Kim Hudson: Take 20 seconds and be courageous

“You  know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.” This is a quote from the memoir of Benjamin Mee which was made into the movie We Bought a Zoo in 2011.

You might recall the movie. It’s loosely based on the 2008 memoir of Benjamin Mee who was searching for a new beginning with his children after the death of his wife. He ends up buying a new home which, surprising for him, included a zoo.

Although the movie received mixed reviews I enjoyed it. It dealt with some raw emotions of grief, relationships and family dynamics. But my favorite part was the quote I mentioned above. Benjamin Mee was having a conversation with his son at the time. Dylan, who was 14, was lamenting about a girl he liked and struggling with knowing the right thing to do. His advice to his son was pitch perfect.

Sometimes all we need is a little push to overcome our fear or step out of our comfort zone. Sometimes all we need is to focus on the next 20 seconds – you can do anything for 20 seconds.

When I look around at people I admire I realize I admire them not because of their lack of fear, but because of the courage they show in the midst of their fear. It takes courage to stand up for what you believe in. It takes strength to be different from everyone else. It takes bravery to make that phone call or write that letter or make a decision that will change the course of your day.

And every time you take those 20 seconds and do something courageous, something great does come of it. It might not be exactly what you expected it to be. But it will be great. It might possibly be great only because you were brave enough to do something, anything! But it might possibly be the best thing you’ve ever done in your life.

So many ideas are never shared, books never written, calls never made – all because someone lacked the courage to do so. What might happen if you – right here, right now – took those 20 seconds and did something insanely courageous?

I know I’m an optimist. I just can’t help myself. And I can’t help but think our world would greatly benefit from everyone’s 20 seconds of courage.

Contact Kim Hudson at


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