Don’t worry, this isn’t an article with some in-depth analysis of the One Direction hit bearing the (almost) same name as my blog post. No, it’s much more substantive than that.

I’m writing this having been inspired by a business event where a man called Jim Lawless gave a presentation  entitled “Taming Tigers”.
If you haven’t heard of him, Jim Lawless is one of Europe’s leading motivational speakers and is the only authority on Change and Personal Development to have put his life on the line to prove his theories.

Jim spoke clearly about his 10  life rules, which were under-pinned by his stories of becoming a jockey and also Britain’s free-dive record holder. All pretty impressive stuff and certainly food for thought!

However, the biggest take-away from his talk was the notion that we are all, today, writing the stories of our own lives.\

Of course, none of us knows how many pages we’ve got left (!) but we are in control of what kind of story we tell. Is yours a blockbuster, full of action, excitement and fulfilment?

It made me reflect on my own life and how I’m doing (I scored good!) and, in the process, I was reminded of a very influential teacher of mine at Canford school in Dorset over 30 years ago. His name was Mr Paterson and he taught us Economics. He was best the teacher I ever had.

He made economics come alive and every day, his class, was mind bending. I loved it. (Interestingly, I can barely remember any of my other teachers, but I digress).

Anyway, one day Mr Paterson, veering off-topic himself, asked the class “What’s the greatest of all virtues?”
We all sort of stared at him for a while and then suggested things like honesty, generosity, self-discipline… to which he replied, “No, none of those are correct”. “The greatest of all virtues” he said, “is courage, because if you don’t have courage, you’ll never live out any of the other virtues”.

The fact that this incident happened 32 years ago, and that I can recall it as if it was last week, tells you what a profound impact it had on me and I was reminded of it once again during Jim Lawless’s talk.

Jim’s opening rule for taming the tiger is “Act boldly today — time is Limited” and I know that made an impression on quite a few people because there was lots of comments about this after the talk.

And it really made me think about it in the context of trying to find a soul mate.

So, what does understanding that the greatest of all virtues is courage actually mean and how can you utilise it in your personal life on daily basis?

Well, I reckon that one of the key elements of courage is conviction. In a personal context, that means that you have to believe that what you’re striving towards is absolutely the right thing for you right now, and it’s about getting to a place where you are boldly confident to put yourself out there.

Act boldly today – time is limited