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Q: How can I move my life forward despite my fears and uncertainties?

Raphael Brasileiro / Pexels

A: No matter how wonderful our dreams, how noble our ideals or how high our hopes, ultimately we need courage to make them a reality. We can come up with the greatest ideas or plans in the world or be filled with boundless compassion for others, but it will all come to nothing unless we have the courage to put those intentions into action. Without action, it’s as if our dreams and ideals never existed. …

The German poet Goethe (1749–1832) declared that the loss of such things as possessions and reputation is an insignificant concern. You can always set out to restore them. But the loss of courage is the loss of everything. …

If you summon your courage to challenge something, you’ll never be left with regret. How sad it is to spend your life wishing, “If only I’d had a little more courage.” Whatever the outcome may be, it is important to take a step forward on the path that you believe is right. There’s no need to worry about what others may think. Be true to yourself. It’s your life, after all. (Ikeda Sensei, Discussions on Youth, pp. 328–29)

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