The Fear of the Unknown

There’s a Japanese saying:

Don’t hold on what’s leaving, and don’t push away what’s coming to you.

I’d put it this way:

Never worry about the day behind you, its Sun is down already.

Don’t fear tomorrow, because tomorrow’s Sun is not yet up.

Be in the moment.

Rely on the experience of yesterday to prepare peacefully for tomorrow’s.

Step bravely into the next down, smiling.

I was sitting with a client, waiting for the energy around him to settle, so that my words would get through to him. Otherwise, they would just bounce and slide off, as if down a greasy glass wall. He came to me for a solution to his problem, and the solution he had been looking for was right in front of him all the time; it’s just he wasn’t prepared to see it. You wouldn’t believe how often this was the only problem. Sometimes, people are not aware of it, but if only they could look around and into the mirror, and somehow hear themselves afterwards, the answer would have arrived right away! Without a hitch.

The deputy CEO next to me was telling me he expected to be transferred. He didn’t dare as much as think about the change. It wasn’t about the position, it was the idea of change and leaving his safe zone that horrified him.

Why don’t you face it directly, and look at it from the right angle?

You don’t understand, that is not a good job for me! Here, I get to see the results, it does take a lot of hard work, but I can manage. Why now? I stayed on budget…All sweaty, he was gabbling, as if working against a quota of words he had to pronounce per minute.

Are you sure it’s about your job and your position, not something else?

What do you mean? he asked, for the first time looking straight into my eyes. It’s always a good sign.

A frog in a well knows nothing of the great ocean. He was looking at me, completely silent, just like the frog in the well.

If the lessons we get were so easy and obvious, do you really think they should exist? When you were a student, did you get your exam questions ahead of time? Did you get a sample essay before the exam? Were you given a chance of memorizing the answers? You need to see the bigger picture!

Long journeys usually start with a short trip, and the first step is to be made exactly where you are standing. You should always start with yourself, and accept life events as something happening for your sake, not against you. The initial reaction is to fight your corner. Intuitively, you blame someone else, while right there, inside you, there’s a solution to your situation!

A little while ago, I rushed to take care of something. Outside a mall, I slowed down to see if I could pull into a parking spot. I wasn’t quite there, deep in my thoughts, mulling over the situations that had put a serious strain on me. I didn’t realise I had released the brake, and that the car was rolling backwards. A loud bang snapped me out of it. The car behind me hit me. I pulled the parking brake and got out of the car. In a blur, I was trying to understand what had just happened, while the driver was yelling at me. I was trying to cut in, to calm him down and explain that it wasn’t his fault, but mine, that he shouldn’t worry about it, because we’d certainly sort it out. In similar situations I always refer to the wonderful thought that if you can solve the problem, there’s nothing to worry about, and if you can’t, it makes no sense to worry about it – but I wrote.

about it already.

Before I even got a chance to say anything, he was back into the car, driving off and swearing at me. What do you do in such situations? Hurl back insults, write down the car plate number to sue him, get extremely upset? Well, that’s not what I did. I apologised to the man, asked for forgiveness, and pulled over to think what the universe was telling me.

What’s the best thinking pattern in a situation like this? I was trying to remember exactly what happened: my car rolled back and hit an obstacle! Then I asked myself: Am I really trying to go back? Where’s my life taking me to fear an outcome so much as to wish to go back? And then it hit me! Mine was exactly the same situation! It was precisely such thoughts that made me absentminded and practically led to the accident. Life was taking me the other way, and I was afraid. I was weighing up the pros and cons of the decision, fearing the outcome…So, what’s the answer? There’s no going back, that’s the answer! If I go back, an accident will happen. I have to go straight ahead, whatever may be waiting for me there. Once you set off, there’s no going back. That was the watershed moment for me – I thought things through, decided to take action, and carry on.

Remember: Once you’ve taken action, stop thinking, just move ahead!

What does it have to do with my transfer? The young man across from me said, still gazing at me the eyes of the frog in the well.

What’s going on in your life right now? Is there any aspect of it where you can feel that you are getting out of the zone of comfort, and into something completely new?

Well, I don’t know…

Are you in a hurry? You keep looking at your watch…

I have to be somewhere in an hour. My girlfriend and I have a meeting with a restaurant manager. We are planning a wedding.

Whose wedding?

Ours, of course.

See you next time. Until then, please think about the question I’ve asked, and everything we’ve talked about today.

He laughed. Next time he brought a wedding invitation with him.