There is a quote by William Shakespeare, "A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once. It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come."
We seem to live in a fear-based world these days. The question is why? What is it that we are fearing most? Is it the economy? Is it a fear that there are wars raging in the world and soon enough we could have a war right here? Is it a fear based on the wars and battles that are going in right here already? Political battles, the war on political correctness, the war on drugs, and the war we wage within ourselves as we strive to get by?
Most of us have probably heard the phrase, "Hope is not a strategy." Maybe, maybe not, I think it becomes a matter of personal belief and the role that hope plays in our lives. I believe that although hope might not be a strategy for everyone, we all must have a strategy of hope. Without hope, fear can easily consume our thoughts and actions.
Zig Ziglar turned the word fear into an acronym and he said, "Fear, FEAR, stands for False Evidence Appearing Real." So how do we know what is real and what is false? Some of us are consumed with reality TV, which in many times isn't reality at all and has been scripted or staged to enhance the entertainment value. And as we live at a time when we can have instant access to anything and everything in the world via our news feeds, we now must also decide what is "real" news and what is "fake" news.
So as we watch these reality shows and when we are watching or reading the news, aren't we watching or reading with some amount of hope? We are typically rooting for something good or bad to happen to one of the characters or people living out their lives through the lens of a camera, or we are hoping for some kind of real news, good news, and in some cases believe it or not, there are people who hope for some bad news. Either way, we are all hoping for something so "hope" is somewhere in our belief system.
The more we can fill up our hearts and minds with hope and encouragement in a fear based world, the more we will be able to see that fear really is just FALSE Evidence Appearing Real. Moving from fear to hope, and hope to faith gives us a solid foundation to counterbalance the negativity and things we may fear the most. It really is a simple formula, the stronger our hope and the deeper our faith, the less we have to fear in this life.
So how about you? Are you living with too much fear and not enough hope and faith? I would love to hear all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. And when we can remember that when we can live more hope and greater faith, it will help to minimize our fears. And then it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation, a strategic consultant and a business and personal coach.