Don't let your dreams be conquered by the weight of fear.
This is the story of the impossible. It's the story of dreams, the story of impossible dreams and the story of miracles. It's the story of epic achievements of legendary heroes that have made possible the impossible, and that left history engraved with their names. It is your story, the story of your dreams, the story of your happiness, but it is also my story and the story of the world.
Dreams are a fascinating subject. Who in the world doesn't have one?
We Are All Pregnant With Dreams
But why is it that only a handful of people achieve their dreams easily and efficiently, while the rest are efficiently achieving the exact opposite, disappointments? And both seem to do it effortlessly, and I'm not saying that anyone who fails does it by carefully studying books on “How to Effortlessly Fail."
How do you explain that some people, instead of reaching their dreams, accomplish, over and over again, disappointments? And how do you explain that some people achieve dreams that seem almost impossible and that can only be explained as pure luck or as a "miracle"? What hidden patterns are there that can explain this mystery?
Let's start with a premise: We are all created equal in 2 aspects.
- First, we are all born pregnant with a seed, the seed of our dreams. Take a moment right now and feel your dreams. What are your dreams?
- The second, and the more important of the two, is fear. What are your fears? And why is it the more important of the two? Because fear is the poison that kills our dreams and because it is the only one we can control.
We Are All Haunted By Our Fears
Therefore, our challenge is not that we do not have dreams. We are born with them and we will certainly die with them inside of us, unfulfilled, if we allow our fears to kill them before they are born. The real challenge lies in realizing that we, and nobody else, are the unconscious murderers of our own dreams and fear is the poison, fear is the venom, fear is the weapon we use to do the job.
Today, we are going to do 3 things:
- Remember: Imagine what your dreams are and breathe new life into them.
- Realize: Know what your fears are, and realize which ones poison your dreams.
- Discover: Find the antidote for your fear and learn how to inject it.
But first, we go through the autopsy of fear. We are going to dissect it in order to see what is it made of. We are going to find its chemical ingredients. If we understand its characteristics, we will be able to transform ourselves into alchemists. We will become exorcists of our own fear and midwifes of our dreams.
In the second part of this article, we will analyze how to apply this antidote so we can achieve our most treasured dreams.
Let me tell you a very short...long story. Just as everyone else, I was born with a dream. In my quest to achieve it, I created fantastic projects and extraordinary businesses that always ended up in fantastic failures.
I was very successful at failing. I did it consistently, efficiently, but most of all, I did it effortlessly. I was so good at it that I managed to do it even after carefully studying all the books on how to succeed, including Success for Dummies.
10 years ago, I had the most powerful experience in my life. I went through an amputation without anesthesia. After one of my most successful failures, I was left with nothing and only then I realized I had everything. It was when I felt emptied that I realized I was full.
Life used failure to amputate my fear of failure. Why did that happen? As you will see by the end of this speech, it all started with a question, the wrong question. This experience, helped me to understand life as a mathematical formula, an equation I call The Antidote For Fear.
We Can Find The Antidote for Fear
I feel privileged to share this with you today, and I thank you for that. The formula I am about to tell you is as precise and accurate as gravity. Just the other day, I bumped into gravity and I invited her for lunch. I told her, "You know something, I really believe in you and every time I ask people if they believe in you, all of them say yes."
She started laughing, and finally she said to me, "You know something, I do not care if you believe in me or not, I work for everybody, 100% of the time. I work better than FedEx, in every climate, in every country. I have always worked and I will continue to work."
So here are 3 things about this formula:
- It is not an opinion, just as gravity is not an opinion. Just as gravity, it is agnostic.
- It is very simple, just as gravity is simple. There is always a major risk when things are simple, and we tend to underestimate them, we tend to ignore them.
- It doesn't matter if we believe in it or not, just as gravity, it will work every time.
So here is the formula:
Everything in the universe has been created through the same process, creation, and it has 5 stages.
Stage One: Raw Material + Process = Finished Product
In order to create a finished product, we need the raw material, and we need to process it.
Stage Two: Seed + Fertilizer = Fruit
In order to harvest a fruit, we need to plant a seed and we need to fertilize it.
Disappointment and dreams, just as a fruit, chocolate and newborn baby, are created both as finished products and a result of raw material being processed. Both are harvested and are a result of a seed being planted and fertilized over time.
What is their seed? And what is their fertilizer?
Stage Three: Desire + Fear = Disappointments, Desire + Courage = Dreams
The seed of our disappointments is desire and fear is its fertilizer. It is very easy to produce disappointments, we just need to fertilize our desires with fear and they will mutate into disappointments. But if we want to harvest our dreams, we need to fertilize our desires with the opposite of fear. Courage and desire will transform into our dreams.
The seed of our dreams is also desire but courage is its fertilizer. So we all have desire, the seed of our dreams, and we all have fears. Where can we buy courage, this magic fertilizer?
The bad news is that courage is not sold by the pound. The good news is that courage is a finished product and it has its own raw material. Courage is also harvested. It has its own seed and its own fertilizer.
But to understand how to produce courage, let's first understand how to produce the opposite of courage—more fear. A mathematician would call it fear raised to the power of 2. Most people call it panic.
Stage 4: Fear + Selfishness = Panic, Fear + Generosity = Courage
It is very easy to produce panic, we just need raw material, our fears and we need to fertilize them with selfishness. They will expand and grow and mutate into panic. But if we want to produce courage, we need to fertilize our fears with the opposite of selfishness, generosity. Then our fears will transform into courage.
So the bad news is that we cannot eliminate our fears. But the good news is that fear is just raw material, the raw material of courage. The good news is that fear is not a choice! If we did not have fear, we wouldn't be human!
So let us stop telling ourselves, our loved ones and the world, "Don't be afraid!" or "Don't have fear!" Nobody chooses to have fear, it is our seed, inherent to our nature. It is actually a blessing, just as cacao beans are a blessing! Without them, we wouldn't be able to produce chocolate. And just as barley is a blessing, because without it, we wouldn't be able to produce beer!
Fear is not a choice and courage is not a choice either. It is the result of a choice, so don't worry about not having fear, and don't worry about having courage. Forget about the seed and forget about the result! Let's worry about the choice, and generosity is a choice!
So what is generosity? It is much easier to consciously choose generosity if we first understand how we unconsciously choose selfishness.
Stage Five: Complaint + Need = Selfishness, Gratitude + Abundance = Generosity
It is very easy to produce selfishness, we just need to complain about anything, or even better complain about everything. It really doesn't matter. We must be very consistent though, in focusing on what is negative about us, our loved ones, our businesses, our neighbors, the weather, the traffic, anything.
Actually a great way for us to become a walking complaint is to compare ourselves with those who have what we don't have. For example, those who have brand new shoes.
Let's just take a moment, and ask ourselves: What are your 3 favorite daily complaints? What are the sweetest ones, the ones we enjoy most?
Complaint for what we have breeds a need for what we lack. We end up needy and that is how we produce selfishness. But if we want to produce generosity, we just need to do the opposite of complaint, choose gratitude and focus on what is positive about everyone, anything and everything.
Actually the most efficient way to become a grateful person is to compare ourselves with those who lack what we have. For example, those with no shoes. If today was an opportunity to be grateful for anything, what would you be thankful for? Gratitude for what we have breeds abundance and abundance breeds giving and that is how we produce generosity.
We have dissected, deconstructed the formula down to its basic ingredient.
Gratitude Is The Antidote For Fear And The Question Is The Syringe
So how do I inject the antidote for fear? There is a syringe, allow me to tell you a quote that has been attributed to many people throughout history, who have said the same thing in different versions:
"Choose your thoughts, because they become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your character, and your character becomes your destiny."
So, the good news is that we only have to worry about our thoughts. If we choose our thoughts, we are choosing our destiny.
So what is gratitude or complaint? Gratitude is just a thought. What is a thought? A thought is just a question plus an answer. And what is a question? A question is the only thing in life we can control. Questions are what we ask ourselves every day, in front of easy and difficult situations.
Today, this very minute, there are only 2 questions being asked by everyone here.
- Some of us are asking ourselves: What is good about this? What am I am grateful for? And the answer might be that this formula is very simple. For example, I was thirsty and now I have water.
- And the rest of us are asking ourselves: What is bad about this? What can I complain about? And the answer might be that this is too simple. It is probably too good to be true.
Choose Your Questions because They Are Your Destiny.
We have arrived at the end of our journey. In life, we can choose to be a river or we can choose to be a swamp. The talent of the swamp is the same talent as the river—water. You and I, just as swamps and rivers, have talents.
Talent is simply energy, raw potential and just as energy it is neither good nor bad. It can be good or it can be bad. It all depends on how we choose to use it. We can use our talents to build or to destroy, to stagnate, decay and isolate ourselves like the swamp, or we can use to help, to contribute and irrigate fields like the river.
The swamp is selfish and complains. The river is grateful and generous. The paradox of the swamp is that the less it gives, the more it dries up. The paradox of the river is that the more it gives, the more it receives, the more it shares, the more it grows. As a result of sharing its water with the valley, every river reaches its dream—the ocean.
Every single one of your dreams is possible to achieve. There is only one impossible thing in life, to plant an apple and harvest an orange. So it is impossible, not improbable, to plant gratitude and not harvest your dreams! Why?
Because gratitude breeds abundance, abundance breeds generosity, generosity breeds courage, and courage is the fertilizer of the seed of our dreams. Heroes are not brave, they have fear. Heroes are generous!
What are the talents you feel most grateful for, most proud of? How can you generously share them with humanity, to build a better world? Let us be a river and not a swamp!