The first five minutes of “The Two Towers,” the second movie of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, is as exciting as any film segment I’ve ever seen.      
     Having just battled an army of evil orcs and goblins, Gandalf the wizard is weary beyond description.  His small group of adventurers is almost through the perilous Mines of Moria when they encounter an evil long since forgotten in the world of men—a demon-like monster of the deep called a Balrog.
     In a heroic standoff Gandalf casts the monster into the deep crevice over which they battle.  As the monster falls, he snares Gandalf’s leg with his whip and drags him downward into the seemingly bottomless pit.
     It is then we see the measure of Gandalf’s courage.  Plummeting to his death (he can only assume) with the very embodiment of evil at his side, what is his only thought?  Self-preservation?  Sentimental thoughts of loved ones left behind?  No.  His only thought is ridding the world of this inherent evil that he battles.
     In a free-fall through the bowels of the earth, he reaches for his sword. Grasping its handle he seizes the horrific monster that topples into oblivion with him and commences to strike the hideous beast—all the while plunging to his death.
     What courage!  To battle one’s enemy when all hope for one’s own safety is lost!
     Real life usually isn’t anywhere close to that dramatic but it does get pretty exciting sometimes, doesn’t it?  The bills are due and there is no money coming in.  The deadline looms near and you haven’t even started the project.  The sales quota is unreachable.  The finances are out of control.  The relationship is irreparable.
     It is in times such as these when courage is needed most.  Anyone can affect courage when no danger threatens.  It is not courage to feel no fear when the sun is shining and the crops are in.
     The truly courageous are those who battle on in the face of utter destruction—who, though they are weary, worn, weak and yes, even afraid, grasp their swords and do their duty.
     What task lies before you now that make your heart quake?  Will you face that task and fulfill your calling, or will you hide and hope for better times?  I believe within each individual lies the heart of a hero that only needs to be awakened by exercising the power of choice.  Choose today to exhibit the courage that lies within you, and become the hero you were designed to be.
     © 2009 Charles Marshall. Charles Marshall is a motivational speaker, motivational author and president of M Power Resources, LLC. Visit his Web site at or contact him via e-mail at

Charles Marshall is the founder and president of M Power Resources, a company dedicated to providing growth resources for business and individuals. He has over 17 years of full-time experience as a motivational speaker and comedian and is recognized amongst meeting planners as one of the best motivational humorous speakers for any corporate event.

Charles Marshall is the author of the modern day motivational classic Shattering the Glass Slipper, whose central message is that success is available for all who harness, develop, and apply their Seven Powers. He has also produced two full-length comedy videos, I’m Just Sayin’ (Crown Video 2008) and Fully Animated (1998).

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