Archives For Fear

The Art of Mastering Fear

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When you fail, refuse to give up.

  • Be like R.H. Macy … who failed seven times before his store in New York caught on.
  • Be like novelist John Creasey … who received 753 rejection slips before he published the first of 564 books.
  • Be like Thomas Edison … who was thrown out of school when the teachers decided he was incapable of learning and became one of the most prolific inventors the world has ever known.
  • Be like Harry S. Truman … who failed as a haberdasher but became one of America’s most effective Presidents.
  • Be like Bob Dylan … who was booed off the stage of his high school talent show but became one of the world’s most enduring rock stars.
  • Or be like W. Clement Stone … who was a high school dropout but became the founder of an insurance company, and “Success” magazine, and one of the wealthiest people in the country.
  • The author of “Dances With Wolves,” Michael Blake says, “I tell people that if you stay committed, your dreams can come true. I’m living proof of it. I left home at 17 and had nothing but rejections for 25 years. I wrote more than 20 screenplays, but I never gave up.”

Just think of all the great goals people have accomplished because they set definite goals. It’s overwhelming. Monty Stratton played baseball with one leg. Tom Dempsey kicked a 65-yard field goal with half a foot. John Milton wrote classical poetry while he was blind. Beethoven wrote his greatest musical compositions despite his deafness. Roosevelt became one of our greatest Presidents despite his polio. Helen Keller toured and lectured around the world even though she lacked sight and hearing. John Bunyan wrote “Pilgrim’s Progress” while incarcerated, and Charles Goodyear did many of his early experiments for vulcanizing rubber while he was in prison.


George Washington

February 22, 2016 — Leave a comment

Only one year after they married, on February 22, 1732, Augustine and Mary Bell Washington delivered their first child, George Washington. Augustine was a third-generation English colonist who settled on a farm along the Rappahannock River opposite Fredericksburg in 1738.

After the unfortunate passing of his father in 1743, George inherited the more modest Rappahannock River plantation where he lived with his mother and ten inherited slaves. Augustine left most of his property to his sons from his first marriage.

George Washington’s formal education ended when his father passed away. Washington, at the age of thirteen wrote and started practicing his “Rules of Civility” to adopt better habits and manners to climb higher up in Virginia’s society. He trained as a land surveyor and at 16 helped survey Shenandoah lands for Thomas, Lord Fairfax. In 1749, at seventeen years old, he was appointed county surveyor of the frontier county of Culpeper.

George contracted smallpox while on the island Barbados from 1751-1752 with his half-brother Lawrence who was attempting to cure his respiratory illness. This was only one of a number of severe illnesses that affected George’s health. One of the possible reasons for Washington’s infertility could have been caused by having tuberculosis.

Upon his return from Barbados, at twenty years old, George joined the Freemasons. He is the first of many Presidents to belong to the closed society to include Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Gerald Ford, to name a few.

George was sworn in as a Major in the Virginia militia and in February 1753 Virginia Governor Robert Dinwiddie sent Washington and 150 soldiers to the Ohio Valley to deliver a letter to the French stating Virginia’s claim of the land. Washington’s men fought against French soldiers who pushed them to retreat to the makeshift Fort Necessity, where he was forced to surrender. He published his journal of his experience which was the beginning of giving him a reputation for courage and leadership among the colonists

He returned to military service in 1754 and was commissioned a lieutenant colonel and served as an aide to General Edward Braddock. During a battle alongside the Monongahela River on July 9, 1755, General Braddock was mortally wounded and Washington assumed command and exhibited great courage, he had two horses shot out from under him and a number of musket shoots through his cloak. He led the men to safety and was later recognized for his conduct in battle with a promotion and was given command of the entire military force of Virginia. In 1758 Washington became a brigade commander, the only American to achieve that rank during the war.

Washington’s self-control was key to his character, he had mastered himself and he could the master events he was involved in. Despite being surrounded by fear, despair, indecisiveness, treason, and the threat of mutiny, he remained confident and steadfast, displaying high emotional intelligence and integrity.

He resigned his commission in 1758 and married Martha Dandridge Custis on January 6, 1759. Martha was a young widow who had inherited an enormous amount of wealth after the passing of her first husband, making her the wealthiest widow in Virginia. The newlywed couple, along with Marth’s two young children, Jacky, and Patsy moved to Mount Vernon.

George, finally being accepted into Virginia’s upper class, became a gentleman farmer at Mount Vernon. He established himself as an innovative farmer, who switched from tobacco to wheat as his main cash crop. He experimented with new crops, fertilizers, crop rotation, tools, and livestock breeding. He even grew hemp, but not just for fiber, his meticulous journal indicated he was growing just female plants with higher THC content to help deal with his toothaches. He also expanded the work of the plantation to include flour milling and commercial fishing and even operated a distillery that produced over 11,000 gallons of rye whiskey, becoming one of his most successful enterprises.

Eventually, just like his fellow planters, Washington felt himself exploited by British merchants and hampered by British regulations. As the quarrel with the mother country grew, he voiced his resistance to the restrictions.

When the Second Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia in May 1775, Washington, one of the Virginia delegates, was elected Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. On July 3, 1775, he took command of his ill-trained troops and embarked upon a war that lasted six grueling years.

Martha Washington joined her husband in his winter quarters every year of the war. Together they entertained his officers and guests. A patriot in her own right, Mrs. Washington made it her war too, nursing sick and wounded soldiers and raising money for the troops. Needlework helped her to pass the time through the long, cold winters. In all, she would spend about half the war in camp.

George realized early that the best strategy was to harass the British and started using unconventional tactics. He reported to Congress, “We should on all occasions avoid a general action, or put anything to the Risqué, unless compelled by a necessity, into which we ought never to be drawn.” Ensuing battles saw him fall back slowly, then strike unexpectedly.

Although the tale goes that George Washington never told a lie, that wasn’t true during the revolutionary war, lying was part of his strategy. Washington used double spies to send misinformation to the British. In one situation he had a double spy tell the British that he had 40,000 soldiers knowing that they wouldn’t believe that number. He later wrote a message stating that they had 9,000 soldiers and outlined their weapons and rations. The British believed this second misinformation and decided the colonies had to large of an army to attack so delayed till after winter, Washington had less than 2,000 soldiers and was able to cross the Delaware river on December 26, 1776 for a surprise attack against the British.

Finally in 1781 with the aid of French allies–he forced the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.

On December 23, 1783, Washington presented himself before Congress in Annapolis, Maryland, and resigned his commission. Washington had the wisdom to give up power when he could have been crowned a king. He left Annapolis and went home to Mount Vernon with the fixed intention of never again serving in public life. This one act, without precedent in modern history, made him an international hero.

Washington longed to retire to the fields of Mount Vernon. But he soon realized that the Nation under its Articles of Confederation was not functioning well, so he became a prime mover in the steps leading to the 1787 Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia.

Once the Constitution was approved, Washington hoped to retire again to private life. But when the first presidential election was held, he received a vote from every elector. He remains the only President in American history to be elected by the unanimous voice of the people.

On April 30, 1789, George Washington, standing on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York, took his oath of office as the first President of the United States. The crowd responded “Long live George Washington, President of the United States.” The spectators responded with chants of “God bless our Washington! Long live our beloved President!” They celebrated in the only way they knew, as if greeting a new monarch with the customary cry of “Long live the king!”

In his First Inaugural Address, with only one tooth in his mouth, Washington confessed that he was unpracticed in the duties of civil administration; however, he was one of the most able administrators ever to serve as President. He administered the government with fairness and integrity, assuring Americans that the President could exercise extensive executive authority without corruption.

Further, he executed the laws with restraint, establishing precedents for broad-ranging presidential authority. His integrity was most pure, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “His justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motive of interest or consanguinity, friendship, or hatred, being able to bias his decision.” Washington set a standard for presidential integrity rarely met by his successors, although he established an ideal by which they all are judged. No President, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, served at the same unselfish level as George Washington.

He did not infringe upon the policy making powers that he felt the Constitution gave Congress. Foreign policy became a Presidential concern when the French Revolution led to a major war between France and England. Washington refused to accept the recommendations of the Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who was pro-French, or the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, who was pro-British. He insisted upon a neutral course until the United States could grow stronger.

Wearied of politics and feeling old, he retired at the end of his second term. In his farewell address, he urged his countrymen to forswear excessive party spirit and geographical distinctions. In foreign affairs, he warned against long-term alliances.

Washington enjoyed less than three years of retirement at Mount Vernon. On a cold and wet December day, Washington, who always checked the grounds daily, became cold and damp which resulted in a throat infection. Despite receiving a regimen of blood-lettings, induced vomiting, an enema, and potions of vinegar and sage tea, Washington’s condition worsened. After the fourth bloodletting, totaling 32 ounces of blood, he improved slightly and was able to swallow but by 10 p.m. his condition deteriorated. Before his death Washington called for his two wills and directed that the unused one be burned. He passed away at 10:20 pm on December 14, 1799.

According to his wishes, Washington was not buried for three days. During that time his body lay in a mahogany casket at Mount Vernon and on December 18, 1799 a solemn funeral was held.

By the time of his death he had expanded the plantation from 2,000 to 8,000 acres consisting of five farms, with more than 3,000 acres under cultivation. Washington made provisions in his will to free all of his own slaves after his wife’s death but could not free those whom Martha had brought to the marriage. In the months after George’s death, a new threat to Martha’s security arose after the slaves who would gain their freedom became restless and rumors circulated about a suspicious fire at Mount Vernon. Fearing for her life, Martha decided to free her deceased husband’s slaves and on January 1, 1801 Washington’s slaves gained their liberty. He was the only slaveholder among the founding fathers to free his slaves.

Martha’s health, always somewhat precarious, now declined, she died on May 22, 1802, just two and a half years after George Washington.

In 1976 Washington was posthumously awarded the highest rank in the U.S. military as General of the Armies of the United States. He is considered the father of the US military for establishing the framework for how American soldiers should organize themselves, behave, and how they should relate to civilian leaders. Nobody will ever outrank him.




George Washington – Full Episode

History Brief: The Leadership of George Washington

George Washington – Servant Leadership Personified


George Washington

George Washington – Mount Vernon

George Washington Biography

George Washington: The Reluctant President

Funny George Washington Quotes

George Washington Timeline

Little Known Facts About George Washington

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The Character of George Washington

The 9 Deadly Diseases That Plagued George Washington

110 Rules of Civility


George Washington On Leadership

George Washington’s Leadership Lessons: What the Father of Our Country Can Teach Us About Effective Leadership and Character

Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation

Quotesense – Faith

January 5, 2015 — Leave a comment

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.

~ Alan Watts

Faith is believing that the water will allow you to float. If we don’t have faith in the flow of the water, we thrash and struggle, losing the only control we have in life, self-control.

Is that the way life flows? The more we struggle the more we drown? But if we have faith in ourselves, and trust our true instincts, do we float to the top with minimal effort? Now I’m not saying that life will be great when we trust our faith and follow our strengths, however if you are able to control your actions and focus yourself while riding the current you may be able to choose which direction you are headed.

Life likes to throw us curve balls, but not to stop us from achieving our desires, but to teach us a lesson along the way and make us fight for what we want to do.

If it was easy to live your passion everybody would be doing it. Most people don’t want to suffer the journey up the cliff. You get obstacles thrown at you so you can prove that you’re willing to give up to go up, which is the Laws of Sacrifice in John C. Maxwell’s book The Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

Unfortunately, if someone has an entitlement philosophy, they struggle to give up to go up. Instead they expect unemployment, raises, promotions and success to be handed to them. Once they are able to grab a limb or cling to a rock, in the flow of life, they feel safe and simply settle for what they have. However there are those who can relax, float for a while and gain the courage to swim down river to greater places.

Once in a while you may find it difficult to gulp for air because of turbulent waters around you, but don’t look at these as times of adversity but times of great growth. Floating on calm waters is alright, but don’t expect it to stay that way, in fact you need to create turbulent waters yourself so you can continue to learn, grow and succeed.

How can you ever overcome your fear if you don’t stand up to it? You need to face your fear, don’t let your fight or flight animal instincts take over. When you feel the physical reactions to fear start to kick in stop and say to yourself, “Interesting, my breathing is increasing, my palms are sweaty, my heart beat is increasing.”

Take a couple of slow deep breaths as you think about why your body is reacting to the situation. As you keep breathing, think about what you can do to put your fear aside. Because once you reflect and think about it, you realize that the more you’re afraid the less you’re able to control the situation.

Maybe the key is to start small and work your way up to bigger things. If you’re afraid of heights, get used to standing on a ladder, one rung at a time. Set a goal to go up one a day till you can sit on top of it (which may not be too safe).

If your fear is speaking in front of a group of people, start by standing in front of a mirror speaking to yourself. Better yet, record yourself doing it and then watch it. You’re either going to say, “Well that’s not so bad,” or (if you’re like me), “You do suck.”

The key is to practice, as Mr. Carnegie said, “Action breeds confidence and courage.” The more action, or practice, the more confidence you’ll have, and people around you will feel your confidence.

Isn’t that another animal instinct, to sense fear? They say some animals can sense fear, so humans should be able to also, I would think even more so since humans are farther evolved. But maybe some humans have evolved so far that they have disregarded this ability because we just can’t scientifically prove it.

What actions have you taken to overcome one of your fears?

Why are some people able to overcome their fear of some things and other people can’t? Phobias control some people’s lives, it freezes them and prevents them from moving forward.

© iQoncept 2 - Fotolia

© iQoncept 2 – Fotolia

Others can jump out of planes and fall through the sky, but they’re afraid to speak to a group of people.

What stops a person from pursuing their ambitions and dreams?

One of the first places I looked for answers was in Napoleon Hill’s book, “Think and Grow Rich.” He explains how the following Six Basic Fears prevent people from taking action;

  • Poverty – Napoleon Hill says that the fear of poverty is just a state of mind. There are a lot of happy people who are poor, and rich people who are miserable. It’s your state of mind and probably the desire for materialistic possessions. Mr. Hill also says that poverty is the most destructive of the six basic fears and list six symptoms of poverty, indifference, indecision, doubt, worry, over caution, and procrastination.
  • Criticism – Isn’t there enough criticism in the world today.  It seems like every time you turn around you’re being criticized. When you think about it, do the ones closest to you criticize you the most? You would think that they would encourage you the most, but sometimes that isn’t the case because they’re dealing with their own fears. Now, if you have kids, how have you criticized them?
  • Ill Health – Here’s hard pill to swallow, Mr. Hill states that 75 percent of all people who visit a doctor is a hypochondriac (at least in 1937). He also states that the fear of a specific illness may actually bring it on. The human mind can either build or destroy.
  • Loss of Love from Someone – Mr. Hill says this may be the most painful of the six fears. If you’re afraid of losing your mate do you start to become over protective and jealous? The more you fear it the more you protect it and the sooner you may achieve it.
  • Old Age – Age is a mindset, but also physical. I don’t think you need to fear old age, you just need to prepare yourself for it, physically, mentally and financially. Mainly physically, if you focus on that, the other two will follow.
  • Death – Why fear it, it’s going to come. I believe that the only time you need to fear death is if you fear the other side (if you believe in that). I believe that as long as you live by the Golden Rule you shouldn’t have too much to worry about. When your purpose has been served then it may be your time to go, I just plan on finding new purposes.

When I look at the list I think the leading fear is the fear of criticism. Who wanted to pursue their true passion but never made it public because they feared criticism?

Here’s the cycle of despair that starts with the fear of criticism. If you’re afraid of pursuing your dreams due to being criticized you’ll be stressed out which will cause ill health leading to the loss of love due to being on the edge and unhappy because you won’t be living your true passion. After you loss someone you love you are lead into poverty because of alimony and child support. The stress, loss of love and ill health will lead you to old age quicker and death before your peers.

How can some people be able to do something and others can’t, they’ve learned how to turn fear into excitement. Think about it, you can control your fear and it can be your biggest teacher. One of the keys is to understand how fear happens.

The three brain components that involves processing fear is the brain stem, amygdala and neocortex.

The first part, and the oldest, is the brain stem, otherwise known as the reptilian brain. The brainstem coordinates motor control signals sent from the brain to the body. The brainstem also controls life supporting autonomic functions. The brain stem doesn’t generate emotions and its primary function is to survive.

The amygdala part of the brain isn’t very large, but it can control your life without you even knowing it. It controls many of our emotions and motivations, particularly those that are related to survival. The amygdala is involved in the processing of emotions such as fear, anger and pleasure. It acts like a hard drive for your experiences and controls your emotions and fight or flight instincts. It produces the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which causes physical reactions to fear.

The key to overcoming fear is to recognize those symptoms, the neocortex portion of the brain gives us the ability to do that and is only found in mammals and in humans accounts for about 76% of the brain’s volume. The neocortex consists of grey matter surrounding the deeper white matter of the cerebrum cortex and is involved in higher functions such as sensory perception, generation of motor commands, spatial reasoning, conscious thought, and in humans, language.

Once you recognize the symptoms of fear you can take control of them and that’s where the neocortex comes in handy. Stop the fear by asking yourself why you’re acting the way you are. Why are you getting angry, sweating, and breathing hard? It could stem from you doubting your own abilities. Stop and take your pulse, breathe deeply, and say, “Isn’t it interesting that my body is reacting like this?”

Treat fear not as an enemy but as a signal to bring you awareness. Once you start to evaluate why your physical reactions to fear is happening you learn to control the fear and turn it into excitement.

Doesn’t sky diving, roller coasters and sharing your knowledge to large groups of people sound exciting?

When you take doubt and worry from fear, does the emotion turn into excitement?

What do you fear?

Face it today to start living your life to the fullest.

If you overcame one of you fears, please share how you did it.