F.E.A.R. — False Evidence Appearing Real

Fear. We all face it from time to time, but what you do in the grip of fear is what defines you. Here, I’m going to discuss the fear of taking chances. Last year, I was faced with an amazing opportunity and a big decision — should I go to Bali, Indonesia, to work with a strange man I had never met before and be a part of an amazing underwater photo project? My friends said I was crazy for considering it, my family was concerned, and I was extremely nervous. But, I trusted my gut, packed my bags, and headed across the world, not having the faintest idea of what was to come. The F.E.A.R. was real.

Well, long story short, it ended up being the experience of a lifetime. Because of my decision to take a chance despite what my family, peers and even that little voice in side my head said — I was given the opportunity to travel the Bahamas to shoot underwater with wild dolphins, Fiji for manta rays, and The Kingdom of Tonga for humpback whales.

Shooting with humpback whales in Tonga — the best “job” EVER.

What helped me make this daring choice in the face of fear, is, surprisingly enough, a poem…

“I have studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me--
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire--
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.”

I was assigned to read George Gray, by Edgar Lee Masters, in a highschool english class and this poem moved me so much that it completely changed my way of thinking. I immediately applied the teaching to my life and never looked back. I can tell you one thing — when I am at the end of my life, I will not be asking, “what if” and neither should you. Get out there and do something that scares you. Lift your sail, and catch the winds of destiny.

Originally published at www.omthego.com on May 28, 2015.