Dan was living in a small town that had bad reputation: there were lots of crime and most people didn’t feel safe living there.
Dan didn’t either, but he felt like he didn’t have a choice. He was working at a factory to provide for his little daughter, whose mother had passed away several years ago.
He dreamed of making more money so that he could move away from the town and give his girl better chances to live more fulfilling live. However he was constantly stuck with his job at the factory and despite some opportunities rising, he didn’t have the courage to take them.
One day there was an accident at the factory, so he had to work overtime. His little girl would have to spend a some time alone as he couldn’t reach anyone to watch over her. When he finally came back home, he was very proud to see that his girl had made some food to herself and was already asleep.
Dan couldn’t sleep, even though he was exhausted from working over 11 hours at the factory – he couldn’t get his daughter out of his mind. A small tear rolled down his cheek just before he fell asleep.
Next day while walking towards the factory, he saw a retailer who seemed always to have problems with his supplies: not many wanted to do business with the stores because of the bad reputation of the town.
Dan had many times thought that it would be nice to have some variety to buy, but he always felt like something was holding him back. He was afraid to take the step necessary even though he saw that the need was there. He would every time rationalize how he works so hard and how tired he is after work.
He went to the factory like normal, but the image of his daughter was on top of his mind all the time. When the work hours were nearing their end, Dan felt a surge of energy powered by the thought of making their lives more fulfilling.
He started asking around for someone to take care for his daughter at nights and then started looking for advice how to make it possible to fulfill the needs of the retailers. For the first six months, he felt like he had failed, but the image on his mind stayed strong. He felt like he had no choice to give up.
Finally, after couple of years, he succeeded by striking good deals with a company couple of hours away from the town. He had finally made enough money to move to other town, put his daughter in good school and managed to employ himself, working on his own business, eventually employing hundreds of people.
The foundation of courage
I’ve read countless of texts that aim to bring the courage out of the reader to do things that they are afraid of.
Unfortunately most of them fail for them same reason.
They don’t realize the foundation of courage.
Someone could say that Dan didn’t make his dreams come true earlier because he didn’t have enough courage. I think they are both right and wrong.
Courage isn’t something you just “get”, it’s a side-product of having a want that is greater than the fear.
Dan wanted to provide for his daughter more than he was afraid of failing with the business idea that he had. Suddenly, he had all the courage.
He had found something that is worth going all-in and everytime he was about to falter, he was reminded by the image that gave him enough motivation to pull through.
He had found his “why”.