It was not much of a job, yet, everyday she was there. The little bake-shop always seemed to be open and she would greet me, whenever I went in, with a sad smile. Then one day, I moved to another part of the country and quickly forgot the bake-shop and the woman with the sad smile.

Beginnings always lead to endings just as each ending gives birth to a new beginning. Many years later, fate would have it that a business trip would take me through this same town of long ago. I stopped at the same bake-shop to order some pastries and to see if the sad woman was still there.

A new face greeted me with "Can I help you, sir?" I placed my order and while waiting, curiosity got the better of me. I mentioned that I used to come to this shop years ago. I asked about the lady who used to work there, the one with the sad smile.

"She was one brave little soul, sir," said the salesperson. "She worked everyday to provide for her young son. Her husband left her when Jimmy was just a little boy. Hers was a really hard life, but she just kept on going."

"So what happened to her? Where is she now?" I asked. "Her son graduated from high school and then joined the army and has a wonderful career. Last I heard, he's doing very well. Not too long ago his mother remarried. She's very happy now and doesn't have to work anywhere as hard as she used to."

I paid for my order, thanked the salesperson and walked out the door. Although I didn't really know Jimmy's mom, I was so happy that things worked out for her. What courage, what bravery, I thought. She kept going no matter how tough things were. Indeed, she was a hero.

Courage is not only found in the heat of war or the mighty works of brave men and women. Courage is the mother taking care of her sick child in the early morning hours. Courage is the father who shows up on time everyday at a boring, low-paying, dead-end job to feed and clothe his family.

Courage comes in many forms, not only from thoughts and deeds of greatness, but in the routine, everyday art of living. In a media-driven society, consumed by celebrity status and the "get ahead" syndrome, the mundane and unglamorous works often appear to go unnoticed and unappreciated.

When life gets you down, when it seems that your world is at an end, take courage and go the next step. You will be amazed at the power and strength you have inside.

Just gather up enough courage to take you through this day. You only have to live one day at a time. You do not have to deal with all your troubles at one time. Like the Scotsman said, "The troubles of tomorrow must wait until this day is done."

Yes, courage comes from deep within the heart and flushes away the paralysis created by fear. A song, a story, a poem or a friend could re-ignite the spark of courage and inspire us to take the next step to success.

Like Jimmy's mom, take the next step and keep taking them. Success may be much closer than you think. Just one more step. Look! Just beyond the horizon, can you see it? The darkness is giving way to light. Yes, morning has been all night coming, but see how surely it comes.

Courage! Keep moving toward the light.

Author's Bio: 

Lecturer, entrepreneur and MBA business consultant, John Harricharan is the author of the award-winning book, "When You Can Walk on Water, Take the Boat." Spiritual SimplicityThe Real Secret