After writing that last post about leaving lasting impressions it became painfully clear what I needed to talk about next; it’s utterly unavoidable and as much as we try to ignore it, it remains the 5 ton elephant in the room. This elephant in question’s name is none other than Death…
Death surrounds us all, affects us all, and terrifies us all, and rightfully so. Self-preservation is hardwired into each and every one of us and is what makes us cling so dearly to our existences. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, au contraire, we should all prize our lives because it is the most precious commodity we have. I’m just saying that it’s time we stop avoiding the 5 ton elephant in the room and face it directly. Nowadays death and I are on very good terms, but this was not always the case; I used to be just as terrified of it as everyone else. In fact, I can remember the exact moment when all of that changed for me.
It was a particularly hot summer night in Tucson when I woke up in the middle of the night, my stomach in knots and hot tears running down my face. I remember laying there for what seemed like an eternity hoping that eventually that intense feeling of despair would loosen its grip on me, but to no avail. So I headed down to my mom’s room (eyes all red and cheeks moist), woke her up, and proceeded to tell her what was bothering me so. I couldn’t fully explain what was terrorizing, all I know was that it was about Death and it didn’t make sense to me why it was so frightening to me but it was. Eventually she calmed me down and said some words to me ( I don’t remember what they were) that did the trick and a sea of calm seemed to wash over me. From that moment on I vowed to never let my fear of death affect me like that again.
Now my fear of not living far outweighs my fear of dying, and it should never be the other way around; it is the only way that we will ever be able to reach our true potentials.Fear of death truly is an irrational barrier if we think about it because we all know what lies at the end of our journeys, we die, there is no mystery. This should be a relief and even more motivation to make the most of what time and opportunities we do have instead of worrying about something we could never change. People always ask me after learning about the stuff I’m into, why would I ever want to risk losing everything for a few potential thrills. My answer: how can a lifetime full of monotony prevent you from wanting to live? Lasting memories aren’t made from the routine and mundane, but instead from the few and far in between exhilarating moments where one has truly lived. One of my favorite quotes comes from my favorite movie of all time, Gladiator. It goes like this, “Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back.” This is why I’m always smiling; I know what awaits me at the end of this fairy tale, but it will never keep me from enjoying the living I have to do beforehand. This is an attitude embraced by all who truly wish to live life fearlessly. If you haven’t found a passion that you are willing to die for, then what exactly are you living for?
I think it’s become clear what type of people I admire the most and inspire me to reach even higher: uniformed men and women, athletes, stuntmen, extreme athletes, activists (for a good cause), entrepreneurs, etc. One thing they all have in common is that they are willing to lay it all out on the line for something that they truly believe in and always carry the belief that they can do even better. They’re the ones who are making the real changes and innovations in this world and these are the kind of people we are looking to attract to this site. With that said I’d like to share a quick video of a person who exemplifies this fearless mindset.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the story of Bethany Hamilton or “Soul Surfer”, she was attacked by a shark and lost her arm at 13, battled through recovery, and got back on the surfboard. I’m not going to lie when I first heard this story my initial reaction was “That girl is an idiot!”, but as I thought about it I thought what if something happened to me that affected me in the are of life I love most? I know I would do everything in my power to get back to it because it’s worth whatever risks may come with it, regardless of what others thought. Now I have the up most respect for this girl and everything she does. Never let anyone or anything keep you from pursuing what you love. You can learn more about her here and follow her on twitter here.