What would you do if you were not afraid?

What would you do if you were not afraid?


What would you do if you were not afraid? Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO in a Barnard College Commencement in 2011 in New York City asked this question. I want to approach this question from a couple of places, none of them saying to be fearless requires you to be reckless.


So, what would you do?

What if you didn’t have any debt? How about if you didn’t have children? Let’s say you didn’t worry about what other people thought of your decision? Let’s look at the following questions. Do you know people that are successful that have children? Do you know successful people that have house payments or car payments? So, this is not the deciding factor in determining what you would do if you were not afraid.


What are your passions?

We all have natural abilities. The longest 8 hours you will ever spend in your life is the 8 hours at a job you hate. Life is short, too short. There is no reason to spend it doing things you hate. Steve Jobs once said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking”.


We might fear failure more than we value success

Psychology today has an article on “The Ten signs you might have a fear of failure” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201306/ten-signs-you-might-have-fear-failure

If we truly are to embrace the things we love in life, we have to be excused from fearing failure. We now call things a bucket list. This might be things we want to do before a certain age or even before we die. To add to Sheryl Sandberg’s quote “What would you do today if you were not afraid?


Last but not least: I cannot afford to quit life and chase my passion

Our budgets are determined by what we want to spend in a given month. Maybe you have traded your own dream for what others say should be everyone’s dream? Do we need a new car? An overpriced house? I am not saying any of these are bad. If someone wants these things they should pursue them, but not at the cost of doing what they are passionate for.  You might find a simpler life, with less commitments, less stress is exactly what you have been looking for all along. By the way, many people are making a lot of money doing the things they love.


In Conclusion

My blog is called: Listen. Think. Act. I do not propose to have the answers to your questions. I do not have the answers to the things I want to know. Maybe we should listen to people we admire and respect. Maybe, we should stop and think and do this on a regular basis. Yes, I mean literally set aside time to do nothing more than think. Finally, all this is useless unless we act. “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” Confucius My Dad use to tell me “Do something, even if it is wrong”. I would advise using this quote with much wisdom. I think he was saying, you have to do something or you will never get any closer to your goal. Do not become paralyzed by fear and uncertainty. You have one life to live. Go live it with passion for the things you love.


Author: duanew2

I am a retired Marine that believes in the power of conversation and learning. I hope this site allows all of us to do both.

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