In 2014, I’m striving for courage. My mom started having a word for the year maybe four years ago now. Something to inspire her as she navigates her way through the year. Something to help keep her on track, to help her improve, to reflect on when she’s down. I like the idea. Last year I picked assertive but didn’t implement it or strive for it the whole year long the way my mom does and the way I intended when I first chose it. This year I’m not only picking courage but I’m going to remember courage and remember that it’s guiding me through the year.
I’m picking courage because of Brené Brown’s TED Talk. At the suggestion of a friend I listened to the talk a few times earlier in December. Honestly, I think there are a few words and phrases from this talk that I could pick and strive for in 2014 but baby steps. It was what she said about courage that really resonated with me. “Courage, the original definition of courage, when it first came into the English language — it’s from the Latin word cor, meaning heart — and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.”
She says the line I’ve quoted about eight and a half minutes in, but if you’re curious enough to find just that one line then I recommend you listen to the whole thing.
I’m trying not to put too much pressure on courage, but I kind of have a tall order for courage in 2014. It turns out I really like the current definition of courage, which I think still ties into the TED Talk. “Courage: the state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.” Oh, man those vicissitudes. I can’t plan and predict life the way I want to, the way Brené Brown talks about how she wanted to. So those vicissitudes, I need a little courage to get through some of those. I can’t plan and predict my way through life but boy do I try.
So in 2014, I’m striving for the courage to tell my story with my whole heart (to live life with my whole heart, really), for the courage to put myself out there for whatever is waiting for me, and for the courage to weather pesky vicissitudes that I haven’t planned or are beyond my control. All of this in lieu of a resolution.
Whether you’re picking a word, making a resolution, or deciding just to embrace 2014 for whatever comes, best of luck! Happy new year and best wishes for 2014!