Saturday, November 30, 2013

Don't take it so seriously

"I have never yet seen or heard anything serious that was not ridiculous."
— Horace Walpole

Friday, November 15, 2013

Refuse to be Afraid

Some time ago I collected a bunch of blog posts and threads into a little book whose name is still the subtitle of this site: Refuse to be Afraid. Free yourself. Dream. A few people have purchased or otherwise seen the book, and I'd like to believe it's done some small good in the world.

I browsed through it again Thursday morning. It's still timely – probably always will be as long as people use fear to try to control other people. It seems today more than ever, the fear mongers are loose on the streets and airwaves and bandwidth everywhere. And so I'd like to quietly remind you of my little book of pep talks, which concludes with a confession:
A funny thing happened to me on my way toward producing a book called Refuse to be Afraid, designed to help people overcome the everyday and extraordinary fears that stand in the way of their freedom and their dreams.

I got scared.

What if everyone already knows this stuff and I’m the last to figure it out? What if I help everyone overcome their fears and it turns out it was good to be afraid — after all, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean someone isn’t really out to get you? What if I’m just writing a collection of clich├ęs that no one can take seriously? What if — What if — ?

 It took two or three extra years for me to finish this book, because I didn’t follow the advice I was laying out in this book. So I bring you these suggestions from personal experience and to say: I know how you feel. I’ve been there. ...

The evidence that my fears were ungrounded is right here: You’re reading the book I was afraid would be ignored and dismissed, the thoughts that I was afraid to share under my own name.

You can get past your fears, too. It gets easier with every step you take — but make no mistake, the fear will never completely go away.

So: you’re scared. So am I — some days more than others. The first step was recognizing that almost all of the time, I was afraid of nothing. I learned that fear is an irrational and useless emotion. It is a seductive and dangerous force that urges us to stay in our comfort zones: Anything more than the quotidian, the familiar, is scary — sometimes a little scary, sometimes downright frightening.

But you were made for more than this. Refuse to be afraid. Free yourself. Dream. And you will succeed.
There are at least three ways to get hold of Refuse to be Afraid, four if you include searching through my blogs for the original entries.

You can find the Kindle version.

You can find the .epub version for other ereaders.

You can have the good old-fashioned paperback.

Yes, this is a pitch for you to separate yourself from a few pennies. I continue to believe you could use this message for those days when you've had enough of the overwhelming message of the age: Be afraid! It's a scary world! You can't protect yourself from the monsters! We can rescue you!

They're lying to you. Refuse to be afraid. Free yourself. Dream.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fire yourself today, please

This article by The Robert D. Smith is a remarkable slap upside the head and shot across the bow for anyone who thinks their lot in life is out of their control.
This is your life! This is not a dress rehearsal or a practice run. This is the real thing. Time is limited. You are on a deadline. It ends at midnight tonight. ... It is time to start acting like your butt is on the line. Fire yourself today if you don’t show up, and measure up. Then hire the new you tomorrow ...

Stop acting like you’re protected from your own incompetence. That is a lie. You are an individual and this is your life. Period. 
 Read the whole article here.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I'm thinking, I'm thinking!
Thank you for checking in to see if I have anything new to say. I have been watching the passing parade with some interest. It seems now more than ever we must heed H.L. Mencken's oft-repeated caution, "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." I've seen some folks around the Internet have corrupted the quote to say "most of them imaginary," but I assure you, Mencken said all. And certainly all of the hobgoblins that have been conjured by the practical politicians of late have been imaginary. Yet still folks clamor to be led to safety. If you want to get from here to there, son, use your feet.

I have many opinions regarding what's happening in America these days, and sometimes they sneak out when I see something especially sophomoric from a Facebook Friend. Mostly I see people willing to blame the deterioration of liberty over the past 20 years on the major political party they are not affiliated with. Never mind that Obama is just expanding the policies of Bush, who expanded the policies of Clinton. It's the other side's fault that we're in this mess.

So, actually, no, I have nothing new to say, just the same old, same old: Your freedom is in your hands. No one can take it away without your permission, although they certainly will try – your mind and your actions are under your control. An adherence to the Zero Aggression Principle will always stand you in good stead (as will the Tenets of Common Wealth, come to think of it).

And so I occupy my creative time, of late, with the adventures of Myke Phoenix. Although we need heroes in this era, remember there is no hero who can lead you to safety. Myke and friends are just a pleasant diversion.

Refuse to be Afraid. Free yourself. Dream. Taking those three steps are the core of what I have to say.