Originally Titled – Emotional Fuel –Fear– After you read the article below, watch David’s break down of what he was thinking about and trying to convey as he wrote this article. https://teamwarriorwithin.com/emotional-fire-04-jeff-bridges-fearless/
Fear is a useless and antiquated emotion for humans. We evolved to feel immediate fear as a response to an urgent situation, to act quickly and automatically, without the need to sit and think things through and be overly rational. It is an animalistic emotion, and basic by design.
But we are past that now. We have risen up the ladder, so to speak. Or at least, we should be past it.
Many people walk around in a state of perpetual fear, or semi-fear– fear of failure, of rejection, of not being good enough, smart enough; of not landing that excellent job, or that beautiful date. Many spend so much of their time worrying about what could go wrong, that they fail to see all the things going right. When fear becomes the centerpiece of existence, you have officially lost the battle.
It’s important to approach life from the perspective of understanding the secret. What is the secret, exactly? Am I referring to the “the Secret”, the purported “most powerful law in the universe?” Not at all.
I’m referring to the real secret, the thing we’re not supposed to say out loud, or think during our hours when we’re alone: some day, you are going to die. The life around you will cease to be. Everything you care about, and everything you value, and everything you spend so much time worrying about, is going to vanish. Your time here is limited. “Ultimately, we’re all dead men. Sadly, we cannot choose how but, what we can decide is how we meet that end, in order that we are remembered, as men.” (Proximo, from the movie Gladiator).
Thus the next question: what do you plan to do about it? Or better: how are you going to spend your limited amount of time?
Should you spend it worrying about a fact that you know is inevitable? Should your precious moments and seconds and minutes and hours be caught up in a neuroticism that consumes you and dictates how you will and will not live your life? Or will you choose to face it, to control it, to tame it and own it?
Everybody, at some point, has watched a movie with a character they consider “courageous”, or “fearless”, and felt admiration. Some of the greatest cinematic and poetic moments are those where the protagonist stares death in the eye and, rather than flinching, chooses instead to smile calmly. “I knew a man once who said, ‘Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back.’” (Maximus quoting Marcus Aurelius in the movie Gladiator).
Being unafraid, or courageous, is not automatic. Again, fear is a natural, in-born emotion, and one must strive and learn to overcome it, to control it, to store it away in the “useless” folder. Certain cultures specifically trained to control fear. Think of a samurai monk forcing himself to walk into battle– into certain death for that matter– with a look of calm and acceptance on his face. Gengis Khan and the Mongols called this “putting on the cold face”. They were warriors, and knew that fear served no larger purpose but to weaken one’s position and chances of surviving and winning on a day-to-day basis.
Walking into a job interview afraid or nervous does nothing but give the upper hand to the interviewer. Same goes for walking up to a beautiful woman, or handsome man. They will smell it if you bring your nerves to the table; they will know if you have reservations, or do not think you are the best qualified candidate, in the room.
I want to walk to the edge of the cliff, to the edge of the world, and stare over that edge. I want to feel that momentary fear wash over me, and then yell it down. I want to feel that wave of calm, and joy, and love of life, wash over me afterwards. Fear and joy are opposites– you can have one or the other, not both:
I, personally, want to be– choose to be– that samurai monk, that gladiator, that walks proudly and courageously into death. I want to make sure that when I wake up every morning, and live my life every day, that there is only one fear lurking in the back of my mind: that I left something in the tank, that I didn’t do it all, that I didn’t live 100% with the pedal through the floor at all times, because fear held me back.
The only thing that I am afraid of, is being afraid.
-David A. Johnston
Be sure to watch David’s follow-up video to this article here…
This article was originally posted on DavidJohnstonTraining.com. We have moved it to this site along with much of our other content as we are in the process of shutting the old site down.