To develop courage we need to develop a clear moral code of conduct, a set of values we can live by, that will guide us in our behaviour, and that we can hold on to when the going gets rough.
The point is to find a set of values that we believe in, that will give us a strong sense of inner conviction, values that we can wholeheartedly embrace which will then give us the power to act accordingly and so achieve our full potential.
There are two complementary paths to establishing values, one inner and one outer. The inner path means searching for your own held beliefs about what is important and what is right. One route is to think about instances, experiences in your life where you felt really good, in flow, a sense of being fully alive. When you question what it was about that experience that felt so good, you start to uncover the values that were being supported. Taking the opposite approach, sifting through negative and uncomfortable experiences will reveal where your values were being breached.
The outer path requires us to seek guidance from the world around us. There are many sources of guidance when we open ourselves to the search. Philosophy, religions, psychology, people around us, all have perspectives on values and morals. As you search you will find many contradictions, since the world is full of paradox, and you find amongst these choices what is right for you. There are clearly no absolute answers and you learn to appreciate the multiplicity of views. In this context you choose your own values responsibly and live by them.
Courage means to live in accordance with your values. The more considered the values, the more robust they are, and the the stronger they are the greater the potential for courage.
Examples of Values