August 27, 2008
On Being Fearless
Fearless seems to be on people's minds. Arianna Huffington wrote a book on Fearless, which I blogged about earlier this year. Diana Palmer and Jack Campbell also wrote books called Fearless, although their books don't fall into the self help and motivational categories.
Books that have Fearless in a broader title weave self-help messages throughout, such as Guy Finley's Essential Laws of Fearless Living: Find the Power to Never Feel Powerless Again.
One of Chandler's key mantras is that "Success is just a mindshift away." There's no question that fear is a key element that holds us back. I'd go so far to say is that it is nearly the only factor. There are some factors that are beyond our control, but those are not the ones that people spend their time feeling paralyzed over.
I've read numerous books that use fear as a way to demonstrate a point. The Secret does this too. I increasingly find people who have issues with the book. Shift your mind, shift your life. Frankly, I think people take this stuff too literally.
Having experienced the mindshift that Chandler talks about, I know this stuff works. When your mind shuts down and your heart takes over, you'll discover blissful magic if you allow yourself to stay there long enough.
Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra and numerous others write about fear and the power of shifting your mind in a second from fear to love, fear to courage, fear to faith, fear to commitment.......in other words, values that oppose fears (or thoughts, because that's all they are), that sabotage your life.
Chandler's approach is extremely simple. Each chapter ranges from one to three pages and they offer valuable "lessons," the kind of lessons you'd hear at a Sunday school, yet none of his references or examples involve religion or even reference spirituality. They do however ask your mind to take a break.
Here he implores us to see and accept that this state, which is based on an erroneous identification with the egoic mind, is one of dangerous insanity. What I'm most looking forward to is his detailed descripton of how our current ego-based state of consciousness operates. When our minds are overactive and begin to spin, this my friends is where fear has a field day.
Tolle is complex. While I love his writing, it takes me time to get through his books. Chandler's style is much more informal. Think storyteller around a fire, where you'll leave with a lot of interesting reflections.
Through his short breezy chapters with great names (Death is like the rose, Books have always changed lives, Dance me through the panic, Before birth and after death, No fear like money fear, etc etc), you rediscover witty and important lessons that are so basic, you find yourself thinking - "but of course, this is hardly profound or new."
Yet we still let fear get in the way. He almost makes you feel silly for allowing fear to impact our lives. Once we can reduce a fearful thought to silly, we're on our way to leaving that fear permanently behind us. Quotes from greats like Lao Tzu, Henry James, Rumi, and Leonard Cohen also make their way into his lessons.
Time is never disappearing. He writes, "a lot of fear arises when we think about disappearing time. The sand running out of the hourglass. But while feeling that way, you miss something. You miss the secret truth (and therefore beauty) beneath this gathering storm of unfinished tasks: you have all the time in the world. You have nothing but time."
He continues, "time is what being alive is made of. If you'll slow down, you'll feel it." I love this by Ambrose Redmoon: "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."
My favorite chapter name has to be this one: Why am I living like a caged animal? Hmmmm, did he ever meet Howard Hughes? You don't have to think like Hughes to be living like a caged animal. He observes parents at a basketball game, who were furious with the referees or the coaches. It's the watchers that have the problems he says. The passive who go crazy with rage.
He asserts that "fearless means you're not just watching. Not just imagining. Not just picturing and attracting. You're actually doing things. You're in the game. Fearless means that you yourself are building the birdhouse."
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