“You develop courage by doing courageous things”, Maya Angelou to hbr.org

November 15, 2014

Arts & Culture

The Late American poet and writer, Maya Angelou, who penned President Clinton’s Inaugural Poem, On the pulse of the morning” talks to the Harvard Business Review’s Alison Beard in this May 2013 interview:

Late Maya Angelou reciting “On the pulse of the morning” at President Clinton’s 1993 Inauguration – WIKIPEDIA

On “the most important lessons” late Maya Angelou’s mother taught her:

“… I would say she encouraged me to develop courage. And she taught me by being courageous herself. And after years of leaving her and, I think, becoming courageous, I realized that one isn’t born with courage. One develops it.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2014. 6:55 p.m. [GMT]
And you develop it by doing small, courageous things, in the same way that one wouldn’t set out to pick up 100 pound bag of rice. If that was one’s aim, the person would be advised to pick up a five pound bag, and then a ten pound, and then a 20 pound, and so forth, until one builds up enough muscle to actually pick up 100 pounds. And that’s the same way with courage.

You develop courage by doing courageous things, small things, but things that cost you some exertion– mental and, I suppose, spiritual exertion.”

“Maya Angelou on Courage and Creativity” in Harvard Business Review, May 2013.


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