It is always incredible to me how people who live in a country where there is freedom of choice goes through life as though they have no choice in how it is playing out. They go through life being a victim of circumstance, of upbringing, of the past, of their job, of their families, of the place they live. Instead of saying – actively – today I am going to be happy. Today I am going to do what I choose to do. Today I am going to be the person I want to be not the person everyone else thinks I should be. What keeps them from pursuing these active choices is their fear. The fear of loss of friends and family, the fear of happiness, the fear of being outside of their neatly created box, the fear that they may end up some place where they have no map. This fear makes it easy to blame others, as well as circumstance, for the lack of choice. All because of fear. The fear of saying “today I am going to love people” or “today I’m going to let things roll off my back” or “today, if I find myself in a scary place, I’m going to see it as adventure and not fight it.” Life is about the journey. Choices are the decisions you make along the path. Fretting and fear are the enemy. Choose well.
I was taught college level math by a college professor who decided high school was where she wanted to teach- not college. She was an incredible bitch, incredibly hard, and incredibly strict. I had the upmost respect for her and what she did. I recall one of the last days of school, she leaned against her blackboard in the front of the room (as she had made them remove all the whiteboards), and spoke to us about the future. She knew most of us were going to go into some sort of engineering field – or computer field. She knew that most of us were smart and enthusiastic about learning more and thriving in our field. Some were going to renowned engineering schools. She had taught at one, so she spoke from experience when she said “be careful. do not let money lure you into doing something that causes you to lose yourself. look at what you are going to be creating. look at how it impacts the greater technology. then ask yourself – can you live with it. do not sell your soul for money or fame. your soul is the most precious thing.” Then she gave us a pop quiz. Her words have always stuck in my head when applying for jobs. Can I live what I would be helping create? Is it an industry I want to support? It’s funny how people can forget that – not only in their professional lives but personal ones too. Don’t lose your soul.
One of the taekwondo 5 tenants of success is “indomitable spirit”. Whatever you do, remember, strength comes from the inside. Don’t understand that? Look at an ironman where there are age groupers. They don’t get across that finish line due to physical strength. Nope, their will got them there. Most of life is a mental game. Remember that.
I think this one says it all. I’ve pissed people off by saying something similar to them. What can I say, I have a hard time watching people I love do this to themselves.
2 Comments Add yours
I do need to stop sabotaging my own work. Sighs.
Recently I was asked to speak at a conference and when I first received the email, I said no way. I have an intense fear of public speaking, one so bad that I have a full on panic attack… but for some reason I decided to accept and try to overcome that fear.
That is exactly what I thought of when reading your first paragraph. I am the one afraid, and I am the one that can overcome that fear. It is not going to happen if I let it control what I do.