Curated Reads by the National Library, Singapore

What does it mean to have courage? Is living fearlessly considered courageous? Why are some individuals more courageous than others?

Nelson Mandela once said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."

According to Psychology Today, there are six attributes to courage: (1) feeling fear yet choosing to act; (2) following your heart; (3) persevering in the face of adversity; (4) standing up for what is right; (5) expanding your horizons by letting go of the familiar; and (6) facing suffering with dignity or faith.


Courage may not come easily for some of us. But if we try, we can. If we can, we will.


The Courage Quotient: How Science Can Make You Braver
Call no.: 179.6 BIS


The good news is that everyone—including you—has a story of courage . . . Whether your courage story is dramatic or mundane, bravery is a vital part of living well, and you have some small success upon which you can build your pursuit of a more courageous, engaged lifestyle! Beginning now!


Discover strategies on managing your fears, how to take failure in your stride and how to boost your “courage quotient”. Through vivid and compelling anecdotes as well as drawing on scholarly research and interviews, the author offers a fascinating insight into what courage means for different people and in different cultures around the world.

Visit our public libraries to get a physical copy.

Book cover image credit: All rights reserved, Jossey-Bass, 2012.




Doing Good Great: Thirteen Asian Heroes and their Causes
Call no.: SING 303.48409225 CHE

Be inspired by the stories of 13 individuals who have made impactful changes towards the social causes that they have adopted, from media injustice to the provision of proper housing for the impoverished in Hong Kong.

Visit our public libraries to borrow a physical copy.

Book cover image credit: All rights reserved, Epigram Books, 2015.


Defining Courage

According to this article by the University of Pennsylvania, physical and moral courage can be manifested in different ways, driven by different kinds of fears. Courage can also be developed by performing acts of bravery, the experience of which helps individuals to cope better in the face of challenges.


What Fear Can Teach Us

This video by novelist Karen Thompson Walker shows us that instead of spending time worrying about fear, we can turn it into a positive thing. Fear can be a useful catalyst that helps us prepare and plan for the future—but only if we exercise calmness and sound judgement.