Every day, you get to pick the horse that you’re going to ride. The only caveat is that the horse you pick is going to take you to its home and the places these horses call home are dramatically different.
There’s the horse called fear. His home turf is lonely, isolated, and full of menacing, shadowy figures that may or may not mean you harm. Doesn’t matter, though, because you and the horse are going to react like your lives are on the line. Honestly, it’s a pretty miserable ride and it rains a lot. Soggy bottom on the back of a horse = chafing = ouch.
There’s the horse called compassion. His landscape is populated with a lot of interesting people who demonstrate their strengths in a surprisingly diverse fashion. Nothing is personal in this landscape because everyone you meet is trying to move away from pain and towards satisfaction. Not so much rain here, but plenty of soft days of partial clouds and peeking sunshine.
There’s the horse called opportunity. He walks in perpetual sunshine and is known for spending so much time looking at the butterflies and flowers that he trips. It can be a bumpy ride, but so what? Every bump is a chance to get smarter and grow a little.
I’d introduce you to the horse named Anger, but I think he’s just an offensive incarnation of fear.
The point is this: however you choose to approach your life (and by G-d, think it through and choose instead of bouncing around like a pinball), that’s going to be the life that you experience. Say you’re afraid that you’re a f*ckup. You’re going to spend all of your time in a framework defined by f*cking up. Any slip is going to be classified in that way and become the basis for future fear. Sooner or later you’re going to be paralyzed in it and sure enough, your entire life is defined by f*ckups. Change your mind, change your life.
This ties in to Scott’s brilliant musings on choosing a compass. If fear is your compass, it’s going to point you towards more fear. Whatever the compass you choose is pointing at, that’s where you’re going to end up. If it’s guilt, the compass will just point you toward more guilt.
So today’s challenge is this: Consider what you’re afraid of. Then think through what you’re sure of. Base your behavior today on what you’re sure of, not what you fear. If you’re afraid she’s going to bitch you out but you’re sure your life is better having her around, then do what comes as an extension of your certainty, not your fear.
Because really, the magnetic north that fear pulls to is always going to suck.