Despair = Suffering – Meaning
Anxiety = Uncertainty * Powerlessness
Disappointment = Expectations – Reality
Happiness = wanting what you have / having what you want
What a wonderful way to put it.
I am alumni of The Marketing Seminar, in short TMS, by Akimbo Workshops which is a brand created by Seth Godin. Akimbo Workshops includes a series of online learning programmes such as e.g. the altMBA and TMS. Recently I joined their online platform Forward Link where the Akimbo team and their audience meet to learn and connect. On a weekly basis Seth posts prompts around different topics provided via short videos. One of these was titled “Dance with fear”. I posted the following to share an exercise I sometimes do when I realise I am in fear.
“Since TMS4 ended I am part of a Mastermind group. It is a lot of fun and offers immense learning. There are five of us who have a weekly Zoom call. Before each call each of us does an exercise from the TMS cycle, sometimes we do a hotseat. Last week we talked about Tribes. Somewhen during this week’s call the topic fear came up. I shared what works for me when I become aware of my own fear, when I am able to observe it and don’t immediately rush to fight or flight mode.
It is a little visualisation exercise that goes like this: I picture myself in my deathbed, many years from now and ask myself the following question: The thing that right now I am fearful of, assuming the worst case scenario unfolded (of course we all know it rarely does), would I give this thing any thought, is it important enough that I would reflect upon it while lying in my deathbed, taking my last few breaths? In this “mindgame“ it is astounding how few fears actually make the journey to join me in my deathbed. A lot of times this exercise ends with me having a good laugh, about the drama story I gave birth to. In such moments I remind myself that I do not need to be a victim of my own fear, I can live with the fear and do it anyway. When I do this exercise it feels liberating, as if I managed to lift a weight from my shoulders.
Here are three books that came to my mind while I listened to Seth’s prompt video:
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully by Frank Ostaseski (this one made my all-time favourite list)
Dear Human: Master Your Emotions by Mark Youngblood
Do you have any exercise that works for you regarding fear? Let me know by reaching out via the Contact page.
Create. Your. Own. Universe.
I am currently reading a book by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté named Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. The following passage about the difference between Individuality and Individualism, from page 124, struck me as worth sharing:
“Individuality is the fruit of the process of becoming a psychologically separate being that culminates in the full flowering of one’s uniqueness. Psychologists call this process differentiation or individuation. To be an individual is to have one’s own meanings, one’s own ideas and boundaries. It is to value one’s own preferences, principles, intentions, perspectives, and goals. It is to stand in a place occupied by no other. Individualism is the philosophy that puts the rights and interests of a person ahead of the rights and interests of the community. Individuality, on the other hand, is the foundation of true community because only authentically mature individuals can fully cooperate in a way that respects and celebrates the uniqueness of others. Ironically, peer orientation may fuel individualism even as it undermines true individuality.”
We would all benefit from more individuality in the world as a prerequisite for respecting each other’s differences, for celebrating them. It would help us live diversity in the best sense of these words.
When I was a small boy I started to develop a love for stories about mythology, particularly Greek mythology. To this day one of my all time favourite books is Die schönsten Sagen des klassichen Altertums from Gustav Schwab.
I went on to take classes of Latin during seven out of my nine high school years. During this time I enjoyed reading so many remarkable mythological stories.
One of the great teachers within this realm is Joseph Campbell. To him mythology was “the song of the universe, the music of the spheres”. There exists a fabulous TV series, created by PBS, where he is interviewed by Bill Moyers. Here is a short intro video about it which lasts 0:31.
I wish I would have met him in person and listened to one of his lectures. What I can do, though, is to write about him and express my gratitude for all of his work. His book, The Power of Myth, is another of my all time favourites. It is a book that contains excerpts of his conversation with Bill Moyers.
Below is a great video, it lasts 11:28, by Tom Bilyeu, in which he is sharing his thoughts about how this book impacted his life.
Thank you Joseph, thank you Tom!