Why.

What is your why? Why do you do things that way you do them? Why are you willing to face adversity to reach your desired destination in life. These are thoughts I’ve had before when I hear about someone with a big dream that seems to be a bit more than they probably can bite, chew, and swallow. Meaning I’m not sure why they really are doing things the way they are doing, I’m probably not alone in wondering about these things.

As a youth in central Utah, I used to sell corn on the side of the road next to the high school every fall for a few summers. My Father, Grandfather, and I would go pick the corn then we’d park the truck on the side of the street and I’d sit there till the sun went down or I’d sold all my corn for the day. I learned a few interpersonal skills with people and how to sell products to folks which is a benefit to me to this day. One of the most memorable experiences for me was trying to sell a bag of corn to a man carrying a giant cross across the USA who stopped through our little town on his way to California.

I asked him about his cross and why it had a wheel on the bottom. Man, “It’s designed to make the walk easier as I carry it.” Me, “Why are you carrying that thing? Don’t you think it would be faster to leave it behind?” Man, “Yes, it would be easier, but I want to show everyone that I can carry this heavy cross from New York to California.”  Me, “Ummm, okay, but why?” Man, “I told myself if I could do this, I could do anything.” Eight or Nine year old me didn’t get it then but have never forgotten it to this day. This man had a purpose to walk across America with a heavy wooden object, and I hope it helped him see he could do anything. I did, however, sell him some corn to fuel his trek.

To this day I see and hear about people who are setting out for challenging journeys as adventurers, entrepreneurs, athletes, and scholars. I can’t always relate to nor understand their vision for choosing the challenges they have decided to claim. I can confirm that choosing a challenge that people don’t understand can be a catalyst to the greatest adventures of one’s life.

Share your why with others, and enlighten them on your vision. If they doubt you or don’t understand that is okay. They might catch a vision similar to yours one day, and take off on their own journey fueled by nothing more than why.

Fear.

When you ask my wife what she is most afraid of you’ll hear a number of assorted fears, with a strong emphasis in mice. She hates them enough that I haven’t the words to describe her hate and fear of them. She fears them enough the basic instincts of fight or flight kick in, and she usually aims for the latter. In fact, we are not sleeping at home tonight because of said fear, after seeing a mouse in the house earlier.

I believe there are many out there who can relate to my wife. We all fear one thing or another, at times our fears can cripple us, at other times they can strengthen us and aide us in doing what needs to be done at that time. Please note that I believe that it is okay to be afraid, fear is something I’ve worked through on a very personal level and I recognize that we all view the world from different views.

Many of us can agree that fear is good in a healthy dose, fear of getting a ticket while speeding, or fear of falling while climbing a tree isn’t a bad thing. Finding a balance between adrenaline and fear is a smart balance to find. Not letting fear run your life is the best way to live in peace with what can / could happen any given day. We live a life filled with unknowns, the best thing we can decide is that we will not be afraid of what is coming only to embrace it as it arrives.

I recently read a book by Alex Honold called “Alone on the wall.” where he talks about his mental preparation for some of his larger climbs that have made him famous for being a rock climber who free solos large pitches or climbs on some of the most challenging climbs in the world. He mentions that he can practice the moves needed(while roped in) hundreds of times before the actual climb(without a rope) but still is aware that things might not always go as planned, he has to be mentally ready to shake off the fear and climb onward without fearing what could go wrong. He is well aware of what could go wrong but chooses to focus his energy on what he can do to prepare for things to go the way he needs them to.

This should be a general rule of thumb for everyday life, learning from our experiences and letting them strengthen us for the unknown days ahead instead of spending our days fearing what could go wrong. Be aware that your options are many the outcomes are endless. So find a healthy balance and don’t be afraid to live your very best life.