Why Confronting Your Fear Creates Your Best Work


I have a friend who was preparing for the Navy SEALS bootcamp. It’s the most extreme and intense bootcamp in the military that serves as a vetting tool, ensuring that only the toughest and strongest applicants become full fledged Navy SEALS. It’s a brutal.

Two of the main tools used to weed people out is water and cold. Teams of SEAL hopefuls spend long hours on the verge of hypothermia.

Not my idea of a good time.

One of the things he did to prepare was to only take cold showers in order to get used to the cold and wet. He would shiver in the shock of cold every day.

After weeks of this, I asked him if it’s gotten any easier. His answer, “no. It’s always hard.”

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What You Should Know About Fear

- - Podcast, Risk and Fear

I remember this moment like it was yesterday. Mid July. Sometime past midnight. Driving through Las Vegas in our 1982 Volvo. Though the Volvo is, by my standards, a really fantastic car, it was lacking one essential feature: functional air conditioning. And it was 115 degrees that night.

My wife, Stacia, and I were on our way from Chicago— where we both had lived for the previous 9 or 10 years— to Seattle. And it was a big move.

It felt… scary.

I’ve come to understand that fear has the ability to lead us to our deepest places of transformation. Fear can help us become the people we were meant to be.

Fear guides us.

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How to Build a New Year Resolutions Support Team

- - Goals, Purpose, Tools, Work

A young reader emailed me recently about her career goals. She wants to be a researcher and teacher but her friends all just want to play video games. She was struggling with the tension between her goals and her relationships. She felt like they were competing for attention.

I recommended she find some people who could appreciate her goals and who are pursuing similar things. Instead of spending evenings playing games online, she needs people who will share a table full of text books and study with her.
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How to Create Sustainable Momentum Toward Your Goals

- - Desire, Goals, Purpose, Tools, Work

There has been some confusion in our house lately around two different words. Whenever my 1 year old sees a picture of a goose, we usually tell him it’s a goose and that it says “honk”. Honk, it seems, sounds very similar to a word he’s an expert in— bonk. So, instead of mimicking the goose sound, our little guy leans forward and bangs his head against the book. We should probably clear this up for him, but in the mean time, it’s really funny.
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How to Fix Your New Year Resolutions

- - Goals, Inspiration, Tools

“Don’t shop when you’re hungry.” That’s a good piece of advice that gets passed around. Are you familiar with it? Have you ever thought about why?

If you shop based on what you want at this moment, you’ll end up with a refrigerator full of nothing but lime La Croix and frozen cheese pizza. I’m not going to judge you for living on a diet of carbonated water and cheese— we all have to work with what we’ve got — but I will argue that some vegetables and fruit might be a nice addition.

But they’re hard to buy when you’re starving and just want to go home, drink bubbles, and eat cheese.
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