Living can be difficult at the best of times. Just getting up to face the world can be daunting for most people. They say it’s easier to die than to live – but I’m not willing to find out just yet if that presumption is true.
The wisest of them all courageous to the end
One such legendary philosopher who faced his own death with both defiance and equanimity was Socrates, who was accused of impiety and corrupting the youth in Athens. Socrates was eventually found guilty and sentenced to death by drinking a mixture containing poison hemlock.
Despite his fate, Socrates displayed a tremendous amount of courage and wisdom whilst awaiting his final hours.
Maybe we can all learn a valuable lesson from Socrates’ fearlessness, which can influence us to empower ourselves to face life with courage, so that we can carry out wise actions towards achieving our goals. After all, life is short to begin with, so we have no time to waste.
What fears do we need to be courageous for in our life?
- deep rooted or conditioned fears, that can make you anxiety ridden, tentative, lack confidence, debilitate your personal growth and stop you living life to the full
- the fear of responsibility that can make you neglect yourself and your duties to others
- avoiding certain people that you fear and who make you feel uncomfortable, hesitant, inadequate and less of a person than you are
- the fear of opinion of ourselves from other people that can dictate how you live, behave, make decisions and feel emotionally; this can also eventually stifle your independence, self-esteem and personal development
- the fear of failure in certain situations that can make you pessimistic, apathetic, procrastinate and stop you achieving anything worthwhile for yourself; in other words, you will not be living up to your true purpose
- the fear of dealing with adversity or unforeseen disasters, that can affect how you cope and deal with life in general
The above are not as dramatic a situation as Socrates found himself in but if you let fear beat you in life, then you may as well be the one to drink the hemlock. So the following comes to mind:
“Life is to be lived, not to be feared!”
My greatest challenge in life is me
Now as I reflect on myself, there are days when I wake up to go to work feeling like a lion unleashed and without a fear in the world; ready to deal with whatever life throws at me. And there are some days that I feel overly anxious, apprehensive and tentative which makes me want to stay in my bed and hide. I know which feeling I much prefer to live with.
As I have mentioned in an earlier post, your biggest challenge in life will always be yourself, where every day is a constant battle. But if you want to win the war, with the spoils being you becoming a more confident, joyful, liberated and productive human being, you must first defeat fear.