I believe that fear is the single most influential factor in the choices we make in life. As a dyed-in-the-wool, true blue romantic, I want to say it’s love; but it’s not. It’s fear; fear that we will fail, fear that there are too many obstacles, fear that others won’t like or approve of our choices.
What if we started out taking one single day, like today for example, and declaring that we will live the next twenty four hours with no fear? It’s not an easy thing considering the fact that nearly everything we deal with on a daily basis, including our entire environment, is saturated in fear.
Think about it for a moment. We often wake up and instantly choose to sit in a tub of fear. “Oh no, I’m going to be late for work!” “The kids forgot their homework.” “I’m out of coffee! I can’t live without my morning coffee!” I have a meeting at work today and I’m not prepared!” “There’s nothing in the freezer for dinner tonight!”
As we travel through our day fear continues to follow us around. “I’m not going to get all this work done by five, dammit.” “The boss wants to see me tomorrow morning.” “If I eat that cinnamon roll it’s going straight to my waistline right behind that cappuccino.” “I forgot my cell phone at home!” “The car was making a clunking noise on the way to work.”
Later when we get home the fear follows us right in the front door and we choose to let it. “How am I going to pay all these bills I just got?” “My twelve-year old has a toothache. How much is that going to cost?” “The A/C isn’t working again and it’s ninety five degrees in here!” “My back feels like it’s going out again.” “I don’t have time to take my child to practice!” “I forgot to pick up my prescription!”
Finally, many of us end the day with the single most detrimental thing we can do before we lie down at night and attempt to put the day, and ourselves, to rest. We choose to watch the evening news to end our day. Talk about fear; here’s thirty solid minutes of it. Media even manages to put fear into the weather; a natural process that humans have absolutely no control over! The funny thing is; they start warning you about the contents of the ten o’clock news during the six o’clock news; just in case you mistakenly thought something good was coming.
“Why you should be scared of escalators at the mall!” “Shootout downtown results in three deaths!” “Find out why you should be concerned about your Facebook account!” “Sinkholes, will they swallow your neighborhood next?!” “Five things you should know before you go to a gun show!”
And if that’s not enough, they have to vividly SHOW IT TO YOU to make sure you’re good and scared as you try to go to sleep; “FILM AT TEN! DON’T MISS IT! WE HAVE THE EXCLUSIVE!”
What if you chose to think only about things you had control over? You can’t do anything about the rest of it, therefore it’s useless to waste thought energy on it. What if you chose to think only about things you can do; not things you can’t do?
Give it twenty four hours and see what happens. Spend the next day making choices that you wouldn’t normally make based on a complete lack of fear and the knowing that you can only act on this very moment. What happened sixty seconds ago is past, what will happen sixty seconds from now is future. What will you do RIGHT NOW without fear?
Ethan Holmes is the author of Live Your Life In A Crap Free Zone; a witty, humorous look at everyday, real life and the countless choices we make.
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