"If you want to conquer fear, don't sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy."
This seems like an odd place to start a book like this. Fear. Wouldn't this subject be better at the middle or the end? Isn't a book supposed to be like a great story that has an introduction, a conflict, and a glorious finish that makes everyone watching (or reading) stand and applaud for minutes on end? I think you've already read that book.
If we are chasing better, why is it important for us to take a few minutes to talk about fear? It's important because fear is one of the top killers of desire for anyone to chase better.
We all have fears. I know I do. Some of them are rational. Some of them aren't. What does it even mean to "chase fear better?" How can I get better at fear? And is fear something I should eliminate completely from my life?
It's been said that we are born with only two known fears as babies: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Growing up in a house where I was the oldest of four boys, I've always been accustomed to loud noises. I'm just loud. I talk loudly. I watch sports loudly. I sneeze loudly. I'm loud. By the way-on behalf of all of the loud sneezers in the world, we aren't dramatic. We aren't trying to put on a show. It's just how we sneeze. I don't understand quiet sneezers. Quite frankly, I don't trust them. If you are going to do something, go all out. Commit to it. Embody the sneeze. Moving on.
Even though I grew up in a house of all boys and am used to loud noises, I certainly get startled to this day when I hear an unexpected loud noise. I spent eighteen years living in Southwest Florida. You haven't experienced a thunderstorm until you live there. Florida has more lightning strikes than any other state. I've been in thunderstorms that felt as if a lightning bolt had literally landed in my back yard.
It almost takes your breath away. Fear grips you for a moment. Nature is so ridiculously powerful, and in the moment, you find yourself afraid. My kids definitely are not fans of loud noises. They get into the fetal position, put their head between their legs, and cover their ears.
Have you ever thought about this? We are almost never the cause of an unexpected loud noise. That's what makes it unexpected. Loud noises are much easier to deal with if you expect the loud noises. Think of a concert, where DBs blare from speakers with frequencies so loud that the person next to you can be shouting something to you and you can't understand what they are saying. We aren't afraid of those moments. We pay hundreds of dollars for them.
This means that we are most afraid of things that we don't understand or cannot control. There are close to seven billion people on Planet Earth right now, and all of us have one thing in common: we like to be in control. Sure, there are varying degrees of control. But all of us want it. And it scares us when we don't have it.
Thunderstorms make me feel incredibly small and powerless. I don't think I fear the loud noise nearly as much as what that loud noise represents. It represents not being in control.
Control really is a façade if you think about it. We are in control of far less than we realize. We have cars now that can drive themselves, yet that car that can drive itself can't stop a drunk driver from rear-ending me.
I don't believe this is license for all of us to just throw in the towel and not care anymore because we realize that so much is outside of our control. One of the worst things we do as people is stress ourselves out about things that we cannot control. Bottom line: If there is something chaotic