'The late John Wayne, a popular cow-boy film star once defined courage as “being scared but moving forward all the same.” This shows that courage is not the absence of fear but it is in spite of it. Courage is using fear positively instead of negatively. By taking control of your mind, you can make fear a motivator instead of an inhibitor. Sir Edmund Hillary became the first man to reach the top of Mt. Everest. After the feat, he was asked, what was the biggest obstacle he faced in his quest to get to the top of the mountain? He replied that his biggest obstacle was to overcome the psychological barrier which nearly forced him to talk himself out of trying. He nearly gave up trying because of the fear generated in his mind. Once he overcame this barrier, climbing the mountain became an easy thing to do. His feat removed the fear from the minds of many others who have since climbed the mountain themselves. Those who earlier thought it was impossible to climb the mountain found it easier to do after one attempt succeeded.
In his best-selling book “100 ways to motivate yourself”, Mr. Steve Chandler tells the story of one Anthony Burgess who at 40 in January 1960 was told he had cancer and could die within a year. He knew he had a battle in his hands as surviving cancer then was near miraculous. Being broke at the time, he had nothing to leave behind for his wife Lynne who was soon going to be a widow. Burgess had never been a Professional Writer but he knew he had a latent-talent as a writer. Because his time was running-out and he needed to leave something behind as royalties for his wife to live on after his passing, he put paper into his typewriter and began to write. He wrote so furiously and energetically that within a year, he had written five novels. This feat alone surpassed what even acclaimed Professional Writers like E.M. Forster and J.D. Salinger could do within the same period and time frame. As it turned out, his cancer went into remission and Burgess did not die as predicted. In his life-time, he ended up writing more than 70 books.
If not the fear of death that Mr. Burgess faced, he may never have exploited his latent-talent of writing talk less of writing over 70 books in his life time. Many people are like Anthony Burgess. They have enormous talent and potential deep within them which could come out if they allow fear to motivate them instead of paralyzing them.