How I Turn Fear into Inspiration
death fear inspiration
The urgent awareness that I won't be around forever is what motivates me to:
- Make the world better for others, because the only possibility for transcending my own end is to create a positive legacy
- Find ways to preserve the ecosystem, because we are born of and die into the natural world, and if it's gone, any hope for spiritual recycling seems remote
- Do the things that scare me and live a remarkable life, because I only get one chance, and every moment past can never be reclaimed
- Appreciate and enjoy beauty and life's pleasures
- Live up to my potential, because this life is a precious gift and I should utilize it to its fullest
We Who are About to Die...
This fear is what motivated me to study psychology and Buddhism, both of which have provided amazing illumination on my life and helped me grow my character. It is what motivates me to find ways to overcome my fear of living and expressing myself. It is what motivates me to inspire others to make the most of their lives, because I know everyone is in the same boat, and I know the frustration of watching minutes tick away while you stand there struggling with your own irrational fear of:
- Introducing yourself to that amazing guy/girl in your life
- Asking for the job you dream of
- Learning that skill you've always dreamed of mastering
- Traveling to that place you've always dreamed of going
Because the real tragedy of fear is that it keeps us from the things we most want, the things that would make our lives meaningful, and we know that we only get one shot.
This experience is the seed that created my concept of the Warrior Spirit. A Warrior is someone who knows how frail is life, and how inescapable death, but chooses to live vibrantly anyway. The truth is, we all face death. Some of us feel it is distant, and some feel it lurking just around the corner, but it is there waiting for us all, and so we all face the Warrior's dilemma.
Warriors cannot afford to delude themselves regarding their mortality and their vulnerability. The result is an acknowledgement that they must live up to their greatest potential, not just some arbitrary "good enough," because when you were fighting enemies threatening your family and tribe, you needed to maximize your chances of success. It wasn't even worth fighting unless you were as exceptional as possible.
Going beyond fighting, the Warrior knew how frail life was, how fleeting, and therefore sought to live life to the fullest, to experience all of its beauty, and to cultivate every one of his or her own capabilities.
Well, I believe that we ought to do the same, not because we are in danger of being killed in warfare or the defense of our families, but because the lessons the Warrior learned from his or her responsibilities are universal truths applicable to our own lives: Life is temporary and fleeting, and the stakes are so high that we must aspire to our greatest selves and to LIVING our lives.
This is a really personal post for me, but I hope that by writing about it, I can provide some relief for others who might relate. Comments are welcome, but if you'd rather not share in public, feel free to e-mail me: khaled[dot]allen[at]gmail[dot]com.