Life is not at all like the heroic Hollywood movies where the main character faces a setback and then musters the courage to overcome it and win the day triumphantly - all in a few hours. Real life has much more nuance to it. In many instances you often won't know that you're facing an obstacle and certainly may not recognize the path to a winnable solution. Countless studies have shown that humans are much more robust than previously thought and can handle and recover from utter catastrophe. On the other hand, we reliably and consistently overestimate obstacles and setbacks as impossible barriers to overcome.
This, of course, is a result of evolutionary pressures insuring that we don't take too many risks and when disaster does strike we've been gifted fortitude to carry on. It also has the ability to buffer us from permanent mental paralysis so we can recover from tragedy. Unfortunately, theses mechanisms work wonderfully in a primitive environment and not so well in the tech-focused world of modern times (see all of Twitter).
One answer for living a productive modern life comes from the ancient wisdom of the stoic philosophers. They encourage you to follow the virtues of Wisdom, Justice, Courage and Moderation. Courage is an essential component of your legacy because unlike the movies, you may be asked to answer the call at an inopportune time that may be littered with easy exits. In those moments where you could stand-up for injustice, challenge the status-quo, do a thing that is impossible or run toward danger while others run away, you require the moral and sometimes physical courage.
In modern times, it's easy to jump on a keyboard and speak out against an injustice. The problem is that it often begins and ends behind the keyboard without any effort to physically change something. We call this virtual signalling. It's the process of finding the minimal possible dosage to signal to others that you're with them or how you're a 'good person' without needing to prove it. The result is a system hack where we get the dopamine hit without the risks and rewards associated with actual work.
This is not courageous.
“To each,” Winston Churchill would say, “there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.”
Courage is answering that 'tap' on the shoulder.
It calls you:
To take a risk.
To challenge the status quo.
To run toward danger while others run away.
To rise above your station.
To do a thing that people tell you is impossible.
Will you be ready to answer the call?