Where There Is Courage There Is Hope &...
Where There Is Courage There Is Hope
As I young man I looked for courage. I looked everywhere for it but I just could not seem to find it. I would lie in bed at night a frightened young chap, dreading the next school day and the beatings it would be bring. The abuse, the spitting and the not so veiled threats. My fear could sometimes escalate into night terrors as my mind played over and over the consequence to the next day’s school jollies and any courage, any courage at all, laughed in my face and disappeared into the dark. Gloomy times.
Now and again in those dark hours I would sense a glint of something, a hint of backbone and a chance that I may be determined enough to make my stand but come sunrise my inner self would mock me; “Who the hell are you to stand up for yourself?”
I hid my fear, my cowardly thoughts and behaviour. I hid them behind a mask of bungee jumps, para-sailing and trapeze rides that others would avoid. Hell I once hid my fear behind a 60 foot jump from crane to airbag…without the aid of a safety cord. Revelling in the applause and the approval of a bullying dad I soaked up the glory but knew deep down this wasn’t courage. It wasn’t courage because the things I did, the crazy stunts and stomach turning jumps held no fear for me. Doing things that hold no fear for you does not require courage just a sense of adventure.
No, the thing that feared me was the physical and emotional abuse I would face and the knowledge that I had no idea how to combat it. Many years went by and my fear took such a grip that it ate away at me until leaving my house was the equivalent of fighting ten men. When I did leave the house I would and could encounter more things to be fearful of and took more than one beating, an attempted stabbing and threats on my life and wellbeing.
Still I sought out the Scarlett Pimpernel as I came to realise this was no way to live, no way for a young man to spend his life. I decided to try and find the motivation it would take for me to gain confidence and take on board courage.
I set about watching, studying and reading the people I admired, the people who were achieving their goals and setting the right examples. I realised that all these people through their endeavours offered one common thing…hope.
Whilst they confessed to feeling fear in whatever they did be it compete, write, speak in public or anything else they seemed to set their mind to, the underlying theme was that despite their fears there is always hope. I arrived at this conclusion with more than a bucket full of inspiration. It became just one of the fuels for my journey.
I set to the road with a feeling of trepidation but that same trepidation was stamped out by my new found four letter word friend. Anytime the path got to scary I reminded myself of the reward at the end of whatever battle I would face that day.
As an agoraphobic the battle may have been travelling to a city centre and forcing myself to sit amongst the crowds until the panic faded (later cities became new countries.) As a victim of violence it would be to pull on the gloves and slug it out with professional boxers and as someone who spoke so badly as a kid I was sent to elocution lessons it would be to stand in front of many people and talk in public all the while with hope at my side urging me on.
It paid off. My faith, belief and understanding of hope paid dividends and bought about it a success I could never have dreamed of. A full time Martial Arts academy, teaching throughout the country, writing, publishing and selling books throughout the world and lately signing big contracts with American PR firms whilst during the same day talking with major film people about turning my stories into movies were only ever achieved by believing in hope.
Hope led to courage.
People say to me; “oh it’s easy for you.” Of course it was. Leaving the confines of my house, facing monsters on the mats, writing until my head hurt and my hands ached and making sacrifices others wouldn’t was easy (can you get the sarcasm?)
I’d like to offer this to the people who say it is easy; it never is. If it is worth having, it is never easy, you just have to get off your backsides and try. If you are finding it difficult to kick start your goal remember that. Remember the hardship you may have to face and the scary tasks you may have to fulfil. If you keep this in mind when said demons appear they aren’t so much of a shock and they become easier to deal with.
Your courage gets you out of the front door, your hope keeps you going in the right direction. Grab your chances, don’t let them slip by as I very nearly did mine. Don’t let anyone jump you queue, work hard and be brave and when you are able to take that job, paint that painting or produce that show then you have found courage and with it our favourite four letter word; for where there is courage there is hope.
Simon Morrell March 2105
Simon is the author of the book From Bullied to Black Belt, a true story. You can visit him here find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.