The Voice Of Fear

Dreams


I have a dream.

Not me,

it is safer that way.


We all have them. Whether we daydream about something that we want to do or we are focused on making our dreams come true, we all have them. Fear is the killer of our dreams, and we all have fear as well.

 

When we dream, there is comfort in the fact that we have them. We tell ourselves that someday we will make them come true. When a chance arises that gives us a shot at attaining our dreams, often times it can be a scary situation. We think that if we fail then we will no longer have that dream.

 

This is why fear is the great killer of dreams. It puts risk into our reaching for the stars. Sometimes our dreams are such a big part of our lives that the idea of not having them can paralyze any attempt to make them come true. But this is just our fear turning our dreams into an outcome. That is what fear does; it turns our world into outcomes, either good or bad.

 

There are two basic Buddhist beliefs by which I live my life in regards to outcome.

 

1) We cannot know if any outcome is good or bad.

 

      We spend all day judging every action in our lives as either good or bad. But the truth is that it is impossible to know if any action is good or bad. In order to know, you would have to know the meaning of life. Then you would have to know how everything else in your life would be different if you had changed one single outcome.

 

I told this to a friend once who replied back, “Well if you don't know what is good or bad then why care about anything?” I said “Because life is not about judging outcomes, it is about what you want to give.” He hadn't thought of it like that.

 

Imagine that you walked out of your house and realized you forgot your keys. You're running late, which you are sure is bad. You curse yourself as you go back into the house. But before you can get inside, a drunk driver crashes into the car you would have been in had you remembered your keys.

 

And can we say it would have for sure been bad if you had been in your car? Who knows. Maybe while lying in a hospital bed you look up and the attending physician is the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with. If we remove fear, life is only a journey of what we want to give and not a judgement of outcomes.

 

2) We must be able to accept that sometimes we will fail.

 

Most people think that this means to give up and accept failure as an outcome, but it means quite the opposite. It means that you accept that you can do everything possible and still fail. You accept that you do not have total control of the situation, therefore you accept that failure is a possibility. It doesn't mean you are trying to fail, it means that you will not fear failure.

 

If an athlete goes to the Olympics and has pre-accepted failure as a possibility, they are free to give their best without fear. It changes the situation from an outcome to what you want to give. Unless you have pre-accepted failure, the fear of failure will hold you back or even appear at a critical moment.

 

When it comes to having a dream in your life, you have to both pre-accept failure and accept that you don't know what is good or bad. How many people do you know who, when faced with a chance to live their dream, actually followed through? Dreams are scary if you believe that failing will destroy them.

 

Our world is filled with dreams that fear has destroyed. Don't add to it.

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