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

"Courage is the clich hallmark attributed to the hero. I say clich because people talk about courage as if it is some mysterious force only a hero is born with. Courage is a vague and fleeting concept for many people because they lack it themselves. People lack courage because they lack knowledge. They have no idea where the true source of courage comes from. Even worse, they don't know it and continue to live in fear. As Socrates pointed out, 'People not only don't know, but they don't know that they don't know.'

This is why so many people on earth live in fear. Fear of death. Fear of life. Fear of living their nightmares. And fear of living their dreams. Most people are followers because they lack self-confidence and live in constant fear. Anyone who is brave and can show them how to overcome fear, they follow and respect. But...anyone that reminds people of their own fear, they attack and abuse viciously! This is human nature in its lowest, animal form.

What is fear? Fear is the perception or misperception of the unknown. Perception of how we negatively view reality, but not reality itself. I once heard somewhere, a useful acronym for FEAR: False Evidence that Appears Real. The 'false evidence' being our own manufactured worries, doubts, and negative images often of events that haven't even taken place yet. William Shakespeare understood this principal well when he said, 'Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.'

The cause of fear is lack of knowledge. Therefore, 'knowledge is the antidote to fear' according to the great American hero philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson. That is why heroes are brave souls. They immerse themselves with knowledge, plus knowledge, plus knowledge. Heroes know that they don't know, but are willing to learn. They are humble and learn from everyone regardless of rank or status. Leaders know their potential. Followers ignore their potential. Courage and self-confidence comes from knowledge and self-knowledge...

This being said, no human hero is entirely fearless. Great heroes are not born fearless and brave. Nelson Mandela had this to say about courage: 'I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it...I felt fear myself more times than I can remember, but I hid it behind a mask of boldness. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.'" [Excerpted from, "Psychology of the Hero Soul," by Sharif Khan, Chapter 16.]

Sharif Khan is a professional speaker, coach, and author of "Psychology of the Hero Soul," an inspirational book on awakening the Hero within and developing your leadership potential. You can reach him at or by visiting

The Hero Soul is available at special quantity discounts for bulk purchases for sales promotions, premiums, fundraising, educational use, or honoring your heroes through reward and recognition.


Scientist to share research on exercise, motivation at Chambana Science Cafe
Daily Illini
On Wednesday, the Chambana Science Cafe will host Michael Saul, postdoctoral research associate at the Institute for Genomic Biology, to discuss his research on motivation to exercise. “This is Your Brain on Exercise: How Your Brain's Genes Influence ...

A workout of the week with built in motivation
The Daily Collegian Online
When searching for motivation to work out on any given day turns into a chore, finding motivation through peers can turn the hunt for inspiration into a pleasurable task. Penn State Fitness Coordinator Jill Garrigan focused on utilizing techniques used ...

The Conversation UK

Are teachers suffering from a crisis of motivation?
The Conversation UK
The psychology of human motivation has taught us that when it feels like doing a job is a reward in itself, people approach their work with the greatest enthusiasm, passion and commitment – and they derive the greatest satisfaction from it. But this ...

Journal Gazette and Times-Courier

Facts for Families: Lack of motivation: Are the 3 P's to blame?
Journal Gazette and Times-Courier
The level of motivation ebbs and flows throughout the lifespan. Some might find that there is little motivation for one task while there is high motivation for another. We all have "jobs" that we tend to put off because they are not necessarily ...

No Motivation to Make a Worse Product – Therefore Patentable?
Teleflex Inc., 550 U.S. 398 (2007); Graham v. John Deere Co., 383 U.S. 1 (1966). “The presence or absence of a motivation to combine references in an obviousness determination is a pure question of fact.” Alza Corp. v. Mylan Labs., 464 F.3d 1286 (Fed. Cir.

Employee motivation key amid labor shortage
Yet two keynote speakers discussed a topic that is so basic, and so crucial to corporate success, that managers of any company should embrace. How does a corporate culture motivate its employees to look forward to reporting to work each day because ...

The Union Leader

Paul Baard's Motivation Matters: 'I just want to survive this presentation'
The Union Leader
Dr. Paul P. Baard is an organizational psychologist, specializing in motivation, with Fordham University, a former senior line executive in the television industry, and the lead author of a book on leadership and motivation. He and his wife, Veronica ...

Campaign Aides: Political Motivation Behind Charges
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Three top officials with Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign claim political motivations are behind charges alleging they violated federal financial disclosure laws by secretly paying an influential Iowa politician for his ...

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Rutgers draws motivation from blowout loss to Michigan State last year
Joseph said the team drew motivation in the offseason from four blowout losses against top Big Ten teams last year. Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Nebraska combined to outscore Rutgers, 180-44, last season. The Spartans are the first upper ...

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The Denver Post (blog)

Motivation for Benghazi probe
The Denver Post (blog)
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif. gestures toward outgoing House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio during a new conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 29. (Carolyn Kaster, The Associated Press). Re: “McCarthy does damage control on ...
Benghazi Republicans: Panel Dems have 'nakedly political motivation'Washington Examiner

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