Yesterday I sat in awe, watching the adventures of my soon-to-be one year old daughter.  I sat back and reflected on how much she has grown in the last year and how independent she’s become.

It began with her morning feeding. I watched her feed herself and become frustrated with my efforts to help. That afternoon, we played with her blocks and as I’d build a tower, she’d knock it down and reconstruct it to her liking.  Throughout the day, I watched her tackle her newest feat – running.

I watched her take off with no fear; moving obstacles, running blindly around corners, and beaming in pride as she reached her destination.  Later that night, much to my surprise and fear, I discovered she’d conquered the stairs.  As I sat back and reflected on the day, it hit me… what if we had the courage of babies? 

As my daughter sat and fed herself she had no fear of looking silly. When she was done she grinned proudly with oatmeal from her head to her toes.  She didn’t care if all of the food made it to her mouth or only some.  She was satisfied that she had eaten, and more importantly she’d done it on her own.

She didn’t care that the job wasn’t executed perfectly, but that she accomplished the goal.

As we played with the blocks she was pleased that I built a tower, but wasn’t afraid to knock it down and make it her own.  Running through the house, she had no fear.  She moved obstacles in order to reach her destination.  She wasn’t afraid of what may have been around the corner; she had a destination and nothing was going to stop her. When she conquered the stairs, it never occurred to her that she didn’t have a plan to get back down; she just sat smiling proudly because she’d gotten to the top.

How great would it be if we could apply the courage of babies to our everyday living?  This week I challenge you to do just that by doing the following:

  • Put aside your fears and face the obstacles that stand in your way head on.
  • If you’re a perfectionist, challenge yourself to concentrate less on perfection, but that the job is executed to the best of your ability and the goal is met.
  • Take someone’s model and have to courage to make it your own.
  • Don’t focus on the “maybes” and fear what’s ahead, but focus on the now.

Winston Churchill stated “success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”  My daughter reaching the top of the stairs was not final, for she will eventually have to discover how to get back down.  Her inability to make all food reach her mouth, so far has not proven to be fatal.  Every day she has the courage to continue, discover, and accomplish something new.

Challenge yourself this week to do the same.

Baby photo available from Shutterstock.