Reflecting on courage


Today marks exactly two years since I started my PhD, and two years and two days since I landed in Australia to start that PhD. I cannot believe that I am getting to a point where the end is actually in sight! Today I am in a particularly reflective mood, musing on what has been, and is, a journey – both personally and professionally (which I cannot separate anymore).

I have one more year of my PhD to go, and it is equally strange and exhilarating to think that I will be making another move next year (as it is advantageous to move to another university for post-doc training as a researcher, fingers crossed, and – to be honest – because I have come to relish change at this point).

I am a huge fan of Gavin Aung Than of Zen Pencils – a cartoonist who so wonderfully adapts famous quotes into comics – and four of his works are particularly apt in illustrating my journey thus far:

  1. GEORGE MALLORY: Because it’s there – I am often asked why I decided to do this, to follow this path. I just knew it was what I had to do. Because it’s there.
  2. TERENCE McKENNA: Nature loves courage – I have never been more sure of this than I am now, it is never easy but I have discovered my feather bed.
  3. BRENÉ BROWN: The Woman in the Arena – because daring greatly is becoming my new default, and I want it to be yours too!
  4. JIDDU KRISHNAMURTI: Don’t compare yourself to others – to understand yourself is the beginning of wisdom. THIS.

I recently read* that the original definition of courage is not to be fearless, but rather to have heart in spite of fear.

Courage is to live the story of who you are with your whole heart.*

Endure with courage – now that is apt (well, to those of you who will recognise that).


*Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly