March 26, 2015

How 20 Seconds of Insane Courage Changes the Course of Life.


Every once in a while, a little piece of wisdom floats into our world that changes the trajectory of life. 

A little while ago, one of these watershed moments happened for me while watching a kids movie. I heard these words and I felt something deep in my heart stir:

“You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

~ from We Bought a Zoo

From that moment on, I took that message and made it my mantra for living. Some of the biggest changes in my life can be attributed directly to that mantra: I met my soul-mate. I quit my job. I travelled to exotic places off the beaten track—by myself. I said yes to things that I’d normally say no to. I said no to things I’d normally say yes to.

That mantra allowed me to push aside the fear and doubt that had previously kept me from living my passions.

I began to trust more. I listened to my intuition. I took risks. I decided to follow that thumping heart of mine, wherever it wanted to take me. And my gosh, I am glad I did.

This mantra is the reason that I am with my partner today, my soul-mate. It was the little voice of encouragement I needed to muster the courage to say hello to him. I knew all I needed was 20 seconds of insane courage, and my life may change forever. And it did. That may have been the longest 20 seconds of my life, but it is by far the most fulfilling.

The beauty of this mantra is that it allows us to create experiences that may otherwise remain as dreams. It opens up a world of possibilities for us create our most passion filled life. It provides us with a time frame and the ease of knowing that in 20 seconds it will all be over. We’ve all been told to follow our dreams, but this tool allows us to make them reality. To just give it a go for 20 seconds.

When I begun to incorporate this mantra into my life, it took time to trust it fully. But here’s what I did:

1. Reflect and recognise what you’re truly seeking

I knew that I needed to first get clear on what it was that I truly wanted before I mustered the courage to make it happen. I asked myself these questions:

What is it that your heart truly desires in this moment?

Our heart only speaks with love. The heart has no fears—that is the mind. Our heart leads us to our core desires without the fear-based thoughts that our mind creates.

What is standing in your way?

By identifying what is stopping us, we are able to establish the validity of any fears. A close friend reminded me of the acronym that fear is False Evidence Appearing as Real.

What are you doing to fulfill your hearts yearning?

Simply acknowledging that we have these desires is a big step towards achieving them. I discovered that I hadn’t done much (sometimes nothing) towards making my dreams a reality, so I used this realisation as the motivation I needed to start implementing the mantra.

2. Take action: implement the mantra

When we’re faced with a decision, it is natural for fear and doubts to flood in. They are inevitable. The power of this mantra allows us to push those self-limiting beliefs aside and tap into that inner voice that just wants to be heard. It acts as our best-friend, nudging us to just do it. To just give it a go.

Just by simply reminding myself that all I needed was 20 seconds of insane courage, I was able to start creating the life I dreamt of.

I often have a sliding doors moment when I think back to that night that I met my partner. I see the scenario play out but this time, instead of reaching out to him, I listen to my fear and I do nothing. I see life continuing as it was, without him. Then, I do a comparison to where it is now—to how much love is flowing between us, to how rich my life is, and to how much beauty is in my world. I give myself an internal high-five for finding the courage to say hello and to move beyond the fear.

In that sliding doors moment, I also see another scenario play out: one where I say hello to him, but he rejects me. I see the dint that leaves on my ego. I feel the crushed moment that my heart goes through. But I also see myself picking my broken pieces up off the floor. Telling myself that at least I listened to my heart and found the courage, than to have always wondered what could have happened that night. I add it away to my bulging collection of life experiences and I move on.

3. The mantra’s other friends: resilience, dedication and endurance 

Achieving desires and goals takes time. It takes effort. We’re most likely going to fall, we may need to restructure our game plan, to get back up and dust the dirt off our knees and find new motivation to just go for it. It’s a constant ebb and flow. Something’s will work out; others may not.

Catherine of Siena wisely once said that “Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.” And it is very true. All those wild, passion filled, heart fluttering desires like changing jobs, buying a one-way ticket, leaving painful relationships, committing to a new way of life, reaching our hand and heart out to someone…they all take much enduring, much courage, much bravery. But the rewards are priceless. They are life changing. 

All it takes is 20 seconds. To fall in love with your soul-mate. To start the business of your dreams. To book a ticket to somewhere you’ve never been. To leave a dead-end relationship.

Listen to what your heart is telling you. Trust that little voice of wisdom. Push the fears and doubts aside. Live your 20 seconds of insane courage. Then take a deep breath and know that you may have just changed the trajectory of your life.



Today, I Was Brave.


Author: Cindel Heperi

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Pixabay


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