Without doubt, the worst enemy you will face in your entire life lies within you. Fear, the most powerful and destructive of our emotions, will do its level best to spoil each and every opportunity that comes your way.
Fear does this to every human being. It is a part of human nature. If you’re like most people, you will be influenced by fear and you will be unaware of the consequences. Because unlike your monthly paycheck, the wages of fear are paid much, much later.
Imagine you are in the winter of your life. Having worked hard in a steady job for most of your life, you are now retired and drawing your pension. You have plenty of time each and every day to look back on your life. A life lived without risk, without taking advantage of opportunity, without doing the wonderful things you always wanted to do.
Each day you feel more and more frustrated. You remember the times when exciting opportunities knocked on your door and your fear slammed it shut every time. Each day brings regrets. Each day brings bitterness. Each day brings torment. You feel like you’ve wasted your life and you know fear is to blame.
Two small but powerful words dog you: If only…
Sure, life isn’t a struggle but you just about scrape by. Every day brings the same dull routine. Every day a mundane plod towards the inevitable.
As you look back on your life, you discover no real memories to ease the monotony and bring you a comforting glow. All you have is a life of working to pay off debts, living life like everybody else and getting what everybody else gets. Your unique dreams, ambitions and talents all remain unfulfilled. Other than your circle of family and friends, the world knows nothing about you. You didn’t leave anything to remember you by other than memories, lovingly cherished by your family.
What about your legacy? If only you’d written that book, that song, that play. Or maybe even made that film, created your website or started your business. If only you’d formed a rock band, joined that football team, trained to be an athlete, studied for those qualifications or travelled to distant lands.
Occasionally, you chat with someone who still possesses the spark of youth in their eyes. They talk with passion about all the things they’ve experienced in their life and how they’re still cramming in as much as they can. So much to do, so little time! They just can’t do all the things they want – even though they’ve done so much already.
You listen, uncomfortably, as they joyfully and proudly recount adventure after adventure, achievements and disappointments, triumphs and tragedies, challenges and accomplishments. Risks that paid off, risks that caused pain and sadness, risks that delivered big time. Times when fear was faced, when they were scared to death but stood firm and mustered all the courage they could find. When the world laughed at them and they felt abandoned and alone, and times when fear was overcome, when the sweet taste of success lingered on the lips and they looked the world squarely in the eye and smiled in triumph.
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