Aging Well Partners
- Mar 20
- 3 min
The Five Pillars of Courageous Living: A Manifesto
“Courage empowers us to heal the past, stand in the present and shape the future.”
—Ken Druck, Ph.D.
Courageous Living is a movement devoted to helping each of us craft a vision for the life we choose to lead. Whether we’re just setting out on life’s journey, winding down an active career, or reinventing ourselves along the way, each season of life demands newfound courage. The Five Pillars outlined below are a useful guide, empowering us to live courageously and become the most authentic and best versions of ourselves.
The Five Pillars:
1. Honest self-assessment
2. A strong work ethic for facing life’s challenge
3. Building a resilient spirit
4. A willingness to reimagine the future
5. An unwavering commitment to pay forward the good
Pillar #1: Honest self-assessment
We are all works in progress. Becoming the better, stronger, smarter version of ourselves begins with self-reflection and taking an honest inventory. By taking a close look at ourselves and our lives—and telling ourselves the truth—we become aware of the many ways in which we can realize our greatest potential.
Pillar #2: A strong work ethic for facing life’s challenges
Aspiring to be the best version of ourselves, we face inward to meet life’s challenges and harvest its opportunities. We cultivate the strength, faith, vision, empathy, wisdom, humility, and integrity to move forcefully and courageously through the years and seasons of our lives. Despite the temptations to turn away, hide, deny, and avoid, we can choose to take a deep breath, roll up our sleeves and get to work on the relationships and situations that really matter.
Pillar #3: Building a resilient spirit
By summoning the courage to turn life’s adversities, setbacks, fears, dry spells, and losses into opportunities for personal and spiritual growth, we build character, which propels us to higher levels of effectiveness, awareness, and compassion. Whether we’re caught up in the demands of career and family or winding down an intensely stressful period in our lives, our resilient spirits allow us to continue learning, stretching, growing, flexing, and upgrading our “operating systems” as times and circumstances change.
Pillar #4: A willingness to reimagine the future
The practice of Courageous Living shows us how to live fully in the hours, minutes, and days of our lives; and to awaken to radiant new visions and insights relating to our best possible futures.
Pillar #5: An unwavering commitment to pay forward the good
By living courageously, we aspire to become the very best parents, children, husbands, wives, co-workers, neighbors, and friends. Dedicated to assuming our share of social responsibility and leaving the world a better place, we show our gratitude for the blessings, gifts, and miracles in our lives by paying forward the good. We dedicate ourselves to turning darkness into light; ugliness into beauty; and injustice, pain and suffering into peace, truth, kindness, equality, and positive social change.
By cultivating honesty, integrity, humility, trust, compassion, courage, honor, respect, and gratitude in our daily lives, we develop a quality that is both grounding and transcendent: strength of heart. This is the “secret sauce” that helps us ripen as human beings, becoming ambassadors of peace and loving-kindness, and make the most of our lives.
Our mission, vision and commitment is to create the resources, road-maps, educational forums and community for lifelong learning.
Ken Druck, Ph.D. is a leading mental health expert focused on the areas of civility, relationships, and aging. He writes regularly for the national press and is the author of several books including Raising an Aging Parent, Courageous Aging, and The Real Rules of Life. Dr. Druck lives and maintains a small coaching and consulting practice on the ocean in Del Mar, California, writing and speaking prolifically on subjects he loves, working on community service and civility projects and enjoying the quiet beauty of life. www.kendruck.com