“The realization of certain death should be renewed every morning.Each morning,you must prepare yourself for every kind of death with composure of mind.Imagine yourself broken by bows,guns,spears,swords,carried off by floods,leaping into huge fire,struck by lightning,torn apart by earthquake,plunging from a cliff,as a disease ridden corpse.”
– Tsunetomo Yamamoto ,”Hagakure”
Morbid?Certainly not.I was reading up on my usual stuffs on salesmanship and came across this very interesting chapter that brought out a renewed vigor.”Samurai Selling” was the chapter.The chapter started interestingly with that short anecdote of that irrationality called fear,gripping the minds of salesman like me.Fear that immobilizes us into that frame of uselessness and hopelessness.
Being a financial consultant has its perks and jerks.Amongst the jerks will have to be the inability to close a sale for weeks.Not that it’s happening to me,but I dread that cycle,as it inevitably seeps into the normality of daily living.And I identify with that fear rather profoundly as I can really be immobilized to pieces,when that fear strikes unknowingly.The truth is,I do not know how to handle fear.Not until now that is.
The above prose,written by the great Samurai warrior Yamamoto aptly describes the startling reality about living your life.Basically,there are a gazillion ways to die,if you are to think about it.Since the whole concept of future living is based on the unpredictability of an unknown factor,is it not fearful to think just how your day might just end?We wake up,do our prayers,have breakfast,text a love one,go to work,work,tea breaks,lunches,work,end your day,go home,watch television,have dinner and sleep.What if that routine was to be broken by something unpredictable?
But the Samurai’s code of conduct with regards to living is admirable.The Zen factor as you call it.Apparently they embrace the fear of unknown and channel it into something that is powerful.An inner energy and calmness that seems to permeate every sense of living.People always say,”Looks like you are experiencing a Zen like moment…”That’s exactly what I mean.When a total completeness just engulfs you.
I love the way the chapter describes how Samurai uses the fear.
You know how it feels like when you are fearful of something.Say,let’s put it into simplistic context.Imagine trying to ask for a kiss.You start having that churning feeling,your whole pulse seems to hasten,your precipitation starts and your breathing increases.Perhaps you begin to space in and out of consciousness as you try to visualize the whole perspective.Samurai’s take on it?It’s a natural bodily reaction.All that is meant to be a natural indication that your whole physical entity is primed up for the best maximum action oriented performance,if you know how to channel that energy in a concentrated effort.Get what I mean?It means,that physically your brain is sending signals that it is ready for the worst case scenario.And you know what it entails right?It creates a heighten sense of awareness and alertness.You become keen and your judgments become acute.It’s as though you are all ready to pounce and strike.
A classic example of using fear to your advantage.I mean,it clearly illustrates that once you do that thing you fear of doing,the accomplishment will be truly gratifying.And your body will feel it too,as all the charged chemicals will be released throughout your body.Fear creates that necessity to outperform your potential.I mean,put it this way.God could have just created us in that mold of not having fear.But why not?Because without fear,who will wanna outperform each other in areas of spirituality.Without fear,we will just be putting the context of religion into that arena called rituals.That is why there is fear.”Iman” is faith.”Taqwa” is fear.Amazing yah?Besides,without fear,one will never be able to assess risks.Imagine people without fear.You’ll have deaths everyday.No fear to jaywalk.No fear to jump.No fear to fly.No fear to shoot.Fear allows you to weigh options that facilitates the choosing/deciding of the best options.
Okay I’m digressing.My point is this.The ability to control fear objectively into a collective force of focus is powerful.The acronym F.E.A.R ( False Expectations Appearing Real ) is true.How can a reality be tangible if it begins with a false expectation?I fear public speaking,they say.But why?Because you perceive that you can’t or you won’t?
Therefore my new F.E.A.R is, ( Focusing Energy Around Results ).It’s mine.Trademark as a program.Wahahahaha.
But why I have this motto from now is simple.Because it now puts the locus of control in my head and body.What results I want will be dependent on the amount and type of energy I wish to focus it on.
The ending of the chapter describes exactly how I felt when I conquered my fears,at one point or another in different aspects of my life.It said that when you channel that adrenalin of fear within you,everything else around will seem to momentarily just move in slow motion whilst you move as normal or quicker than possible.The Matrix effect to me.Like when how you recall that experience to be a set of blurry action sequence but you can see what’s unfolding.
I guess these days,my only fear should be the fear of my own possibility.(and God of course.)
DO ME A BIG FAVOR AND LET ME KNOW WHAT IS YOUR FEAR BELOW.I’LL HELP YOU IF POSSIBLE.
(especially on Fear #2 and #9)