17 August 2017
A Matter of Perspective
What do you fear the most? A simple question which causes secure individuals to shudder at its exploration. As I sit on an Airplane that propels to a tiny island in the Pacific, I wonder who on this plane is scared to fly. What propels courageous acts as simple as getting on a plane, while they are afraid of flying? On the flip side, folks stay in a job they hate, crippling relationships, and die a little inside in the name of fear.
Those actions show us we are complex individuals who wax and wane. Maybe then fear is a matter of perspective. I remember talking to my mother who recently sold a start-up business she created. My mom has amassed a life time of extraordinary moments, yet I found her fearful of what came next. She said "Sean, I get the feeling that I failed somehow…I am glad I have more time off, but what do I do now?" I was stunned to hear this question. These comments are from the same woman who successfully executed a trade mission between a state Governor and China, crisscrossed the globe, and shredded more ski resorts than Sean White.
I took a deep breath to process this news. I told my mom, this situation reminded me of a story I heard recently. So, I dove right into a story of a man who was told he had an incurable disease. The doctor explained the disease would be a lifelong journey. One day this man decided to start a business. He ran this business for a year and a half until he eventually sold it. He began with a desire to run a business. He turned that business from a dream to reality to such an extent; someone else wanted to buy it. If I were to line up ten people, they would all say he was successful. So, I asked my mom what she thought, she said "Wow, who was that? That is an impressive achievement. "
What came next is the most important part. I said "Mom that was you. Replace he with she and it's your story." My mom was diagnosed in 2005 with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In a nutshell, MS attacks the signals your brain sends through your body. MS can lead to all sorts of injuries, vegetable like state, and potentially death. I heard the fear leave my mom's voice upon realizing all she overcame to arrive at this point.
We all are somewhere currently we thought was far out of our reach. The bachelor's degree hanging on my wall felt at the time a pipe dream. It's so easy to forget what it took to get where you are. Fear then is only a matter of perspective. You don't fear what you already conquered, but at one time you did. What do you fear now? Connect the dots of your past to put fear in its place. Don't stay in a job you're afraid to quit because it's comfortable. You got the job you have now by being uncomfortable.
I hope to see you on the path…