Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

A Life filled with Excitement and Fear

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Acting without Thinking

This past week I joined the Coalition for the Homeless of Louisville on a night of counting homeless people.

It sounds insensitive, but this is an important work. The goal is to understand who is homeless, how many there are, and where they are.

I learned about the effort from some friends. They mentioned what they were doing and my initial response was, “Wow! Can I help?”

I didn’t realize what I was saying until I walked away from the conversation.

My initial excitement transformed into apprehension.

Fear came as I realized that the only way to count homeless people is to go where they are.  We weren’t heading deep into the suburbs, my comfort areas, but instead to the very places I try to avoid.

I started worrying about getting lost. I worried about sanitation. I worried about safety.

I was feeling two emotions at once, excitement and fear.

photo used under Creative Commons License

A Symbiosis

They seem to conflict, but as I explored these two feelings, it occurred to me that they work together.

Excitement without fear means that I am not pursuing something worthwhile. The task is not difficult. Not impossible enough.

Fear without excitement means that I lack passion. My desire for my work is not coming from an important place deep down inside of me. Fear will win out in that situation every time.

These two emotions are helpful as we try to gauge whether or not we are writing an incredible story in our lives.

Work that is worth doing should fill us with both emotions.

  • Quitting a predictable job to start a new business
  • Finally asking that one girl out
  • Making yourself vulnerable in the effort to write a book
  • Starting an orphanage in a developing country
  • Adopting a child with special needs
  • Making a phone call to reunite with an estranged friend or family member

Fear and Excitement!

To Live Fully

We were created for something bigger than safety and comfort.

It feels good, but that is all that it is. A feeling.

Like all feelings, it will not last.

Writing a better story with our lives is an effort to engage in endeavors where we experience these two emotions at the same time.

The goal is to live fully.

A life of passion. A life of fear.

A life without regret.

What gets you excited in life, but makes you afraid at the same time? Tell your story in the comments.

 

About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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5 Replies

  1. Anonymous

    What a great reminder. Having a balance of both is important. Something your passionate about but also has some fear attached to it. Great post.

  2. fear is a helpful reminder that we are doing something risky, something worthwhile.

  3. Anonymous

    So true.

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