It has been said that knowledge is the greatest prescription of all and that without knowledge true recovery and healing are not possible. Clinical experience and research has taught us this is only partly true. Knowledge can illuminate the way and point us in the right direction. In this regard it is priceless because if we do not have a map to follow, how can we reach the destination? However, it’s important we recognize that true power does not lie in knowledge and information.
True power can only be found when we apply our knowledge to our lives. An equation we would ask you to keep in mind as you read on is: knowledge takes you to the door of understanding but only courage and application will take you through. Experience and wisdom await you on the other side. This we believe is the secret to personal growth. For centuries we have pursued knowledge believing it to be the panacea for all our ills, and doubtless we do indeed owe it a great debt because without it where would we be? But the pursuit of knowledge has also misled us because we have acquired the belief that our highest attainments will be found there when in fact there’s little or no attainment to be gained through knowledge alone.
This is where we have fallen short in trying to find our purpose and fulfill our potential. The greatest authority of all is experience and we cannot enjoy the fruits of experience without application. Of course if we do not apply knowledge then we are vulnerable to whatever experience life serves up and this is not the experience any of us really seeks. Peace of mind, contentment and happiness are not found in that place.
Having acquired the knowledge that enables us to understand the journey, the secret to personal growth is then to realise that only with courage and application can we find our way to that place where our lives make most sense. It is our lack of courage and failure to put into practice what we know that keeps us stuck and living below the ceiling of our potential. I hear you asking the question, ‘where do I find courage?’ Before the question can be answered, one needs to understand what courage really is. Courage is about being afraid, it is not a place of fearlessness. Fearlessness is the fruit of courage. The person who continues down the path of courage will eventually reach that place beyond fear. But be under no illusion a courageous individual is one who whilst being afraid dares to do what needs to be done.
Once this has been understood we can begin to find the courage that lives inside all of us (see Order Creates Peace and Invocation). To find that courage is probably the most difficult thing you will have to do because it requires jumping whilst not being sure if your parachute will open.
It is not something someone can give you, you have to go and find it within yourself. You have to draw on every ounce of knowledge and experience that your life has given you. With the strength and insight this provides, you then have to focus on where you’d like to go, drawing on faith. Our faith, like courage is incomplete. The person who has faith still has pockets of doubt. Therefore, to arrive at that point of unshakable belief, in the first instance, takes faith, which means daring to believe despite your doubt (see Focusing with Faith and Miracles are Made).
Hopefully you can now begin to see the subtle and intimate relationship between courage and faith. These attributes however have no value without application. It is what you do that counts, not what you know! So after putting this handout down, make a plan. Despite your fear and doubt, take all you know and find ways to put it into practice. Stop simply talking about what needs to be done and dare to do it. Cross that bridge from knowing to doing and your courage will eventually become fearlessness and your faith will become cast iron belief. Realise from this moment it is not good enough to talk about what you’re going to do. Just get on and do it now! (see Routine is Power).