Quotations for Motivation #24 --- Courage

Quotations on Courage

Many people fail because their ships hug the shore too closely. They are afraid to launch out into the deep water beyond the rocks. It not only requires courage, but sometimes even boldness, bordering on audacity.

---Orison Swett Marden, Success Magazine, New York, N.Y., June 1905.

Courage is not always the absence of fear; it is the ability to overcome fear, or control it.

---Abram Duryee, Christian Intelligencer, New York, N.Y., April 7, 1920.

Courage is not the absence of fear but the pretense of mind to counter fear with faithful conviction.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Nov. 17, 1967.

Courage is found in the treasure hunt of appreciation of duty.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., May 24, 1936.

Courage depends so very much upon the will to believe.

---Eugene M. Frank, The Topeka Daily Capital, Topeka, Kan., Jan. 25, 1952.

Heroism is courage. How can courage be attained? Can it be cultivated? It can How? By honest, conscientious, persistent, persevering effort by inward consciousness that success is deserved. Conceit is not courage. The best way to cultivate courage is to cultivate merit, to cultivate knowledge, to cultivate ability, to cultivate mastery of self and mastery of one's vocation. Knowledge is power. The man of power need be no coward. Ignorance breeds conceit. Wisdom breeds inward courage and self‑confidence.

‑‑‑B.C. Forbes, Forbes Magazine, New York, N.Y., Feb. 2, 1918.

Fate pursues cowards. Fortune pursues the courageous.

----B.C. Forbes, Forbes Magazine, New York, Oct. 29, 1921.

Every time you fail to give up, you place courage in the bank of your soul.

---George Matthew Adams, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., June 3, 1933.

There is no more fruitful grace that courage. Courage is the father of determination, resolution and unconquerable will. Courage gives a man the power to go through fire and water, to ride in the whirlwind and direct the storm. Courage is the father of self-possession, self-reliance and self-command.

---George H. Givan, Carlsbad Current, Carlsbad, N.M., June 3, 1921.

Courage is built up by long and patient self-discipline. Remind yourself that difficult situations will disclose new powers within you. When demands increase, our ability to meet the demands increases also. The experience of humanity teaches us that we can, if we will have it so, face an unknown future without fear.

—Charles D. Broughton, New York Times, New York, N.Y., Nov. 18, 1940.

Courage finds violets of hope growing in the gray love of the desert of despair.

‑‑‑W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times‑Union, Jacksonville, Fla., Oct. 30, 1923.

Courage unlocks doors to which fear has lost the keys.

‑‑‑W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times‑Union, Jacksonville, Fla., Aug. 28, 1924.

The coward measures difficulties with a telescope; the brave man with his feet.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Duluth Evening Herald, Duluth, Minn., Feb. 18, 1899.

The difference between success and failure is often a mere matter of courage.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Dakota County Herald, Dakota City, Neb., Oct. 1, 1909.

Simple courage is the dynamo of all achievement.

---Burrows Matthews, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Feb. 22, 1930.

Courage is a child of conviction.

---William T. Ellis, The Daily Argus, Mount Vernon, N.Y., Nov. 11, 1916.


Courage is the average man's best capital. Courage is the most reliable weapon the brave man has. Courage is a fine combination of faith and enthusiasm. Courage is the principal difference between the hero and the coward. Courage is the beginning of every victory.


-‑‑Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Dec. 1, 1931.


Take away a man's courage and you have taken away his horsepower.


---Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Nov. 14, 1933.


True courage is the first essential in the character of every leader.


---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 26, 1935.

Courage is a poor asset unless a lot of common sense is combined with it.

-‑‑Bert Moses, Pocatello Tribune, Pocatello, Idaho, March 13, 1924.

Courage changes chance into certainty. Burdens become benedictions when they are bravely borne.

‑‑‑Moore Sanborn, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 22, 1906.

It is in faith that courage is born. And thus is bred hope, the energizer of work. Finally, out of work‑‑constant, tireless, unremitting‑‑is the fabric of achievement woven.

‑‑‑Edward Julian Nally, quoted in Touchstones of Success, Philadelphia, Pa., 1920.

No matter how courageous a man is, there always comes the time when his courage needs to be renewed. No matter how determined the man is, inevitably he comes face to face with the need for a renewal of that determination. No matter how wholeheartedly a man dedicates his life to some high ideal, the hour arrives when the purpose of that dedication must be renewed. When a man faces this need for a renewed courage, for a renewed determination, for a renewed dedication he is facing a genuine crisis. If from some source there is not summoned his renewal, he feels that his life summit has been attained, that his individual mountain peak has been scaled. From that moment on, he loses the inspiring sense of living through to new achievements, to greater deeds, to finer conquests. The geometrical progression of his life gives way to elementary subtraction. Whence may come this renewal of courage, this renewal of determination, this renewal of dedication? It comes only from the encouragement, the praise of someone you like well enough for the encouragement and praise to mean something more than a conventional courtesy given and received. Probably man would like to think that he has within himself these sources of renewals. Man is a conceited animal and dislikes any idea of being dependent upon someone else. He prefers to believe he can provide his own courage, determination and dedication and can, when the need arises, call up within himself the power to renew that courage, determination and dedication. He cannot. No man, not even the ablest of all men, is able to renew his own courage, his own determination, his own dedication. Some power without himself must do this. If you will look back to dark hours in your own life when renewals become imperative, you will remember the renewal came from some encouragement or praise from someone you liked. However courageous a man may be, however filled a life may be with determination, however illuminated a character may be with purposeful dedication, these traits lose their pristine power unless renewed by encouragement and praise. If within your life there is not someone who likes you well enough to encourage you and to praise you, you face a decline. You can be certain your high point will be in the past, not in the future.

---Henry Arnold “H.A.” Stallings, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., April 15, 1935.

Would you like to determine whether you have really succeeded in life or not? Why not try a courageous venture in your life‑‑to do your best. It is quite possible that you are much better than you have demonstrated so far. If you have failed to be what you know how to be, it is because, no doubt, of a lack of courage. Once you decide to stop drifting with the crowd, your life will take on

new significance. You do not want to busy yourself with unimportant things because you are afraid of important things. A coward is not one who is afraid‑‑but one who does not conquer fear. Important things are waiting for a conqueror. The most valuable possessions are those which can be shared without lessening‑‑those which, when shared, multiply. The least valuable possessions are those which, when divided, are diminished. There is nothing to share when there is no one to care. It takes courage to make your dreams become a reality. The line of least resistance makes crooked rivers and crooked men. Each fish that battles upstream is worth ten that loaf in lazy bays. The great mass of people prefer the easy way‑‑any way that requires no effort. Lazy people never want to adjust themselves. They are the ones who have never tasted the thrill of victory. There are no great thrills in the trenches‑‑they are out on the field of battle. If you will get enough courage to lift your head above the crowd, your days won't be humdrum. If you have the stamina to face circumstances that depress you, you are on the road to victory. Problems that are faced aggressively are half solved.

‑‑‑Carlysle H. Holcomb, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, March 5, 1953.

There are two types of courage‑‑one that rises to a supreme height in a moment of urgency, the other which holds serene and firm through long hours, days, years of effort. It is difficult to decide which is the finer test of manhood, the call of the moment, or the demand of the long and hard pull. Some of us are so constituted there is within us that spark which springs into a consuming flame of courage when the moment comes. Others, alas, may intend just as well, yet when the test comes there is some condition of glands or nerves or heart, within 'em, that predestinates failure to live up to the test of the supreme moment. Likewise there are some constituted so they can keep up the long, hard pull until victory comes, despite the discouragement of temporary setbacks. There are those who do not, usually, hear the plaudits of the crowd, their contribution lacks the spectacular element. Yet without them man could never achieve anything. Others lack something in their makeup which leaves them prey to the fault of inconstancy. They cannot control that tendency to look back, even after they have put their hands to the plow. They cannot resist the temptation to relax, for a little while, to take their ease and indulgence.

‑‑‑Ralph T. Jones, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Dec. 1, 1942.

I am convinced that courage is the most contagious human element in the world. Heroism may thrill and cleverness intrigue, but courage stirs to action. It knows not weariness nor defeat, builds not on another's weakness but in its own strength. Courage registers more deeply than fear. Fear may strike more quickly, but courage shames the coward into believing and achieving, and draws the wavering man like a magnet. Fear in one man may be felt by another, weakening both. But courage in one begets courage in another, building each individual to meet his problems squarely, realistically. Courage is the superlative quality that makes the world stand at attention. It drives out cynicism and defeatism, and brings back ideals and the will to achieve. If you would know life to the fullest, let courage be your watchword. Others will catch the spirit and follow you as their leader.

---William F. McDermott, The Rotarian, Chicago, Ill., April 1940.

Courage is the flower of confidence.

‑‑‑Christian Advocate, New York, N.Y., May 11, 1899.

The courageous man is never a pessimist. He hasn't the seed of pessimism in him. Fear is the seed from which pessimism springs, just as courage induces the bright anticipations of the optimist. The courageous man looks for the good, the true and the beautiful, and it is he who finds them.

‑‑‑Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Jan. 5, 1930.

Courage is one of the principal forces of genius.

‑‑‑Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas, Aug. 29, 1893.

Courage is the steady, enduring, aggressive quality that enables the individual to speak and act calmly and fearlessly for a righteous cause, regardless of whether his words and actions will be popular. Courage is not motivated by a need for public approval or by the expectation of reward.

‑‑‑Hill Top Times, Ogden, Utah, Sept. 23, 1964.

Courage and ability go hand in hand. When one slumps the other goes with it.

‑‑‑Idaho Country Free Press, Grangeville, Idaho, April 19, 1934.

Courage is disciplined fear.

‑‑‑Preston Citizen, Preston, Idaho, March 28, 1946.

Courage does not include ignorance of danger. A fool does not become a hero by rushing into danger.

‑‑‑River Press, Fort Benton, Mont., June 25, 1930.

Courage is not blind endeavor to accomplish the impossible but will to undertake that which is necessary if within the limits of human possibility of achievement.

‑‑‑Scott County News, Oneida, Tenn., Nov. 2, 1928.

Courage is the key that releases achievement from the dungeon of doubt.

‑‑‑The White and Blue, Provo, Utah, Jan. 23, 1912.

Bravery is two‑thirds fortitude, and fortitude is two‑thirds patience.

‑‑‑Zion's Herald, Boston, Mass., Sept. 28, 1904.

Will power is the secret of courage. When a man is a fool for anything, be it liquor, women or gambling, his vice dominates his will; but when he does the courageous thing and overcomes his weakness his will has recaptured its commanding position. Confidence is not synonymous with courage, because a man may lose confidence but keep on trying. Some men are so constituted that they do not know fear. This is of a lower order than courage because courage implies premeditation and a full appreciation of the risks involved. Because it is a triumph of the spirit over the body courage is a higher thing. Particularly is this true in football. The sensitive, intelligent player is more likely to worry himself into a nervous frenzy that will make him a rag at game time, but it is easier to teach this man courage, which is nothing more than self-control. The boy who can descend to the depths can also rise to the heights, and after he has disciplined himself to play under stress he will be more valuable than the dumb ox who does not know enough to get excited.

—Knute Rockne, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., March 24, 1929.

Opportunity, equipment, courage: these three combined are the secret of great achievement. Of these three courage is chiefest, because courage will open the door of opportunity and create the equipment, but neither opportunity nor equipment offers any hope to the coward.

—Lyman Abbott, Outlook, New York, N.Y., March 15, 1916.

The idea comes to me that courage is a virtue evolved from necessity. We who do the spectacular things are hardly courageous at all in comparison with those people you never hear of, but who go on doing prosaic and useful jobs to the best of their ability.

—Richard Evelyn Byrd, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., March 24, 1929.

Courage is the product of energy and imagination–courage to overcome the inertia of life. The imagination contributes to courage, if properly guided. Imagination, to be sure, may conjure up many bugaboos which do not exist. At the same time, imagination can find many ways out of a tangle. Experience gives courage, for, as someone has truly said, courage is the ability to do over again what one has done before. Courage is contagious. Courage, brother, and look for someone to whom to impart it!

—Burris A. Jenkins, Kansas City Post, Kansas City, Mo., June 10, 1919.

Courage is ambition. There must be a fighting instinct–the thing which makes you face any test, whether it's strange or familiar, when you think you should face it. Don't confuse nervousness with cowardice–a man may be nervous before the bell rings but settle down after he gets started. Then experience and confidence have something to do with it; a man who has faced a thing and beaten it gets confidence; he figures he's been through it once and can do it again. But there's got to be something more than fighting instinct and confidence--you've got to have the ambition to go out and do the thing; and there has to be a reason for the ambition.

—Jack Dempsey, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., March 24, 1929.

Courage is that personal quality which enables an individual to overcome, consciously, the emotion of fear in any of its innumerable forms.

—Edmund R. Harding, Forum and Century, New York, N.Y., September 1930.

Courage, confidence and ability to overcome fears go hand in hand and are developed by everyday choices and decisions. Avoid not the tasks and situations that are difficult and fraught with danger; nor run away from fears and anticipated unpleasantness. Face them with resolution and decision. We cannot escape the fact that we are the sum total of all our decisions. Courage is, in its truest sense, the opposite of fear. Most fears do not just happen--we nurse them and feed them from tiny trifles to monstrous proportions. Doing the things that we fear kills the fear. The conquest of fear requires action, and courage quickly comes to the rescue. Character is what we are–reputation is what other people think we are. What we are depends on how we exercise our freedom of choice in circumstances under which we have little or no control.

—Alvin W. Fletcher, The Challenge, Stockholm, Sweden, May 1, 1965.

Courage is an inward quality and boldness is its outward expression.

—P.I. Lipsey, The Baptist Record, Jackson, Miss., Jan. 15, 1920.

The best combination for security and success is courage and wisdom. Those that have at the start only a little wisdom must acquire more; those that are naturally timid–which means nearly everybody–must become brave. There can be no real courage without ignorance. And I do not mean the ignorance of folly. When a person at the steering wheel of an automobile drive the car on an unknown road at three o'clock in the morning at sixty-five miles an hour, that is not courage; that is folly. The true courage is the courage that exists along with ignorance of the outcome. When a young man lines up in football and waits for the whistle; when a man leaves his home and enlists in an army; when a woman leaves her father and mother and goes to live with a husband; when she decides to have a child; the result may be defeat, disaster, death; or it may be success and happiness. If one knew in advance, then there would be no courage. ... Courage is greater than common sense; for common sense means caution.

—William Lyon Phelps, Delineator, New York, N.Y., August 1931.

Courage of the right sort is a blend. It is the patience to develop skill, the will to go on against whatever odds, the determination to fight on through, and the power that comes from knowing one might be beaten but not broken. And this is only a starter.

—Grantland Rice, New York Tribune, New York, N.Y., Dec. 21, 1916.

In sports, as well as in other realms of existence, genius and brilliancy are put too far beyond stamina and fortitude, two of the controlling factors of any game. A ball player capable of playing every game in a season–a football player who can finish out every game–mean more to their teams than the average onlooker ever sees. Genius that is brittle is of no use. Dashing courage that isn't built upon fortitude and stamina may be of no particular help. It's the man who can stand up steadily before the eternal drive of the game, whether it be sport or business, who deserves the bulk of the reward.

—Grantland Rice, New York Tribune, New York, N.Y., Jan. 7, 1920.

Courage is partly a natural state of mind and partly a developed state: Ability along a certain line builds up confidence, and confidence in turn helps to build up courage, refined courage, which is not so much a blind battle against the odds as it is a cool, alert aggressiveness all through a game. There are a few, cornered, who won't fight back. The winner, you know, can have just as much courage as the loser. Once in a while sheer and surpassing courage rises triumphant against all odds. But in nine cases out of ten, or in nineteen out of twenty, the winning factor is surpassing ability.

—Grantland Rice, New York Tribune, New York, N.Y., Dec. 9, 1920.

To be courageous, you must be active. When you are constantly moving and working, you are positive about your future. You are working for a goal and by keeping that goal in sight you can overcome all objections. Inactivity gives you time to be negative and fear of failure flows into your mind. Keep the goal in sight and be positive about being successful in achieving that goal. Build active courage.

—Gordon D. Moore, Westate, Denver, Colo., November 1967.

Courage is not a thing of noise and sensationalism. It requires courage to do battle for steady, determined improvement, to recognize one's moments of weakness, imperfection, failure–to live up to the necessity of stepping two paces forward to the one faltering step backward.

—Otis Skinner, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., March 24, 1929.

The dictionary says that courage is that quality which enables one to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness and boldness. Courage allows one to follow his own convictions. Courage can furnish the chief support for an enthusiastic attitude, enabling us to meet our problems and overcome them. By courageous alertness we can prevent harmful traits developing in our lives. As one of the greatest of its benefits, courage fights against fear, discouragement and depression, which are among our most harmful enemies. One of the best ways to understand an idea is to study its opposite. The condition opposite to courage is discouragement. It frequently is accompanied by elements of fear, guilt, negative thinking, and feelings of inferiority. Discouragement is characterized by a lack of ambition, hope, and enthusiasm. Regardless of the reason, a discouraged man is a weak man. Discouragement can cause more unhappiness than almost any other thing. One reason that courage is so valuable is that harmful, negative traits cannot live in its presence. Courage gives us the strength to believe in ourselves and fight for the right. We generate fears when we idly sit, but we can overcome them by vigorous, enthusiastic action. A good, wholesome, worthwhile accomplishment kills the germs of discouragement and fear.

—Edwin Q. Cannon, Jr., Reaper, Zurich, Switzerland, February 1972.

There is no better way to describe some people than to say that they are submerged in the water of circumstance. The waves of circumstance knock them down and they are never able to get back up. Yet, isn't it better to have leaped into the stream of life than to always stand shivering on the shore? Isn't it better to drown, if you must, than to wait fearfully for just the right job or just the right opportunity or for conditions to get just a little better? Someone has said that the mountains always look higher when you are a long way off and realize you have climbed them. And yet when we walk with courage and fearlessness right toward the mountains, we discover that they, just like the level plains, can never be traveled unless we put one foot ahead of another and start moving. You, too, can face life courageously by putting one foot forward, daring to bring the other up behind it, and before you know it, you are walking steadfastly into the future. "Life's battles do not always go to the strongest or fastest," but they never go to the person who never tries to win.

—Eugene M. Frank, The Topeka Daily Capital, Topeka, Kan., May 17, 1951.

There are few young adventurers into life who appreciate all that lies for them in the interpretation and appreciation of true courage. Without courage no such adventurer may hope to succeed according to the best measure of success. Courage too intimately and indissolubly is bound up in all that makes opportunity for success. A goal which does not extract courage for its attainment is at once unworthy and unstable. If one may lie and sneak to it by a short cut it can be only a harvest from thistles. In spite of these things it is a fact that true courage scarcely is regarded as a community virtue. Courage has a reputation in many places as a trouble maker in certain of its manifestations. The worldly recipe for the most available of men in the world's work problem would exact a little honesty, a little courage, and a great deal of tact, with wide discrimination in the use of the mixture. But in such a recipe as this the world is overlooking the fact that the elements of honesty and courage in the formula are adulterated qualities from the beginning. Because the honesty is not honest and the courage is not real, the element of tact becomes overwhelmingly important in the mixture. Tactless dishonesty and tactless cowardice are impossible. Courage of the truest test comes of honest confidence at the last. It is the courage that accomplishes things.

—John A. Howland, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Aug. 26, 1906.

In the category of virtues, courage is greater than optimism; courage is mightier than pessimism. These two are static, but courage is aggressive, it is dynamic. It is resolution, it is achievement.

—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, Jan. 29, 1925.

A brave man does not ask for a full description of what lies ahead–he desires only to know the way and the conditions of getting forward.

—George J. Weber, Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque, N.M., April 20, 1924.

Courage should be the servant of reason.

—H.W. Knickerbocker, Houston Post-Dispatch, Houston, Texas, May 19, 1930.

Courage is the mighty tool which makes molehills out of mountains of difficulty.

—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., June 30, 1923.

Courage recognizes obstacles; fear never recognizes opportunities.

—Earl Riney, Church Management, Cleveland, Ohio, January 1951.

Do not confuse courage with rowdyism. Courage is the capacity to discern what needs to be done and the strength of character to undertake it.

—W. James Robinson, The Western Messenger, Kansas City, Mo., May 7, 1920.

Most of our hazards are mental. Most of the barriers which confront us are the barriers of the mind. We do not show lack of courage so much in our daily performance as we do in our seeming inability to think we can do a job. We are not weaklings in our lack of strength; we are weaklings in our frame of mind.

—Grove H. Patterson, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., Jan. 13, 1931.

Courage is to follow duty, and to overcome obstacles that lie in the way–to never give up while duty rests upon one; this shows true courage. There is a difference between courage and bravery. Courage is the calm, steady suggestion, all through life, of what should be done. Bravery is involuntary action, suddenly; the impulse of a moment. Should time elapse, its ardor may weaken. It derives its strength from some other source than one's own; it is worked up by excitement; it may cool by delay.

—A.C. Wilson, Autumn Leaves, Lamoni, Iowa, March 1900.

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