1. What is your great task in life?
First of all, know that you were born for a great destiny. The purpose of you being put on planet earth wasn’t for you to just get a comfortable salary, a two-car garage, and then send your kids through college. No, the purpose of your destiny is to make the world a more phenomenal place. To change the world, for the better.
Your great destiny, of course, does involve you empowering yourself and your family. A nice quote from Publilius Syrus,
Don’t water the garden of another, if your own garden is parched (dying of thirst).
So first of all, you must take care of yourself, your own family, and your own community, before you empower the rest of society and humanity.
The reason why I like this idea of your great destiny is this:
If you know that your purpose and destiny in life is greater than yourself, you don’t fear your own personal well-being so much.
In Ancient Greek Times, the only way to achieve fame and glory was to sacrifice yourself for the collective —to die heroically in battle, for your kin.
Now, we don’t sacrifice ourselves in terms of life and death, but we sacrifice ourselves for ideas and ideals.
Therefore, friend, ask yourself —what is your great destiny and task in life?
- Writing great poetry, prose, books
- Making great visual art (photography, painting, sculpture)
- Making great businesses which empower local communities, and innovate
2. Identify your fears
To conquer your fears in life— identify your fears. If you know what your worst-case scenario is, you will discover the worst case scenario is often not that bad.
- Do you fear financial bankruptcy? Do you fear becoming homeless? Did you grow up in a family with financial difficulties, and stress?
- Do you fear social stigma? Do you fear “letting others down”—whether they be your family, friends, or colleagues?
- Do you fear lack of purpose in life?
- Do you fear ill health, and a possible early death?
For myself, I grew up with a lot of financial stress. My dad was a chronic gambler, and my mom struggled to pay the rent (my dad would gamble it away). Therefore in my life, my biggest concern was generally financial.
Yet, at the same time — growing up poor wasn’t so horrible. I actually learned to be more resourceful. I was more economical. I didn’t waste money — or at least, I knew the value of a dollar, and how hard you had to work for a single buck.
Which takes me to my next point:
3. Turn negatives into positives
Take your biggest fear in life, and see what kind of potentially positive or good you can get from it.
For example, if you actually do fear getting fired from your job —perhaps the upside is that you hate that job anyways. Maybe this can be your chance to get a new job, or start a new career.
You fear social stigma? Let’s say you do fail and embarrass yourself. You didn’t want those people as friends anyways.
4. Life is all interpretation
In life, everything which happens to us—it is all interpretation.
We can interpret things in a positive way, or a negative way.
This is another way to conquer your fears in life. Realize that the negative things you fear — can actually be BENEFITS that can help you become stronger, more noble, and more grand.
If you’ve never faced financial insecurity in life, I don’t think you will ever have the ability to value money.
If you’ve never faced emotional turmoil or heartbreak, I don’t think you can ever appreciate love and sacrifice.
If you’ve never had difficulty or pain in life, you can never feel true joy, elation, and gratitude.
5. Identify your fears
To identify your fears in life, write them down.
My biggest fear is ____________.
Stare at your biggest fear, and digest it. Let it soak in.
If my biggest fear did in fact happen, how would I react?
And then consider,
Will my reaction be a good thing for my character, that will help me become stronger, more grateful, or more interesting?
Conclusion: Do more of what you’re afraid of.
Often in life, our fears is what we must do.
Do you fear cutting toxic people out of your life? You only fear it because that is what you must do.
In photography, the best way to make better pictures:
Photograph what you’re afraid of.
For myself, my biggest fear is dying without a truly great or grand magnum opus. I want to leave a legacy of dopeness, empowerment, and ideas and ideals that will empower future generations. Yet, I often let laziness, sloth, and my personal insecurities hold me back.
So friend, realize that whatever you fear in life — that might be the thing you must precisely do.
Do more of what you’re afraid of, and you will life a grand life.