Saturday, 31 October 2020

Just for You

When you're not saying yes to life in spite of your fear, you will always dread the passing of time. In addition to missing out on all that life has to offer, fear drains your energy and power. When you hold yourself back from taking an action that you know you should take, this holding out can take more energy than it would to face your fear and act. For example, if you have a physical symptom that frightens you and you put off going to the doctor, every day you wait drains you of energy whether you realize it or not. If you're in a marriage that feels dead, the longer you avoid addressing the issue, the more you lose power. When you allow your power and energy to be depleted, you are less likely to act, because there is, literally, less of you available. Take Action! Let Fear Be Your Teacher Algonquin tribe members are given gifts such as metal tools in exchange for helping Father La Forgue and his assistant Daniel reach the Huron mission. The film emphasizes both the commonalities and the differences between the French and Algonquin cultures. Early in the movie, we see the Algonquin chief, Chomina, and Samuel de Champlain, the leader of the French, getting dressed in garb that connotes their high status. Every culture uses clothes and ornaments for this purpose. Both the French and Algonquin play music and dance. They both ingest consciousness-altering substances--tobacco for the Algonquin, alcohol for the French. At first, La Forgue doesn't realize that the Algonquin have a viable worldview of their own. As the film progresses, we see clearly that, consistent with terror management theory, each culture has a belief in an afterlife, and the members of both strive for self-esteem. The Algonquin men try to maintain their value as warriors and hunters. As Chomina approaches death, he questions whether he has been a great enough warrior. Perhaps you'd like to create an online business because you want to: Be independent and have no boss to tell you what you do (autonomy),

Be able to visit your parents more often (family), Spend more time with your partner and kids (family), Spend time doing what you love (passion), Take longer vacations (freedom, family, passion), Travel around the world (freedom), and Work on your own (autonomy--alignment with your introversion). Close your eyes and imagine all the benefits of achieving your goal. How does it make you feel to spend more time with your family? How would your life change if you used your fear as an ally? What are the benefits of facing your fear? The first step in building your courage muscles is to get leverage. Take out your journal and answer the following questions: What would you do? Where would you go? Who would you want with you? I have a special litmus test for whether or not to act in spite of fear. If, when my clients consider a situation, they feel a mixture of fear and excitement, I've learned that a yes vote is usually a good bet. There seems to be something about this combination that signals an opportunity that will move the client forward in his or her life. La Forgue sees his mission as a heroic effort to bring the Huron from outer darkness to qualification for the protection and salvation of Jesus. Daniel eventually betrays La Forgue so that he can be with Annuka, Chomina's daughter, with whom he has fallen in love.

But when faced with the prospect of death at the hands of the Iroquois tribe, he shifts his loyalty back to Christianity, La Forgue, and his heroic quest. We also see what seem, from outside each culture's respective worldview, very strange behaviors. La Forgue self-flagellates with a tree branch after he has lustful thoughts about Annuka. The Algonquin don't understand La Forgue's commitment to celibacy and wonder if he is some sort of demon. In order to decide what to do about La Forgue, Chomina travels out of his way to consult a dwarf covered in face paint who claims to be a shaman from the underworld. La Forgue sees this as one of numerous signs that the Algonquin are being controlled by the devil. The cultures are different in two principal ways. First, the French culture is more individualistic, the Algonquin more collectivistic. What about being your own boss? Traveling around the world? Feels pretty good, doesn't it? Now, which goal do you think will energize you the most? The original goal of making more money or the emotionally charged one? In both cases, the goal is the same, creating an online business, but the why behind it changes everything. As you now understand, having an emotional connection to your goal is paramount. Effective goals energize you. They tap into your core values and are aligned with your strengths and passion. And the more (emotional) reasons you come up with, the more motivated you'll feel. On the other hand, sometimes fear can teach you about yourself by revealing your limitations. I learned this lesson well from a woman named Katherine.

Katherine decided to participate in a quantam leap exercise with a team of friends. Participants were expected to climb to the top of a 25-foot pole, stand on a small disk and eventually jump off trusting teammates to guide them to safety. As part of the team Katherine had attempted to climb the pole, but when she neared the top, she felt paralyzed by fear and was unable to stand on the disk. She came back down feeling discouraged and relieved. At the end of the exercise, when everyone else had made it to the top, Katherine decided to try again. She felt anxious to be part of the success of the team. When she reached the top of the pole this time, once again Katherine felt terrified by her fear, but after some coaching from her teammates below, she was able to stand up. At the end of the program, as we debriefed, Katherine felt angry with herself for going up the pole the second time. The Algonquin share everything without question and have no sense of private property (communal sharing). They also obey Chomina and the other tribal elders (authority ranking). The French are oriented more toward market pricing, wanting to trade tobacco for other things rather than share it. And there is more of a sense of equality matching between La Forgue and Daniel. Daniel has no problem disobeying La Forgue and at one point is willing to abandon him to be with Annuka and the Algonquin. Annuka has no thought of ever abandoning her tribe. Second, French culture is more technologically advanced, an advantage that helped many European nations colonize indigenous tribal cultures. La Forgue eventually reaches the Huron mission and finds the Huron plagued by a deadly disease and desperate. He converts them and holds a large-scale baptism ceremony. In this way, the film depicts the process described by Salzman (2001), whereby Europeans, who had developed immunity to the germs they carried, infected indigenous tribes around the globe when they came into contact with them, leading to the death of up to half the local populations. Exercise: strengthen your whys Sit down, take a pen and a piece of paper, and answer the questions:

What's the most important (and exciting) goal I want to pursue right now and why? What are all the reasons it must happen? Come up with at least twenty reasons for achieving this goal. If you can, try to come up with a hundred reasons. For a step-by-step method to set and achieve exciting goals, refer to my article, Goal Setting: The Ultimate Guide to Achieving Exciting Goals that Truly Excite You. To find your passion and make a living from it, read my article, The Passion Manifesto: Escape the Rat Race, Uncover Your Passion, and Design a Career and Life You Love. Do the impossible Have you ever done something you thought impossible? The terror she felt at the top was overwhelming, and she realized that she should have listened to her inner voice that told her to stay on the ground. In this situation Katherine realized that her fear was actually trying to warn her to take better care of herself. There are other benefits to facing your fear. Often facing one fear opens a doorway to unexpected success in other areas of your life. My client Cameron learned this lesson in a powerful way when he saw how his fear of flying was linked to his stalled career. When Cameron was in his early twenties, he took his first commercial flight, with two brothers to the Caribbean where they were vacationing together for a week. On the flight home the plane hit a severe storm, and the pilots, unable to navigate around it, asked the passengers to brace themselves for some heavy turbulence. The plane bounced around, and at one point dropped a good 500 feet in the air. Cameron was terrified and thought for sure he was going to die. The flight was such a frightening experience that for several years Cameron wouldn't go near a plane. These mass epidemics led the tribal peoples to question their own worldviews and often to convert to Christianity in the hope of gaining protection from further death. In the case of the Huron tribe depicted in the film, a few decades after converting to Christianity, they were wiped out by rival tribes.

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