Courage is a love affair with the unknown: ... Just your change from the known to the unknown, your readiness to move from the known to the unknown, is what matters. It is immensely valuable. And in all kinds of experiences, go on doing that. That will prepare you for death, because when death comes you cannot suddenly decide, "I choose death and leave life." These decisions are not made suddenly.
You have to go inch by inch, preparing, living moment to moment. And as you grow more familiar with the beauty of the unknown you start creating a new quality in you. It is there, it has just never been used. Before death comes, go on moving from the known to the unknown. Always remember that the new is better than the old.
They say all that is old is not gold. I say, even if all that is old is gold, forget about it. Choose the new - gold or no gold, it doesn't matter.
What matters is your choice: your choice to learn, your choice to experience, your choice to go into the dark. Slowly slowly your courage will start functioning. And sharpness of intelligence is not something separate from courage, it is almost one organic whole.
With fear there is cowardliness and there is bound to be retardedness of the mind, mediocrity. They are one part. They are all together, they support each other. With courage comes sharpness, intelligence, openness, an unprejudiced mind, the capacity to learn - they all come together.
Start by a simple exercise, and that is: always remember, whenever there is a choice choose the unknown, the risky, the dangerous, the insecure, and you will not be at a loss.