Did you know that more people are afraid of giving a public speech than they are of dying?
That makes perfect sense to me.
There are no responsibilities that come with being dead. It’s somebody else’s job to plan your funeral, perform the eulogy, and properly bury you. All you have to do is lie there and be dead. It’s impossible to get it wrong.
Our world is a world of the walking dead. We live for being dead. We exist to do things that are impossible to get wrong. So we treat things like leading, innovating, and art-making as if these are special tasks to be performed by special people. These are the chosen ones.
If the chosen ones get it wrong, we get to be angry, annoyed, or amused. And when we get angry, annoyed, or amused, we engage in the revolutionary and daring act of belittling the chosen ones.
This is the little game we play: always picking on the chosen ones, but never picking ourselves to join the chosen ones; always feeling superior to those who are out there stumbling on the playing field, but constantly dodging the challenge to live up to our own greatness
This post is a rewrite of Stop Being Afraid of Your Own Power.
“I should have known better.”
Famous last words.
Perhaps it is true that you *should* have known better, but that doesn’t change the fact that you only could’ve known what you actually knew.
Wallowing in guilt about what you think you should have known isn’t going to make you one bit smarter. In fact, it might just delay the process of you learning from your mistakes and moving forward in a constructive manner.
Instead of condemning yourself for not having known something in the past, celebrate the fact that your experiences have made you more prepared for the future.
What you “should” have known doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is what you’re willing to do in the present moment to become a better version of yourself.
The problem with the world is that everyone except for me and my crew lacks compassion for others.
The problem with the world is that everyone except for me and my crew refuses to think critically.
The problem with the world is that everyone except for me and my crew doesn’t work hard enough.
The problem with the world is that everyone except for me and my crew doesn’t understand politics.
The problem with the world is that everyone except for me and my crew fails to understand how economics works.
The problem with the world is that everyone except for me and my crew is scientifically illiterate.
The problem with the world is that everyone except for me and my crew has horrible tastes in music, fashion, and film.
The problem with the world is that everyone except for me and my crew has all the wrong priorities.
Does that sound like you? Are all the world’s problems the result of everyone except for you and your crew?
Well, if that’s true, then you and your crew better to get to work. The world isn’t going to change in response to self-congratulatory rants about how stupid everyone else is.
The emotional sensation of being outraged is overated. Ultimately, nothing gets done until you channel your convictions into constructive and creative action.
So if the world needs to be more like you and your crew, start challenging yourself to come up with compelling answers to the question “What can I DO?”
People aren’t afraid of failure. People are afraid of ownership. They’re afraid of taking ownership of their choices. People don’t mind failure that much as long as they can put it off on someone else. It’s responsibility that scares us.
That’s why we love to run back and forth asking everyone what to do. It’s not that we desperately want to get it right. It’s that we desperately want to avoid having the sole responsibility for getting it wrong. We want the security of knowing that others will share our burden if things don’t work out.
This is how we gradually lose our freedom and power. We trade it away in exchange for the security of not having to take full ownership of our decisions. This is why our world is filled with so many individuals who abandon what they really want in order to fit in with the crowd.
We want to live freely. We want to live powerfully. But we don’t want to forego the luxury of being able to say “Well, this is what THEY told me to do”
The risk of losing makes us nervous, but it’s the risk of being alone with the consequences of our choices that paralyzes us.
This post is a rewrite of Stop Being Afraid of Your Own Power.
When you show respect, you become more respectable.
When you give love, you become more lovable.
When you strive to see the beauty in others, you become more beautiful in the process.
When you proactively look for things to appreciate, you become more appreciable.
When you praise things that are worthy of praise, you too become more praiseworthy.
When you uncover the genius of those around you, your own quality of genius begins to more fully emerge.
When you speak to others as if they are intelligent, you actually end up sounding more intelligent.
In all things, the great secret of getting is giving. If you want to see a certain quality or state of affairs manifested in your life, find a way to make it happen for someone else.
Strive to be a value-creator.
When you create wealth for others, your own life becomes more enriched.
There are two voices that live inside our heads.
One voice whispers “Take a stand for something you believe.”
The other voice screams “Take a back seat or you’ll get into some kind of trouble.”
Each time a person listens to the first voice, humanity takes one step towards freedom.
Which voice is narrating your story?
“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” -Rosa Parks
Thanks for demonstrating the power of questioning the status quo.
Thanks for refusing to go along in the name of getting along.
Thanks for being bold in your defiance of commonly accepted practices that many others were afraid to challenge.
Thanks for rocking the boat by doing what you needed to do in spite of the protests of those who were annoyed and inconvenienced by your resistance to the resistance.
Thanks for your willingness to pay the price of being shamed and scorned in order to remain true to your convictions.
Thanks for listening to the inner voice that whispered “take a stand” rather than obeying the bullies who shouted “take a back seat.”
Thanks for choosing freedom over convenience.
Because of you, it’s become a little bit easier for others to do the same.
May your example continue to shine a light for future generations.
Happy Birthday, Rosa Parks.