Adrian Knowles: 20 seconds of courage

It’s a modest slice of time—just 20 seconds out of the thousands that tick by in a day.

Yet these fleeting moments can be the dividing line between a life of quiet desperation and one of boundless opportunity.

This is not just a cliche from a feel-good movie script, but a philosophy that, when embraced, has the potency to revolutionise our relationships, our careers, and, fundamentally, ourselves.

The consequence of silence

It’s the quiet of an unsent message, an unspoken feeling, the silence when you know you should speak up but don’t.

The misapprehension is that keeping quiet is the safe path; the one less likely to lead to friction or loss.

But here’s the stark reality—the unspoken word festers.

It grows, it twists, and it does a disservice to the truth.

All the while, in those 20 seconds of non-action, relationships fray, respect dwindles, and opportunities wither.

Eventually, months are spent in the wake of that silence, trying to rebuild what is often irreparably broken, facing heartaches that could have been averted with a mere 20 seconds of courage.

Shattering the whisper network with truth

Like a stone thrown into the serene pond of gossip, those 20 seconds can ripple out, shattering the glassy surface of half-truths and rumour mills that so often characterise our social and workplace interactions.

How many times have we seen a simple, direct interaction shut down a waterfall of misinformation that could otherwise have led to a cascade of unnecessary conflict or misjudgement?

In the real estate and corporate world, clarity brought by timely and brave communication could mean the difference between a spiralling crisis and a resolved misunderstanding.

Those 20 seconds of courage not only affect the protagonists of the story but are a one-two punch that also clarifies and reveals the truth, squashing any unfounded hearsay in its wake.

Facing fear, harvesting hope

There is no action required that does not demand some form of courage.

Whether it’s speaking up in a meeting, making amends with a friend, or proposing an innovative solution in your field, these 20 seconds can pave the way for your personal and professional growth.

Fear whispers falsehoods that we’re better off without; it tells us that we are better off staying in the comfort of unknown potential.

Yet each time you face our trepidation, you reap a harvest of hope.

It’s in the doing—the saying when we feel most unready—that your world expands, your capabilities deepen, and your relationships find new layers of trust and understanding.

The call to courage

In truth, your moments of courage need not be grand gestures.

This isn’t the ethos of leaping off rooftops or reciting soliloquies atop cafeteria tables.

Rather, it’s in the simple and steadfast motion of taking your 20 seconds, acknowledging that there is something on your mind, and mustering the bravery to express it.

It’s the courage to be seen, heard, and noticed.

Your 20 seconds

Take them.

They’re unclaimed currency in the transaction of your life.

Speak up, reach out, and do so with the conviction that in those 20 seconds, you’re making the minutest and yet the most colossal step forward.

You honour yourself and others by breaking the silence, breaking the cycle of fear, and in turn, breaking open the doors that could lead you to a life well and truly lived.

How to cultivate the 20 seconds

The road to a life, sparked by moments of bravery, is not always straightforward.

It requires mindfulness, self-awareness, and self-compassion.

To cultivate 20 seconds of courage, consider the following:

  • Reflect regularly: Spend time each day assessing the moments when you chose silence over affirmation. Reflect on the potential outcomes had you acted with courage.
  • Set a goal: Commit to a small act of bravery each day. It could be as simple as asking a question in a meeting or sharing an idea with a friend.
  • Celebrate your moments: Recognise and celebrate the moments when you summoned courage. Acknowledge the fear you felt, and the bravery you demonstrated.
  • Do not linger in regret: Dwelling on the times when you’ve not been brave serves no purpose. Instead, focus on the times you were, and the positive changes it initiated.

Start small, begin with the everyday interactions, and offer to speak, listen and engage more actively.

Understand that feelings of apprehension do not need to be stifled but are, in fact, an indication that there’s something worthwhile on the other side of your reluctance.

Build this courage like any muscle—and watch in astonishment as you and those around you flourish with the cultivation of each 20 seconds.

There’s a reason the adage “fortune favours the bold” continues to echo through society; it’s a truth as simple as stepping forward and speaking out.

A truth that defines the difference in a world that reflects our innermost desires and one that simply happens to you.

Take those precious 20 seconds.

Be bold, be courageous, and when in doubt, remember—the smallest of transformers can often wield the most significant power.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top