When your heart is beating fast, and you're alert but honestly freaking out, there is a voice in your head with a tempting bit of thought: this isn't that interesting. You weren't planning to be here, and so you can just get out of this situation.

This is what they mean, when they say that declining opportunities is habit-forming. It's also what they mean when they say you should do things you're scared of. Because there's another voice, in your mind, that will be coming up with a plan. Maybe it's a bad one – almost certainly, compared to any real plans you make. But it's there.  

I look back at my life, and see a combination of failures and successes of courage. The impulse that only wants escape, that justifies so easily how the unforeseen is also the uninteresting, how moments can be returned to after deliberation, has proven to be wrong almost universally.

I want to train myself, in those moments of fear, to follow the path of engagement more directly. My wisdom is strong enough now, I think, to avoid the most abundant disasters. And I appreciate more and more the actions which are the result of routine courage. Now it's just getting more practice.