Real Fears This Year
In the past, people were afraid of speaking in public, spiders (and snakes), clowns, and death. I’m serious. Today, the top fear (according to a USA Today poll) is the corruption of government officials, followed by terrorist attacks.
The difference between the two lists are the things we feared most in “the good old days” were largely preventable–or within our control–don’t like clowns (and I’m with ya here) then avoid going to places where they are.
How do we avoid being a victim of a terrorist attack? Largely, we can’t, but the likelihood of it happening is slim. Government corruption? Again, not much WE can do, other than vote. So worrying about these two things doesn’t do any good.
A couple of things that made the lists from past and present include: Not having enough money for the future, identity theft, and becoming ill. Maybe we can’t completely avoid these terrible things, but there are steps we can take to make them less likely.
I guess what I am saying is, we should worry less, live more, and take control of the things we can control. In the 1950s, some families built underground bunkers in case of a nuclear attack. That took a lot of time and money and in the end, it wasn’t needed.
Pitchers need to stride out to throw strikes. Ideally, a pitcher’s front leg lands at 100% of their height. (For example, a six-foot pitcher would stride out 72 inches.) This almost never happens except in the pro. Yet it works so much better than a taking a smaller stride. So why don’t more amateur pitchers do it? Because it’s hard to do, and so many young pitchers think they can’t–or simply don’t want to. There’s a point to all this.
Are we striding out as far as we can? I know my own answer and it is, “No!” I will take tiny steps outside of my comfort zone, but I know I should be taking b-i-g-g-e-r ones. So what’s holding me back? Fear. Fear of failing, fear of looking foolish, and fear of not believing it can be done–or fear that I can’t do it. Like many people, I often look at others who have more success and wonder what they are doing that I am not. My conclusion is they are taking bigger strides.
To continue with the baseball metaphors, Steve Jobs once said it is better to hit a home run rather than two doubles . . . I feel like I’ve been a singles hitter. A singles hitter hits for a high average by using a measured swing and hitting the ball where it’s pitched. (Basically, playing it safe.) So what can we all do to swing for the fences more, even if we fear we may strike out?
1. Find examples of others who have done what we want to do (and possibly did it with less time, talent, and total resources). Use this to prove that what we want to do is possible. Also, study how they did it and do the same thing.
2. Stop worrying what others will think. They won’t have to live with the regret we will if we don’t try. What they think of you doesn’t matter half as much as what you think of yourself.
3. Realize that the time will never be right to try something big and bold. The time is now. It’s funny how we may say, “Well, I could die tomorrow” to justify doing something that brings us immediate gratification. We rarely do that with things that don’t pay off right away. So yes, we could die tomorrow, so let’s die trying to do all we can to make our dreams come true.
It surprises people to learn that I tend to put things off until the last minute. Let’s face it, everyone procrastinates to some degree. It’s human nature. For whatever reason, we fear doing something so we wait until not doing it is worse than just doing it.
That’s why when I can, I don’t think, I just act. (I realize, with some things, this approach can be dangerous.) If there is something I can do in a minute or less, I just do it. The longer I think about it (which is procrastinating in a way) the more likely I’ll come up with an excuse to not do it.
So for the small and simple stuff, I just go ahead and do it to get it out of the way. It’s also a good way to end the day. If you have a lot of little things that can each be completed in a minute or two, it’s nice to check them off your list as th elast things you do before quitting time.