Today’s post was written by our old friend, the author Ryan Holiday. Ryan has gotten famous as a popularizer of Stoicism, the Greco-Roman philosophy, and his blog, The Daily Stoic, is well worth checking out.
In the so-called Hero’s Journey, the “call to adventure” is followed in almost all cases by the refusal of the call.
Because it’s too hard, too scary because they must obviously have picked the wrong person. That’s the conversation we have all had with ourselves. That’s what fear does. It keeps us from our destiny. It holds us back. It freezes us. It gives us a million reasons why. Or why not.
“How very little can be done under the spirit of fear,” Florence Nightingale once wrote. No one has changed the world, no one has fulfilled their destiny, and no one has answered the call to adventure, under the spirit of fear.
In the lives of history’s great men and women, fear—and the triumph over it—is almost always the defining battle of their existence. Just as it will be for you. Because there is nothing worth doing that is not scary. There is no change, no attempt, no reach that does not risk failure. There is no one who has achieved greatness without wrestling with their own doubts, anxieties, limitations, and demons. There’s almost no accomplishment that is possible without courage. The courage…
…to take a risk
…to be uniquely you
…to challenge the status quo
…to do what looks strange to others
…to run toward while others run away
…to do what people say is impossible
The question is will you listen to those people? Will you let fear prevent you from answering your call? Will you leave the phone ringing? Or will you win the battle? Will you do what you were put here to do?
Ryan’s latest book Courage is Calling and the about-to-be-released Discipline Is Destiny (Penguin/Portfolio) are available now!