Edition Nº10 Courage
A collection of stories, reflections and transformations of people and brands
Dear Reader
quote courage is not the absence of fear
Desired by many. Faked by plenty. Refuted by several. Embraced by the some.

It is the moving forward. With knees knocking and teeth rattling. The progress from here to there. It is the determination to advance, the stepping into the void. It is the wilful shedding of old skin, although it may keep you warm it does not really generate new heat as it lacks the vital energy that comes from a living thing.

It is the letting go of the familiar. Just because the known is recognisable does not mean it is good for/to you. The known delights the ego as it keeps one in charge. You don’t ‘lose face’ in the familiar. You are ‘in control’ in the familiar. You ‘know’ in the familiar. Yet this sense of knowing means you stay rooted in only what you know. Which, in truth – is an Nth of what is available to you.

Courage is the active and mindful act of bulldozing the old familiar house. An act of self-advancement and elevation. To move means acknowledging inertia. It requires one to admit to a moment of having stood still for too long in a place that eventually became a prison.
The boxer knows this. Hanging onto the ropes is to paint oneself into a corner. The ‘opponent’ (in this case life) will pin you in that position and have its way with you, raining blows, jabs, side punches and upper cuts – with you now locked into a position you reversed into.
You sealed off your options. You closed off possibilities. You retreated from the wider world.
And now it has come forward to crush you. To pummel you into some form of awakening.

Move, you are not a tree. Move off the ropes, use your feet to shuffle around the earth beneath you. It is holding you up, you shall not be up-ended.
Move. Create room between you and the torrential blows coming at you. The best place to be is off the ropes, you see the punches as they come. By outstretching your arm -you have perspective.
You create distance and can look at what is coming at you- really look, to see and note, capture and formulate reaction and response. From here you can shift, you can adjust your stance.
You can keep pace with the punches and you can fight your way out and back into the game.

So go ahead, get off the ropes. Life is lived in the middle of the ring. Whether person, product, place or brand, you are called upon to summon the fire within you. Chart your own path.
Shed what no longer serves.

So when I left the comfort and predictability of employment – I had no grander plan than just escaping unhappiness, landing on my feet and creating my way. It has not been easy. It has been super fulfilling and I would not trade this place for the world.

Courage is the swerve that supersizes most things.
Some courageous folks that got my attention this month:

THE NINEVITES – The super smart and talented Nkuli Mlangeni-Berg who relocated to Sweden and kept to her purpose of creating with imagination. She has just been awarded the MONOCLE New Talent Award 2021.
Listen to the show on monocle.com
Here is a bookmark to Nkuli Mlangeni-Berg's chapter

Matthew McConaughey who went into the Hollywood “wilderness”. For 20 months he rejected rom-com scripts (the box he knew) to grow a new muscle. Taking on more dramatic roles – he ends up winning the Best Oscar in 2014 for his role in Dallas Buyers Cowboys .

French Chef Yannick Alleno – who used to serve a € 395 menu at his three-starred Michelin restaurant and will (from September) serve up burgers at prices locals can afford. He also owned his errors including a socially repressive and sexist view he had espoused about the role of women in the restaurant business. The future for him is a restaurant that can be a social example. Courageous and necessary moves.

In advancing their drive to deepen democracy, the leadership at South Africa’s Constitution Hill decided to dig-deep and speak truth to power. The #willofthepeople campaign was the result. It was launched on the eve of Freedom Day (April 27th) and is a pointed reminder from the electorate to elected officials that they occupy roles in service of the people not for the pursuance of personal enrichment.

It takes courageous leadership to not only ‘kick-the-tyres’ of your business, but to dismantle the engine and see which parts fits or no longer fit your purpose for the future. Unilever has done just that. In addition to eliminating the word ‘normal’ from all their packaging, they have committed to an inclusive society and will ensure that all service providers in their supply chain will earn decent living wage by 2030.
Kind Regards,
Dr. Sizakele Marutlulle

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