Winter of 2004. I was nearing the end of my internship, after 4.5 years of BAMS. By that time, my mother had achieved one of the big things in her life. She had made her son, an Ayurveda doctor. Everyone was cheering her.
“In spite of death of your husband at a very young age, you have your daughter married to the best possible man and now your son is a doctor. She was retired by that time.
She could have opted to rest on her laurels. But you know what she did?
She invested all her pension money on me and sent me for post graduation. At her 60s, she lived alone for 3 years.
You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor – Aristotle
We may feel honesty, lack of greed, brotherhood, peacefulness, truthfulness, as the greatest mental assets. But without courage, these qualities lack meaning.
Without courage, you can be truthful only till it does not affect your job, livelihood, relationship etc.
Without courage, you can be honest only till it does not affect job, relationship etc. (Borrowed from Ben Horowitz)
Table of Contents
Lack of courage
Fear, anxiety, Vata Dosha increase, lack of stability, hypertension, sleep disorders, lack of self confidence, phobia, social disorders, loneliness – all these are due to lack of courage.It not only affects mind, it affects body as well.
IBS, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, eczema, ulcer, hypertension, heart disease are all have both mind and body factors involved as causative factors.
Level of anxiety that the mind undergoes during a stressful situation is the same, whether you are courageous or not courageous.
The level of anxiety that you have to undergo, by making the decision in a stressful situation is the same, whether you are courageous or not. So, why not make a decision with courage?
The interviewer asks a question for which you do not know the answer.
With lack of courage, you say some cooked up story as answer, the next events can be stressful.
With courage and confidence, you say that you do not know the answer, the next events can be equally stressful (or the interviewer would like your straightforwardness and reward you).
In both situations, there is stress. But if you take courage and do the right thing, there may not be reward at the end, but you can be at peace with yourself.
When you go to sleep, you can say to yourself – “at least, I did my best”
How to develop courage?
Read biographies of famous people. Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela or any famous person that you like, will surely have courageous moments in their lives. You can draw inspiration by reading such instances in these books.
Exercise. A strong body begets a strong mind. Exercise injects confidence.
Yoga and Pranayama: Connects you to your inner consciousness. Connects you to yourself.
Learn a simple 2 minute Pranayama technique
Control sense organs:
Do not eat at irregular intervals. Do not be a servant to your tongue, eyes, ears, and mind. Develop strong mental disciplines. Always follow the rules that you set for yourself.
Put banners on the room walls
Strength is life! Weakness is death!! Swami Vivekananda
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. T. S. Eliot
Trust the still, small voice that says, “this might work and I’ll try it.” – Diane Mariechild
Remember that failure is an event, not a person. – Unknown.
“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” ― William Faulkner
“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” ― William G.T. Shedd
Get more such quotes here
Be truthful and sincere up to your strength. Avoiding white lies, cheap behavior strengthens your mental core, cleanses your mind and keeps your mental peace.
Read related: Best Stress Relief Tip – Just Be Truthful And Avoid Lies
Follow celibacy up to your strength. Just try to control sexual urges till you can. As per Ayurveda, Brahmacharya is the best way to improve concentration and courage.
Ultimately, in our lives, we may win or we may fail. But if the destiny has written failure in our fate, let us go down with courage, let us fail with dignity, let us die with a smile on our face.
Ayurvedic treatment for mental disorders
In the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, phobia etc., Ayurveda gives us three treatment options.
dhī – intellect. Analyzing the situation with intelligence.
ātmādi vijnāna – awareness about soul, rebirth etc. (a topic for future discussion) and
dhairya – courage! The best way to treat anxiety, depression and phobia is to neglect and suppress the negative feelings, willfully and forcefully.
Depressed vs. Courageous Mind
Depressed mind –
I failed the exam, this is the end of the world. I have lived up to my parents’ expectations. Solution is suicide.
Courageous mind –
I failed this exam. The reason could be bad luck + I did not study harder. I will study hard, achieve great things and make my parents proud. Of all the sperms, I won the race and I am here and I am here for a reason for sure!
I will make this precious life count. Giving up is not in my blood.
Anxious mind –
I have been given this huge task of speaking on the stage in front of 1000 people. Oh my God! What if I forget my lines? What if the audience laughs? What will my friends think? What if there is an earthquake during my speech?
Courageous mind –
Out of all the people, I have been given this chance to speak. I must be the chosen one. Successful speech or failed attempt, let me make my best effort and leave it to God.
We have rights only on our duties. We do not have any rights on the outcomes – God Shri Krishna.
Let us think about growing courage everyday,
Let us be less attached to this world and allow the world and people to act by themselves.
It is not easy, it does not happen overnight. I myself cannot claim that I am totally fearless. I have my insecurities and fears.
But little effort and focus everyday can help us get there.
Let us make all efforts to avoid making decisions out of fear. During the moments of fear,
take a few deep breaths,
thump your chest,
splash water on your face,
shed the negativity, ditch the fear, shed the loser mentality and embrace courage.