what every day will bring; there are no surprises. Easy, no?

But maybe you dream of doing other things. Maybe you’ve dreamed about some of these things for your entire life, things like starting a business based on one of your hobbies or interests, patenting the inventions of your creativity and imagination, or even just learning a new but difficult skill. Everyone has dreams.

But pursuing these dreams takes courage — the courage to work hard and smart, the courage to face difficult challenges, the courage to accept that the only alternative to success is failure.

So you sit back and relax in your comfy status quo, letting your life slip away with every day, month, and year, letting your dreams slip away with them.

That’s the way a lot of people think. I know — I was married to one of them.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Live

But I don’t think that way.

To me, there’s nothing to life without challenges. There’s always something new to do, something new to learn, something new to see. I’m smart enough to understand that I can’t make these things part of my life without leaving my comfort zone to go after them. And I’m brave enough to do it.

The past year has been a challenge for me — one I did not choose and did not want to face. But I faced it and I got through it. And I’ve emerged on the other side, a better, stronger, and freer person with more self esteem and better health.

And now I face new challenges — some a result of my husband’s betrayal and others of my own choosing. I have the courage to face them. I have the strength to persevere.

As for the events of the past year, well, I look at them as a setback. I expect to be back on track for the semi-retired life with fun and travel that I’d planned (that was well within reach last summer) within a few years. Best of all, I won’t have to drag around the dead weight that was holding me back in recent years.

Oprah is right. I know from experience that pursuing and achieving my dreams is life’s greatest reward. And my life will be an adventure until the end.

How about yours?

6 thoughts on “Courage

  1. Maria, I really enjoyed reading your post! I think courage could be one of the biggest differences between a dreamer and a daydreamer. People that have courage take action! Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks, Luke. That’s a great way to put it: dreamer vs. daydreamer. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, but until you take action to make something happen, it’ll never be more than just a dream.

      Best wishes to you!

  2. Wow, Maria. Even two years later, this couldn’t be more true for you today. You’ve been living this.

    BTW, I can’t believe I didn’t comment on this two years ago … how did I miss this post?!?!?! :-)

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