Courage

Conquering Fears, Stoic advice

Gallardia


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“Without courage, wisdom bears no fruit.”
― Baltasar Gracian

Wisdom, justice, courage and temperance, the 4 stoic cardinal virtues. Let’s talk about courage, with a Spanish twist.

In the Spanish language, there is another word you can use to refer to courage: Gallardia.

Gallardia is a bit different from what you can understand when using the word courage.

Look at Don Quixote, un hombre Gallardo ( a brave man ). But, when you describe him as gallardo, you describe him as brave, with style. He makes a ceremony out of his braveness, he almost makes a theater, an exhibition a show, out of it.

He is extremely proud of his bravery and cannot fathom to think, giving it up, brave is what he is, he is a gallardo man.

The difference to saying he is a brave man is that saying he is gallardo adds spice to it, adds ceremony and attractiveness.

Another example, the rooster. The rooster is a proud bird, it will fight, to the death and he declares that with the brightness of its colors, its posture and stance and willingness to engage.

Why am I saying this?

Virtue is attractive.

When you hear the word virtue? What do you imagine? Do you imagine a person you want to emulate, or do you think of someone boring?

I believe, popularly at least, the latter. When you are a kid and you are in ethics class or virtues class, at least in my experience, they were boring. I didn’t want to be the good kid that sits down straight and always obeys his teacher, who the hell wants that?

The problem was that that kind of teaching: obedience and conformity and being “good” is what has come to be perceived as a virtue.

The hilarious thing about this is that virtue, is the complete opposite to being nice and obedient. Virtue stands for truth and authenticity and therefore, many times stands for conflict with what is not right.

This is the reason why I love the Spanish term: Gallardo. It gives virtue and courage that attractiveness back. It takes courage and virtue, not something dull and boring, but something to be sought after, something clearly satisfying to have.

Virtue is the sole good.

How about you? Feeling Gallardo yet?

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 “Nothing happens to the wise man contrary to his expectation,” – Seneca

We don’t like to think, do we?

I can assure you that mental mathematical abilities have declined fast since we have calculators in our smartphones, I don’t even have to research it, I’m sure about it.

The problem comes when we become too lazy to think about life and reality and our place in it. Every time you know you need to put yourself to work but instead, you choose to look at Instagram when you could be working or learning a new language or maybe reading a book, you are neglecting your potential and your capacity to offer value to society and be more fulfilled in the process.

Our brains function is literally to think and we are using it less and less. Give your brain a question and it will find an answer, in a day or in a year but it will find it you just have to ask.

The good, the bad and the ugly

There is a very good reason why one of the cardinal virtues of stoicism is courage. Courage is the ability and willingness to face life and the many problems and joys it offers. I even dare to say it is the most important of the cardinal virtues because without daring to face life, to go with life and to play your role, you will simply slip back and be played by someone who actually wants to live.

So once, you’ve made the choice to actually start living, you need to start using your head.

When life is good, we become lazy, we stop thinking about all the things and struggles we had to go through, to make life good. It seems that we are only stoic during bad times. Just like people only pray when they need it, this is a terrible mistake. It is a terrible mistake because stoicism must be practiced in good, bad and ugly times.

Praemeditatio malorum, negative visualization

What can go wrong?

In the good times, you don’t question yourself this as much, you think that just thinking about this might get you in trouble because you will attract that in which you are thinking. But really?

Who will be better off? The person that has thought about all the possibilities, even when nothing seems to be able to fail, or the person that has asked this question and on top of that has developed strategies for every possible scenario?

The world might call you a pessimist. Who cares? It’s far better to seem like a downer than to be blindsided or caught off guard.
If we have prepared ourselves for the obstacles that are inevitably on their way, we can rest assured that it’s other people who have not. In other words, this bad luck is actually a chance for us to make up some time. We become like runners who train on hills or at altitude so they can beat racers who expected the course would be flat.

Daily stoic

Today, as you go through your day, give yourself a moment to reflect about your life, to be prepared to what comes next. Practice this daily and you will begin to think clearly and become more aligned to reality while everyone is busy checking their smartphones.

Subscribe here

Become our Patreon and enjoy the patron only benefits! You can find more on our Patreon page. Thanks a lot for reading and I hope stoicism makes your life better, I’m sure it will.

Want to further your knowledge? Complement your reading with Opportunity cost.