It’s a paradox; only when you desire fear, will you be able to take action in its presence—which is what courage consists of.
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A few rare individuals refuse to live limited lives. They drive through tremendous amounts of pain—from rejections and failures to shorter moments of embarrassment and anxiety. They also handle the small, tedious pain required for personal discipline, forcing themselves to do things we all know we should do.
Every child's taste is different. Don't worry if they're not reading 'War and Peace' at age 12. First, build a good foundation and a positive attitude about reading by letting them pick the stories they enjoy. Make friends with a bookseller or librarian. They are a wealth of information on finding books that kids enjoy.