20 Seconds of Courage To Live Your Life

we bought a zooMovies trigger my thoughts. I always felt that some lines that were said in the movies have a deeper meaning. Only by slowing down to digest, I get to fully understand what these movies want to convey.

Matrix by Keanu Reeve, convey a message about our world in a very obscured manner. Most watched Matrix for its action and special effect, but I see it as a philosophy movie. I was fascinated by the underlying message that I had to immerse myself 5 times into the movie.

Last night, I watched We Bought A Zoo by Matt Damon & Scarlett Johansson; a movie about living your life in an adventure. In a way it’s a subtly inspiring movie.

My deep impression of the movie was when Matt Damon shared with his son, “20 seconds of courage.” When fear attacked you, all you need is to call on your courage for 20 seconds to face it face to face. According to Matt Damon in the movie, when you do it, something great will happen to you.

I thought it was an amazing idea. Imagine all the fear that you are facing can be overcome in 20 seconds. Such a great strategy, isn’t it? It seems so easy, but it is not so easy for some.

I do remember this feeling of calling up the courage for 20 seconds. The first time I did public presentation. The first time I make cold call. The first time I jump off from height, and the list goes on. I recalled many instances that I called upon my courage to overcome fear, and I got rewarded all the time.

In my journey of training and coaching, I encountered many great individuals. Some have no issue calling upon their courage for 20 seconds, but some do have the difficulty of calling upon their courage. Have you seen someone froze when it’s time to for action? Their fear is probably weighs a ton, pressing on their courage. With one ton fear weighing on them, no wonder they froze.

One ton fear is the fear of losing identity. They hold onto who they are suppose to be so much that they froze when it is time to change their being.

I avoid dancing in the past. One reason is because I can’t dance well but the more important reason is in order to dance, I have to let go of who I am.

I have to shift my being to dance. I have to let go of all restriction and expectation that I placed onto myself if I were to totally immense in dancing. And that yikes me.

I told myself and others, “I’m not like that. I don’t dance.” Thus, I closed that door of possibility.

The day when I call upon my courage for 20 seconds, allowing myself to feel dancing 100%, I felt this one ton fear being put down. Finally I can breathe again. I let go of who I am to grab hold of another being. To become the fun and liberated ME. That moment, I understood that I can be anyone, any being if I choose to. I can be the old me, and at the same time embrace the new me. Old or new, they are still ME.

Usually we will tell people who we are, but at the same time, that is also who we are not. There is a statement I heard, “you are everything, and you are also nothing.” This is who you are, but at the same time this is who you are not.

When you let go of who you are, let go of your identity, you bring forth your courage to breakthrough your plateau much easier.

The strategy to do it is that despite hanging strongly onto your identity, you acknowledge that at times, letting go of that identity is worth the risk.

This way you get to release the pressure pressing on your courage, to get you courage to seep out from you.

Practice 20 seconds of courage from now on. You will be rewarded.

One thought on “20 Seconds of Courage To Live Your Life

  1. Subrina Ng

    Hi Joe,

    Great sharings ! Thank you.
    It is not the matter of worth the risk or not to let go of the identity or.. It is usually the letting go that is challenging.
    “20 seconds of courage” usually comes from the spur of the moment.


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