Monday Morning Coffee | June 7, 2010


"What is more mortifying than to feel you've missed the Plum for want of courage to shake the Tree?" 
~ Logan Pearsall Smith



 Many years ago, in a country far away, a ruthless dictator terrorized his prisoners. On their execution day, each prisoner was summoned for an audience with the cruel dictator. Standing face-to-face, the dictator gave each condemned man a final choice - to either face the firing squad - or go through the "black door."

Having experienced countless episodes of torture and cruelty already, the prisoners invariably chose death over the unknown terror that they imagined must lie beyond the "black door." Finally, the day came when the dictator himself lay on his deathbed. Curious, his inner circle of advisors asked him, "What lies beyond the 'black door'?" His answer? "Freedom!"

People are still making that choice today - choosing lives dampened by fear, rather than taking a chance on the unknown beyond the black door. That awful, scary feeling that comes from "fear of the unknown" is often just enough to keep us from breaking out into the clear light of day that illuminates our success.

The next time an opportunity presents itself, yet fear threatens to smother success, take time to understand your fear. Make a list of what you fear may happen. Write down the worst that could happen. Next, make a list of the benefits you would reap by taking positive action. When the benefits exceed the risks, the decision will become clear.

Get in the habit of setting clear, concise daily goals for yourself. As you set and achieve them, you will notice that "fear of the unknown" begins to fade. You will accomplish more in a day than you otherwise would in a month.

Finally, remember one of my favorite and often used quotes: "Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there."

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