Meet your fears with preparation
Curt Rosengren on Passionate Work
Yesterday, my good friend Erden Eruc left Portugal together with Canadian Tim Harvey in an ocean going rowing boat. They're bound for Costa Rica.
For Erden (pronounced air-DEN), this is a training row that will build the foundation for a bigger goal - The Six Summits project, a solo human-powered circumnavigation of the globe, with summit attempts on the highest peak on each of six continents.
While Erden loves the adventure element of what he's doing, what really puts the shine in his eyes is the potential for his journey to both educate and inspire schoolkids. Over the last three years, he has spoken at schools across the US and Western Canada. One of my favorite exchanges that happens with the kids centers around fear.
Kid: Aren't you afraid?
Erden: What should I be afraid of?
Kid: Bears. The cold. Getting lost. (or any of a bazillion other fears that come up)
Erden: Well, what can I do about that fear? Let's talk about that.
[Exploration ensues of ways Erden can prepare for whatever the source of that fear is, rather than letting it stop him. He then asks if they might be able to do the same thing with their own fears.]
The message, of course, is that we all feel fear, but we don't need to let them stop us. We can look at them and say, "What can I do to counter that fear? What kind of preparation do I need that will minimize the source of that fear?" And then move forward.
What a great thing to teach our kids. Or just as important, what a great thing to teach ourselves.
[Erden and Tim will be posting dispatches via a satellite phone connection. You can also see a real-time GPS update of their progress here. ]