Welcome to my thoughts on Living with Joy, Purpose, and Conscious Choice. Please subscribe free on the form to the left.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie (jlh @sail7.com)

The content of all my blogs/websites consists entirely of personal opinion.
See a medical professional for all issues of physical and emotional health.

Monday, July 30, 2012

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More about Fear

In response to my post There are Only Fear and Love a reader commented... "FEAR is also a TOOL, which is used to warn one of approaching DANGER."

My reply:

Great point. One key to dealing with fear is being able to distinguish between the 10% of the time when danger is imminent, and the 90% of the time when irrational fear becomes an impediment to success and happiness.

Even more important is generating an appropriate and useful response to any kind of fear - both the truly danger-based fears and the exaggerated fears. Whenever fear causes one to become frozen in inaction, success, happiness, and sometimes health and even life are at risk.

Suppose that someone has a recurring pain, but is afraid to go to the doctor for fear that the doctor might find cancer. Certainly, danger is potentially present, but inaction is not a helpful response to that danger. This kind of fear might be characterized as a deer-in-the-headlights kind of fear for its similarity to the behavior of a deer standing motionless in the middle of a highway at night staring into the headlights of an oncoming car and too confused to move.

Another kind of response to fear that is not helpful is the I'll-try-anything kind of response. An example of this would be attempting to cure a serious illness with "remedies" or devices that have no medically proven effectiveness and are often dangerous.

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The Five Basic Fears [from my book (with Mary Anne Radmacher) Simply An Inspired Life]

Although we have many different fears, we have only five gut-level instinctive Fears:

1. Fear of the Unknown (which includes Fear of Death)
2. Fear of Physical Pain
3. Fear for our Survival - Fear of the Lack of Physiological Necessities (especially food and air, but also warmth, sleep, water and a few others)
4. Fear for our Personal Safety - Fear of Attack and Accident
5. Fear of Abandonment - Fear of the Loss of Human Companionship

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Each fear we ever experience is actually an instance of one (or more) of the 5 basic fears. However most fears are pale imitations. For example, fear of losing one's job is an instance of basic fear #3 - fear for one's survival. Lack of a job might result in the lack of food and shelter for oneself and one's family, right? Certainly that is a person's instinctive emotional reaction. However, in a modern country, equating job loss to starvation is quite an exaggeration, and it is far better to greet the loss of a job with equanimity and thoughtful action than to react in blind panic.

Consider the fear of speaking in public - which is one of the most common fears. The potential public speaker is afraid of embarrassment - which is in turn an instance of fear #5 - the fear that the members of the audience will "abandon" the speaker if he or she performs poorly. For a first-time public speaker, there is also an element of fear #1 - fear of the unknown.

What is the worst fear most people have? Fear of death - and fear of death is perhaps the most useless fear in that death is a certainty. There is a complex interaction between fear #4, the sometimes highly useful fear of short-term risks to one's life - like falling rocks, or an approaching wild beast, or an angry opponent - and the debilitating long-term fear that one will eventually die (fear #1). And a further complexity is that even fears for personal safety are generally exaggerated, or even paranoid. Fear of shark attack, and fear of home intruders are certainly fears for personal safety, but never swimming in the ocean or patrolling one's neighborhood with a gun and shooting an unarmed teenager of the wrong color are overreactions.

Understand that fear and danger are not well correlated - and the correlation has become much worse as human society has developed rapidly. Sharks, spiders, and public speaking are fearful, but represent very tiny degrees of danger. Milk shakes and cigarettes don't generally cause fear, but statistics show them to be dangerous to health.

How to deal with fear?

1. Breathe and focus.

2. Consciously analyze the real level of danger.

3. Consciously plan the most appropriate course of action.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

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How To Get A Job

Question: Thank you for your amazing quotes ................. and now tell me
how to get a job!

Thank you for your kind words about my Daily Inspiration email.

Getting a job...

1. Relax - eliminate the panic from your life over being between jobs. You are likely making yourself miserable -- plus, feeling badly about not having a job lowers your self-esteem and causes you to interview less well.

2. Focus more on the quality of the job and the company than on getting the absolute top dollar in wages. Consider the long term prospects for the job and the company. Always choose a highly ethical job.

3. Try different - and less direct - ways of finding a job. Inventory your skill-sets, and consider taking a job in a different field than your last job. Ask EVERY friend and acquaintance for suggestions and help. While you are between jobs, do some part-time or volunteer work -- that could lead to a connection for a full time job. Consider becoming a self-employed free-lance contractor or starting your own business.

May the world be kind to you, and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Monday, July 9, 2012

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Why Me, God?


When troubles descend, people have long asked, "Why Me?" or "Why Me, God?"

The answers to this question range from the theological, to the compassionate, to the philosophical, to the comic -- and sometimes humor is actually a great help in surviving bad times.

Consider the highly varied points of view in these quotes on the question, "Why Me?"

If I were to say, "God, why me?" about the bad things,
then I should have said, "God, why me?"
about the good things that happened in my life.
- Arthur Ashe

God will never give you anything you can't handle,
so don't stress.
- Kelly Clarkson

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.
I just wish he didn't trust me so much.
- Mother Teresa

Life is a succession of lessons
which must be lived to be understood.
- Helen Keller

Why has God given me such magnificent talent?
It is a curse as well as a great blessing.
- Albrecht Durer

"Why me?" That is the soldier's first question,
asked each morning as the patrols go out
and each evening as the night settles around the foxholes.
- William Broyles Jr.

Why does anything ever happen?
Some things happen and some don't.
- Kid Rock

Sometimes I lie awake at night and ask "Why me?"
Then a voice answers "Nothing personal,
your name just happened to come up. -
- Charlie Brown, in Charles M. Schulz' cartoon Peanuts

God is in all men, but all men are not in God;
that is why we suffer.
- Ramakrishna

It is no use to grumble and complain;
It's just as cheap and easy to rejoice;
When God sorts out the weather and sends rain
- Why, rain's my choice.
- James Whitcomb Riley

I think wholeness is God's design for us;
and that often amounts to embracing contradictions.
- Bono

A good traveler has no fixed plans,
and is not intent on arriving.
- Lao Tzu

Man plans, God laughs
- Yiddish Proverb

There are people in the world so hungry,
that God cannot appear to them
except in the form of bread.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

The truly rich are those who enjoy what they have.
- Yiddish Proverb

The wise man in the storm prays God,
not for safety from danger,
but for deliverance from fear.
It is the storm within which endangers him,
not the storm without.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is as easy or as hard as you think it is.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.
- Reinhold Niebuhr (Serenity Prayer)

Is today a day to gather strength from the storm -
a day to to learn life lessons for the next battle?
Or is today a day to sit by the fire
and watch the storm rage outside?
Either way, the storm is just life.
Give thanks for all of Life.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

You don't have the power to make life "fair,"
but you do have the power to make life joyful.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie