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Meaningful Goal

“Courage happens when someone perceives a valuable, meaningful goal in their environment,” Cynthia Pury told me at the World Congress on Positive Psychology in June. “But in order to reach that goal, they have to take a personal risk, and they make a voluntary choice to do so.”

In fact, focusing on the goal is what allows us to appear courageous, especially in a split-second emergency. “A lot of time people are just so distracted by the goal that they don’t have time to be afraid,” she said.

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