The Brave Coward

Once there lived a man who was always scared and would run away from everything he feared.  Tired of living a scared life, he went to a wise man for guidance, “Master, I have been a coward all my life.  Please teach me to be brave.”

“Sure, but only on one condition,” Master replied.  “For one month, every stranger who crosses your path, tell them “I am a coward” and say it loudly while looking straight into their eyes.”

The man panicked at the prospect of these humiliating encounters.  For the first couple of days, he trembled with fear at the sight of a passerby.  But he knew that he had to finish this difficult task if he wished to be brave.  So, on the third day, he mustered all his courage and managed to utter softly, “I am a coward,” to one of the passersby.

Then something interesting unfolded.  With each passing day, his voice grew louder and more confident.  Within days the man was no longer scared and could easily execute the task that was assigned to him.  At the end of the month, the man came back to the Master and bowed down, “Thank you, Master.  I finished your task.  Now, I am not afraid anymore.  But, I do have a question.  How did you know that this strange task will help me overcome my fear?”

The Master replied, “Both, fear and bravery are merely a question of habit.  If we decide to face our fears everyday instead of running away from them, it’s just a matter of time till they get replaced with our bravery.”

It has been several months since our spirits began spiraling down—career uncertainty on the professional front, health concerns on the family front, and social isolation on the personal front. 

Undoubtedly, every being on our planet is in a state of fear.  However, amidst this global fear, there are beautiful stories of courage.  There are many who have risen above their personal insecurities—health and essential service workers, police personnel, blue- and white-collar professionals, and many more.  They have decided not to run away, and have chosen to fight their internal demons each day as they step out to spectacularly shoulder their responsibilities.  Responsibility toward their country, organization, customers, colleagues, friends, and family.  Their gallantry deserves our salutations.

For sometimes, bravery is not about the absence of fear.  It is the realization that there is something more important than fear! 

Bravery, Adapted, Leader, Style


  1. really inspiring and in-context read. I do agree that there is sense of insecurities in the IT industry because of this pandemic and it is directly/indirectly impacting individual’s thought process and decision making.

  2. Greatly Articulated Arun. We are gruelling through this pandemic touching every aspects of our lives direct and indirect, facing it boldly isthe need of the hour till we fight it out and leadership is the key .. you are blessed with this in Plenty🙏👏👏👍

  3. Excellent article Arun sir.. rightly pointed it’s all fear in mind and soul which are not habit and that’s current state ofind for most of us.

  4. Excellent .

  5. True… Breaking habit of fear is important and it should be to avoid consequences and master who guide us for the same are best leaders…

  6. Nice story about overcoming fear through habit (Our brain actually rewires itself through habits of various kinds) also, so true about bravehearts who rose above fear during these tough times. Reminds me of two things, one is the story behind “Hirekani Buruj” (young mother who risked a cliff in the dark to reach her child who was alone) and the other is the tagline of mountain Dew 😃

  7. The sun obliterates venus..a greater fear alleviates a lesser one..only like cures like..opposites merely palliate or suppress..

  8. Awesome message in this story, it applies to almost all the things currently world is facing

  9. Sometimes courage is only option… Hirekani Buruj one of them thank you for sharing… So easily she came back to her daily routine after hardship she faced to reach home without fear of consequences she might face as her reason for courage and hardship without any special powers was genuine she had that capability inbuilt but unknown… We all have capabilities and fears. Habits give courage to work on either of them… Former give us experiences and later give us consequences but yes both rewire brain cells… 🙂

  10. Very true and inspiring. Can relate to each word of this post 🙂

  11. सर आप अपनी हर पर्सनल बात शेयर करते इससे ये पता चलता हैं की आप कितने खुशमिजाज इंसान हैं 🙏🙏🙏

  12. Amazing words !! The more I read/listen you the more I get inspired!!!

  13. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that
    you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is fantastic blog.
    An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

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The Brave Coward - Arun Nathani Blog