Confident-MindsetIn Thomas Aquinas’ virtue ethic confidence is a part of the virtue of fortitude (as opposed to a sub-virtue like Magnanimity or Courage). Specifically, confidence is the measure of hope which drives us to attempt those great things that are in our power. If we think of fortitude as a motor boat then confidence is the engine that makes it run. I bring this up because it’s your topic today. I want you to write a story about confidence. You know the rules. Take your subject and run with it. Write me a story of 1000 words or less and stay on topic. As before, if it’s in any way applicable, you should use this to try to develop your world a little more :).

Your Challenge: Write me a story about confidence. This could be a story about confidence towards a task, about over-confidence, or the problems that come from a lack of confidence. You could focus on the challenge of developing confidence, the power that confidence has, or the relationship between confidence and capability. In some way though, your story needs to have a strong focus on confidence.


2 thoughts on “Story Challenge of the Week

  1. Interesting. Psychological research clearly shows that there is NO correlation between confidence and ability! One can be, and many often are, completely confident and absolutely incapable.

    I also do not allow clients to use the word “can’t” when they obviously mean “won’t”. i challenge them to be proud of their decisions.

    1. Wayne, I actually don’t think that Aquinas’ argument is opposed to modern psychology. In Aquinas’ thought the virtue of Fortitude is the consistent willingness to do difficult things that one is capable of doing (i.e. going on a diet, exercising, getting a Ph.D., etc). However, this does not assume that everyone is capable of doing all things. So, a professional soldier may use Fortitude to push himself into an attack on an enemy position that he is likely to be able to take. Meanwhile, a scholar may use Fortitude to pursue a grant that is challenging, but within his realistic ability to obtain, but if you put either in the other’s situation and he would be reckless.
      So, confidence is the hope that one can actually do this difficult thing, but it should be tempered by a realistic assessment of one’s abilities. When it is not, then confidence can put Fortitude and its related virtues into overdrive and push the individual into attempting to do things that are entirely outside of his abilities, turning Fortitude into recklessness or pride, or keep the individual from doing things that he can and should do, turning Fortitude into cowardice or pussilanimity.

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