As I think back and take the time to remember when I heard that Steve Irwin, my kids #1 hero, had been tragically killed. What a shock. People like him don't just die in their prime of life.

Alas, of course, they do. Whenever I hear news like this, what really hits me is just how mortal we all are and just how numbered our years on earth will be. I think it begs us to ask ourselves the question "are we really living?"

Now you may be thinking to yourself, "Of course I'm living! What a stupid question!" But I don't just mean moving through the motions of life, but really experiencing life in all its fullness, its richness and its wonder. Are we, like the much beloved and mourned "Crocodile Hunter", embracing a spirit of adventure in our own lives on a daily basis?

My main purpose in writing my first book, "Find Your Courage!" was because I have found that the reason we often don't live the lives we really want is because we are stopped by our self doubt, our fears and our misgivings. What if it doesn't work out? What if I'm not good enough? What if I goof up and make a fool of myself? What will people think if I fail?

In the end we too often end up sticking with the status quo (however unsatisfactory) rather than taking the plunge and stepping outside the safety of our comfort zone - whether in our careers, in our relationships, in our business or in our life in general.

Courage is NOT the absence of fear or self doubt or "What ifs?" or personal misgivings. Nope. Not at all! Rather courage is action in the presence of all these things; courage is action in the presence of fear. That is why courage is so precious and why it's so essential to living a truly fulfilling and successful life.

If you look around at those who have the richest lives (and I'm not talking in terms of money but in terms of meaning and fulfillment and joy), you'll find that they are the ones who have found the courage to risk making mistakes and messing up in order to accomplish something that really excited and inspired them.

So what about you? What is something you would love to do if you had no fear of failing, any doubts about not being good enough or insufficient for the task and no misgivings about what others might think?

It doesn't have to be some mammoth undertaking that I'm speaking about here. It could simply be in having a courageous conversation: walking into your boss's office to discuss promotional opportunities, picking up the phone to call someone you may have fallen out with but would love to reconnect with or sharing with your partner how you really feel about an issue. Then again it might be something else entirely - deciding to have another child, quitting your job, starting a business, writing a book (!!), planning that adventure holiday you've always dreamed of but never felt quite brave enough to do or - you tell me!!

As tragic as Steve Irwin's death was, he was a man who lived each day of his life fully. Far greater tragedy would be for you to make it to the long end of life and look back and realize that you haven't fully lived at all; that you'd spent years (decades even) cruising along on the sidelines of life because you were too afraid to risk putting yourself "out there" in an attempt to do something that really inspired you.

In the end the greater risk we face in life is not trying and failing, but not ever attempting to try at all. Indeed, in the words of David Grayson, "We fail far more from timidity than we do from over daring." Just think about the kind of difference it would make to your daily experience of life if you mustered up the guts, took a risk and stepped toward that which tugged at your heart and ignited your spirit.

Steve Irwin leaves an extraordinary legacy. What will yours be?

Author's Bio: 

An intrepid Australian, Certified Coach, Speaker and Best Selling Author, Margie Warrell is an expert on living and leading with greater clarity, confidence and courage. For more information and a host of free resources to support you in creating greater success go to Find Your Courage.