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What Does F.E.A.R. Stand For to You?

You know what F.E.A.R. stands for, right? It’s such a common platitude even a grade school student could probably tell you — Fear is nothing but False Evidence Appearing Real. Why is it, someone comes up with a memorable rhyme or acronym, it’s accepted as self-evident fact? Last week I spoke to a small group of entrepreneurs. As I wrapped up, the meeting organizer raised his hand. “I think a lot of our members, and a lot of entrepreneurs everywhere, are working with a lot of fear. These are uncertain times, and everyone is afraid. Can you talk to us about dealing with fear?” Every face turned to me, hopefully, maybe. But also shamefully. Because we all know what fear stands for. And no one wants to admit they’ve fallen prey to FALSE anything. So I told them. Sometimes the evidence isn’t FALSE at all. Sometimes, you have perfectly TRUE reasons to be afraid. In the larger sense, as someone who knows that the world can’t really end because it’s just a temporary illusion anyway, and death is only real for the physical self, not the spiritual self, I know that there is nothing to fear. Because Fortunately, Everything’s All Right! (Oh! Are you sure THAT isn’t what F.E.A.R. stands for?) But in the here and now, fear is what suggests that the pretty red cape won’t really let me propel my body UPWARD should I decide to jump off a cliff. So, unless I’m okay with having my spirit depart my body sooner rather than later, I would have every reason to be afraid of jumping, or being thrown,...

Does It Hurt When You Dream?

I’ve been on a statistics kick lately - here’s one I saw go by in my tweetstream (a good place to fish for quotes and statistics) that really gave me pause: “69% of teens say they have a spark. 31% can not name their own spark.” That’s right, according to that statistic from @ParentFurther, only 69% of teens say they have a spark, something that lights them up. And 31% of them don’t know what it is. Whatever happened to childhood being a time of dreaming big? I don’t think it was coincidence that I had just posted one of my favorite quotes to my Facebook page: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman. Why do we lose our connection to that “spark?” (And if this statistic is true, we’re losing it at an increasingly earlier age!) Why do we allow ourselves to go through our lives as zombies, not really awake to our purpose, not pursuing a dream, simply trying to find a need we can fill? I’ve been working with clients in the areas of living on purpose, journaling dreams, turning dreams into goals, pursuing goals relentlessly but strategically, and achieving profitable businesses and fulfilling lives for a long time. And here’s what I believe. We’re scared. To be alive. We might say, “It never hurts to dream.” But we don’t believe it. We’re scared to choose a purpose, because what if we get it wrong? We’re scared to dream a dream, because...

The Runaway Dream

I remember when I reclaimed permission to be happy. I remember when I rediscovered my right to dream, and to expect that those dreams could come true. I was 14. And the book that reminded me that only I could make me happy, and that I held the power to dream and to bring those dreams into my life, was Illusions; Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. Written by Richard Bach. Some of you know the story, or bits of it. I contributed a short version of it to a group work titled The Thought That Changed My Life Forever. In that story, I wrote what I had often said - in conversation and from the stage - “I do feel the need to thank Richard Bach, a man I do not know and will likely never meet, because he shared a thought that saved my life.” I finished my submission for the group work a full 30 days before deadline. And then I laid it aside. Something wasn’t finished. Two weeks went by. I did some tweaking. I deleted some words. I put them back. I still wasn’t ready. And then, checking my twitter account between speakers at a conference where I was due to speak, I read this: @DixieDynamite got your brick walls book. Powerful, practical ideas for proving anything is possible. The tweet came from @RichardBach. He’d downloaded an ebook from my website. (That ebook formed the framework for the full-length book due out in November and so is no longer available for download.) By the time I submitted that short story to the publishers of the group work,...