The cowboys of the old west faced many dangers. They risked their lives in stampedes, torrential rains, fighting off cattle thieves, crossing deep rivers. It took fortitude and courage to drive a herd of 1000 to 3500 head of cattle across the open plains. Determination, grit and bravery were necessary virtues, and any man lacking in these character traits would not be tolerated.

Most of us do not face this kind of danger. We may though face challenges or situations that require us to remember what we stand for.  It takes courage to make the right decisions and to stand up for what you believe in.

It also takes courage to face an unknown, try something new or make a decision to overcome a fear. One of my fears was public speaking. I moved to a new position at my job, and this required speaking to groups that may number over 100. I will always remember the first few times I stood in the front of a room looking out at all the faces staring at me. My heart was pounding so hard my chest hurt. I was sweating and did not know if I could even speak.  I’m sure the first few trainings I presented were not great, but I continued to persevere. With every training I prepared for and presented, I became more comfortable and gained confidence.

I have great respect for those that courageously face a debilitating illness, fighting for their health. And for the children that face relentless bullies and verbal teasing, yet show up every day.

Living with courage is the first code of the west. Not one code is more important than another, but it is clear if you are living by the code, you must have the courage to stand up for your beliefs and values. Remember, courage is a choice. We choose to show up. We choose to stand up.

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes…

Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.                                             John Wayne


Live the Code