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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cultivating Bravery, the key to Moxie

MOXIE - The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage; vigor; verve; pep. [Moxie week starts here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

Courage doesn't always roar.  Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.  

Yesterday Jessie had a friend over for a full afternoon play date, so I never had the chance to leave the house, which gave me little chance for my Live with Moxie initiative. I did ask myself, "So what unexpected and brave thing should I try today?"

One of our new neighbors has been parking a large flatbed trailer in front of our house since last week and it is starting to bug us. Vehicles are not supposed to be parked on our street for more then 48 hours, since said trailer is now hitting the 72 hour mark we would not be out of line to do something.  The completely brave and forthright thing to do would be to go ahead and knock on their door and ask them what is going on with the trailer. If it is a one time or occasional thing we don't want to make a big deal about it. We just don't want it to be a fixture in our front yard. So far neither Rob or I have been willing to be this straight forward.

I am entirely amused at the conversations we are having.

"Maybe we should leave a note that says please move the trailer."

"Maybe the note should say move the trailer or we will report it and cite the 48 hour parking rule."

"Maybe we should just call and report it if it doesn't move by tomorrow" -- then when tomorrow comes, "by tomorrow" again -- and now it is standing at "let's see if it is still there when we get back from vacation."

We joke that we could post a Craig's list ad that says "Free Trailer" and just sit back and watch what happens. Of course we are way too nice for that. Heck we aren't even brave enough to talk to them!

Actually we are hoping it is a one time thing and have decided not to do anything unless it becomes a recurring problem, after we get back from vacation. (Of course now that I shared all of this and have worked up a little courage and if I happen to be outside when one of them comes out of their house I just might talk to them!)

So likely, trailer bravery is out.

What else could I try? Aha! I know. When I reached out to Earl Henslin, who's book "This is Your Brain on Joy" was one of my references for my JOY week, and he actually responded to me, I was delighted. I even called the post where I related the bliss I felt A Hint of Moxie. Getting in touch with Dr. Henslin supercharged me that week.  I reached out to other people who's work I admired and found that each time I did so I felt braver about it. Just doing something seems to feed bravery.  It isn't a glitsy tip and it might be hard to do but if you want to find courage, be bold and do something!

I really have to thank Dr. Henslin for responding because if he hadn't I don't know if I would have kept on reaching out. As I mentioned in the A Hint of Moxie post, I made up that someone who wrote a book would likely have more important things to do then to write to me so when he, my personal Joy celebrity, did I was overjoyed! Well, this week I am working on all of my December topics and looking for people to guest post, hopefully to fill in some gaps while I am on vacation, and I have decided to be BOLD and BRAVE about asking people I admire to contribute something. I am even feeling brave enough to even accept rejection and to keep on going. Normally I would just provide a link to the things I think you might enjoy but this week I am asking for more!

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that 
something else is more important than fear.  

Next Post: Living with Moxie update

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise
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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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