Essential Walk #11: Courage, Resilience, & Character

Thoughts on Excellence Free E-Newsletter Series
Volume 22, Issue No. 8a
April 1, 2024

By Dan Coughlin


The-Struggle-Makes-You Stronger

In MWD (Merriam-Webster Dictionary), courage is defined as mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty, and resilience is defined as an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.

When I think of courage and resilience, I think of persevering through many severe challenges to repeatedly say and do what you think is the right thing to say and do.

Courage and resilience start in your essence. They begin with your thoughts, emotions, and will. Courage and resilience are choices you can make whenever you want to do so.

Connect Courage, Resilience, and Virtue

Courage and resilience are incredibly important aspects of enhancing the health of your essence. However, there is one caveat. And that is this: to enhance the health of your thoughts, emotions, and will, your courage and resilience need to be connected to your sense of virtue, what you consider to be the right thoughts, emotions, and will for you.

When you do that, you strengthen your character and your essence. John Wooden had a great quote on character, “Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation because your character is who you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

When people persevere through danger for the sake of their egotism, which is about their exaggerated sense of self-importance and is focused only on immediate gratification and short-term pleasure, then I believe they weaken their essence. And then these weakened thoughts, emotions, and will carry over into their words and actions.

This is another example of why it is soooooo important to slow down. Preserve time in your daily and weekly schedule to go for an Essential Walk, and to consider the role you want courage and resilience to perform within your life.

Essential Walk Questions to Consider 

  1. How do you define courage and resilience?
  2. What are 2-3 examples in your life where you have displayed courage and resilience?
  3. What is a part of your life where you want greater courage and resilience regarding your thoughts, emotions, and will?

Republishing Articles

My newsletters, Thoughts on Excellence, have been republished in approximately 40 trade magazines, on-line publications, and internal publications for businesses, universities, and not-for-profit organizations over the past 20+ years. If you would like to republish all or part of my monthly articles, please send me an e-mail at with the name of the article you want in the subject heading. I will send you the article in a word document.

Back to Newsletter Page