The dictionary defines dauntless as resolute courage, adding the dimensions of tenacious determination to the word courage.
It is courage to chart your own course, just as it is courage to keep walking it day after day even when you see no end in sight. It is courage to defy the world and choose the road less traveled, just as it is courage to ignore the jeering laughter of those who seek to weaken you. It is courage when experts declare that you’ll never make it and you continue nevertheless. It is courage to keep your vision untainted by the mud the world pelts on your vision.
I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.
~ Harper Lee (Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird)
It is dauntlessness when you would not lower your flag even when the world lets lose a barrage of cannon fire upon it. No, it is not defiance. Your motive is not to injure another. You are merely defending your right to hold on to your soul and let her lead you where she must. You are not attacking anyone; you are only protecting yourself from the attack of others. If they choose to take offense at it, so be it.
Dauntlessness speaks of a courage that doesn’t let go. It is courage in the morning and at night; in fair weather and foul; when things are going well and when they are a disaster. There is a permanence to it, an aspect of non- negotiable doughtiness that would break but not bend. It doesn’t sound at ALL easy to practice, specially if your acquaintance with basic courage is sporadic.
Yield not thy neck to fortune’s yoke, but let thy dauntless mind still ride in triumph over all mischance.
~ William Shakespeare
From what I have observed in people’s practice of courage, one thing stands out. People willfully dilute their ability to be courageous. They let the rust of pragmatism corrode the purity of their mettle. They tell themselves that courage is all very well for an ideal, text book scenario but that’s not real life. To them, real life is less than the life they dreamed of in their youth. Why, I don’t know. It is incomprehensible to me.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
~ Anaïs Nin
You aren’t like that, I know. You are intrepid, tough and daring. Once you decide on a course of action, you don’t lose direction. When you meet rocky terrain, you don’t lose your drive. Your devotion to your North Star is unfailing. You know only your discipline will help you in fulfilling your destiny.
You are resolute in your courage. You are dauntless.
All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don’t sit looking at it-walk.
~ Ayn Rand