D-Day Taught Us To Never Give Up

It was unknowable then, but so much of the progress that would define the 20th century, on both sides of the Atlantic, came down to the battle for a slice of beach only six miles long and two miles wide. President Barack Obama

June 6, 1944, seventy-five years ago today, was the largest seaborne invasion in military history. The landings on Normandy Beach were initiated by the Western Allies in an effort to liberate mainland Europe from Hitler’s reign and Nazi occupation during World War II. The Allied infantry began landing on the coast of France at 6:30 a.m. and by midnight, over 150,000 British, U.S. and Canadian troops had landed in Normandy. 

D-Day was a massacre with about 9,000 Allied soldiers either dead or wounded. Even with the massive losses, D-Day enabled the Allied forces to gain momentum and turn the tide toward liberation. 

How does D-Day speak to you other than eliciting gratitude and awe for their courage? To me, it says , “Never give up.” Faced with tremendous odds and death-defying conditions, 150,000 troops carried out orders and never gave up. The people they liberated never gave up. The voice of freedom never gave up. 

Affirmation: I will not forget. I will never give up on my goals, dreams, and the ongoing fight for freedom.

Coaching questions: What are you tempted to give up on? How does this 75-year-old story help you renew your drive to move forward and never give up? Where will you land?

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What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

The idea of potential is seductive because you never have to leave that fantasy. Âyodeji Awosika, author

“Someday I’ll figure out what I really want to do when I grow up,” says the sixty year old banker, the seventy-five year old grandmother, the thirty year old attorney. The truth is, you probably know what you want to do, who you want to be, you’re just afraid to go there. I might fail, what will other people think, I will disappoint my parents, it will be too much work, I’m too old, I’m too young, 

It’s a new year, a new start. Today is the day of all days to unravel the layers of judgment, rationalization, fear, and insecurity that are holding you back. Grab hold of your dream, your wish, your greatest desire and take a step to make it reality. Someday may never come but today is here. Have the courage to live how you want to live and be who you want to be. 

Affirmation: I am courageous.

Coaching questions: What do you want to be “when you grow up?” What’s keeping you from going there? What step will you take today to move forward? 

 

Conquering Our Fears

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Two days ago, we celebrated Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday although he died in 2013. Mandela spent twenty seven years in prison, arrested for his fight against the white-only government that established apartheid, a system of extreme racial segregation in South Africa. He is widely regarded as an icon of democracy and social justice.

Frequently we think of folks who accomplish heroic deeds as fearless but my guess is, as Mandela suggests, these heroes are as afraid as the rest of us. The difference is they feel the fear and do it anyway. I read this line many years ago and have repeated it often to myself when I’m feeling unwarranted fear. It bears repeating….feel the fear and do it anyway.

Affirmation: I can triumph over my fears.

Coaching questions: What causes you unwarranted fear (some fear is positive of course–healthy fear keeps us alive)? Remember a time you conquered a fear.  How did you feel?