Thursday, June 23, 2011

#trust30 - Day 19: Facing (And Fearing)

Facing (and Fearing) by Dan Andrews
Greatness appeals to the future. If I can be firm enough to-day to do right, and scorn eyes, I must have done so much right before as to defend me now. Be it how it will, do right now. Always scorn appearances, and you always may. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trusting intuition and making decisions based on it is the most important activity of the creative artist and entrepreneur. If you are facing (and fearing) a difficult life decision, ask yourself these three questions:

1) “What are the costs of inaction?” I find it can be helpful to fight fear with fear. Fears of acting are easily and immediately articulated by our “lizard brains” (thanks Seth) e.g. what if I fail? what if I look stupid? If you systematically and clearly list the main costs of inaction, they will generally overshadow your immediate fears.

2) “What kind of person do I want to be?” I’ve found this question to be extremely useful. I admire people who act bravely and decisively. I know the only way to join their ranks is to face decisions that scare me. By seeing my actions as a path to becoming something I admire, I am more likely to act and make the tough calls.

3) “In the event of failure, could I generate an alterative positive outcome?” Imagine yourself failing to an extreme. What could you learn or do in that situation to make it a positive experience? We are generally so committed to the results we seek at the outset of a task or project that we forget about all the incredible value and experience that comes from engaging the world proactively, learning, and improving our circumstances as we go along.

(Author: Dan Andrews)

1) What is the cost of inaction?

Inaction keeps me on my current path. I continue to do well at my current job, making steady money, receiving a four- to ten-percent raise each year. Perhaps I rise to manager, then director, then vice president. And all the while I wish for something else, something more fulfilling. And my kids learn how to be workaday dreamers, defeated by their own fear, dissatisfied and pining for different lives, instead of learning how to make their dreams real.

2) What kind of person do I want to be?

I want to be joyful and courageous. I want to tell stories people want to hear. I want to radiate that contagious joy that makes people wonder what I have and want the same for themselves.

Above all, I want to fearlessly seek my dreams, so that my kids--and anyone else who cares to see--can know that dreams are not beyond reach, that passion and courage and patience are enough to bring them to life.

3) In the event of failure, could I generate an alternative positive outcome?

I believe I could. After all, very few writers make good money on only one income source. If I structure my endeavors properly, writing books will only be one of a number of income streams, and maybe not the biggest. Failure there will only open the door to success elsewhere.

So what am I waiting for? Nothing. I'm inching forward already. Soon I'll be crawling, then walking. Before long I'll be unstoppable.

Who else is ready to chase their dreams?


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