Courage, Strength and Prudence

“Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are naught without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end.”
― Edward Whymper, Scrambles Amongst the Alps

Any lofty goal worth striving for requires a healthy measure of courage, strength and prudence. Courage and strength provide the necessary power, while prudence ensures the right application of that power. Great explorers throughout human history understood this principle to varying degrees, and those who didn’t tended to pay for the imprudence with their lives or the lives of others, typically before reaching their goal.

This principle applies to the accomplishment of any aim. It is important to remember that every aspect of your life is related to every other. Every decision you make counts. It matters not if the questions at hand seem unrelated to your larger goal; your life is unitary.

Take care with each and every step. Don’t rush toward the goal, no matter if it is far off or in sight. Make sure that you are using the very best foot and handholds available to you. Keep your perspective; don’t let longing overtake reason or the fear of not arriving supplant your courage and strength.

Stay the course and you will eventually arrive at your destination in one piece!

5 thoughts on “Courage, Strength and Prudence

  1. What you are suggesting here Gregg, can help so much to takes away the belief (or fear) that life is random, and that things happen for no reason. One of the greatest understandings that I became aware of in the course of life was that I create my own world. And if I don’t like what is happening in it, (which I do) but if I didn’t… I have to be willing to examine where possibly I have acted in a way that wasn’t prudent. Thank you once again Gregg, for your kind encouragement.


  2. David R

    Here again you outline such a vital balance – the passion and drive to move forward and the wisdom and restraint that allows that forward movement to be effective and integrated, to the advantage of the whole. One without the other always brings failure, but the combination is the essential recipe for success!


  3. Ernest

    This is great advice Gregg. Anybody can ‘sort of’ reach for excellence or to better themselves, but to truly realize something of greatness and beauty one must have the courage, strength and prudence to persist. It is sad to watch a person who claims to aspire to greatness give up at the first sign of trouble or resistance. On the other hand, I suspect that the great explorers, once they saw their way through the bumps in the road that we all encounter on our way to something of value, saw what they discovered to be infinitely more magnificent than even they had envisioned! That is the beauty of leading a life with courage, strength and prudence – one never knows what will be seen on the other side but can trust in its magnificence.


  4. Lady Leo

    Sounds like wise council. I think exercising prudence provides the time it takes to be assured of balance and a balanced heart would seem the origin of all blessed achievement.


  5. Even Moses had a moment of negligence at a critical time that destroyed the happiness of his moving into the promised land. It is good to gives thanks for the mercy we have been given for moments of negligence and realize as we do move along there becomes a time when negligence can be tolerated no longer. As we so refine we can trust in prudence related to all of our living to be the representation of integrity we have been designed to be.


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