A personal note and a haiku

What is really happening in 2021

Dear Fearbusters,

I would like to share with you a personal story that I'm currently living. It is intimate and universal, especially now.

My father's birthday is the second of February, and mine is the fourth. I was scheduled for later on, but my dad's party celebration accelerated my birth. He was celebrating his 25th summer when I arrived.

Almost a week ago, he achieved his seventy-third year on Earth. With that came a surprise, a sudden and fast decline in his health. And me, ten thousand kilometers away.

My family assumed a resolute attitude. We all instinctively united to fulfill what dad taught us: “Support your mom, keep serenity, respect the dignity of life.”

A few days ago, in a short moment of clarity, he said to my sister that he never doubts us, as if he knew we were following his will with the best of our abilities.

I'll be traveling to Lima in a few days; it is a challenge I share with many people.

While in the middle of this drama, I got invited to participate in a group chat with school friends, where I observed some remarkable situations I'd like to share with you.

Two friends shared news of close family members dying, a few more going through the nightmare of finding a hospital bed for their loved ones, and some experiencing the difficulties of intercontinental journeys in the middle of a global health crisis. I'm definitively not alone.

But most importantly, I've witnessed how my school friends supported each other kindly, with unconditional generosity. I received the diligent support of one of them; he helped me find the best route to Peru considering regulations, flight connections, red lists, and other unique circumstances.


Drops of gratitude

It feels like beauty and love.

Daisies bloom in spring.


When we see others' suffering and manage to relate to their emotions, we activate the gravitational force of empathy. It inevitably attracts human connection, compassion, gratitude and generates a sense of community.

We do not need to Deconstruct Fear alone.

Gratitude is the candle, and love the oxygen that fuels the fire. Our will is the spark that lights the candle. The light is awareness, and the dark is what we don’t know yet.

Thank you for reading until here!

Sincerely,

jose.

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Lessons we learn later in life

We don't need to wait to get them!

Dear Fearbusters!

This week will mark my 48th cycle around the Sun, and I must admit I'm in reflection mode. Today I started watching a video talking about life lessons, but actually, it inspired me to write my own. So that's what I'd like to share with you this week:

  1. At the end(*), I will not be remembered. Therefore I should not stress out about making my mark on Earth.

  2. At the end(*), there is no reward. Live is the gift I got right now.

  3. Everything is temporary, including ideas, stuff, and achievements. I should not think of them as goals but as tools to experience life.

  4. Knowing is never enough. Fiercely defending 'what I know' is an act of ignorance (check lesson 3). Realizing that opens the door of wisdom.

  5. Accept yourself and everything else as it seems to be now. I don't truly know how things really are, and they will be different soon enough; therefore, resisting how something is can only add unnecessary tension and pain.

  6. Fear can become your best friend along life's paths(**). In its domesticated shape, fear alerts me when change is imminent. In its wild form, it scares me and causes me to resist things as they are (check lesson 4).

Packing it all together looks like life is about experiencing it as it is, learning not to resist what it brings, and realizing that being here, now, is the achievement we often ignore while trying to look into the future.

Have a good week!

Jose.

(*) 50, 100, 1000, 1000000, X years from now.

(**) Thanks to Georg Brandenburg for the inspiration on this one.

Some years ago, I played with a group of friends a game called Dungeons & Dragons. Some players could learn a spell called “find familiar” and summon an independent companion (familiar), often having the shape of an animal. Today, while talking with Georg, I made the connection: fear works very much like a familiar, it’s always there, seems wild and dangerous, but it is there to help you.

Do you use Facebook?

I know this is a bit off-topic, but I’m seriously thinking of stopping feeding the beast.
I wrote all my arguments in this post on Medium.

  1. Is Facebook fulfilling a role for you?

  2. Do you use FB for promoting your business or your work?

  3. What is the best you get from FB?

Reply →

Conflict Resolution, unity, and one more thing

We know that together we are smarter... but, aren't our societies divided?

“To solve the conflict, both parties need to listen to the other's arguments. The intention isn't to win but to achieve an agreement.”

That's a post I made yesterday on my social media channels. Of course, I was reflecting on the vast divisions between Americans. 

My friend Jeff added a question:

"True, but what if you are listening and everything you hear is a lie, fabrication, or untruth?"

My answer:

"If the two parties acknowledge that each belief in what they say and think, what matters is understanding what they are defending or afraid of losing.

Once both parties understand the other's position better, it might be easier to come up with solutions. That's why I believe it isn't about winning, proving that my argument is better, but it is about finding common ground."

What I'm learning:

Unity, inclusion, is an effort to create safe spaces for everyone. It is not a tactic for ideological validation, manipulation, nor egoic influence. 

"We are one, no matter what you believe or do."


Deconstructing Fear to be free, innovative, and to build the foundations of a free society.

And there is “one more thing”, a few weeks ago, my friend Marijana Saloric, president of PWN ZAGREB, a Professional Women's network in Croatia, invited me to speak at their first network meeting of 2021. The topic was Deconstructing Fear as a way to experience more freedom on a personal level and also as a way to create more inclusive and innovative business cultures. I'm pleased to share with you an edited version of the entire session. I hope you find something useful!

More info about Marijana and PWN:

Marijana's Linkedin

PWN Zagreb Web page.


Dear friends, I sincerely wish you to experience a positive week, with space to be yourself under your own conditions :)

Antidotes to Fear of Death

Sia wrote a song for us. Not really... but yes :)

My friend Domen Kert inspired me to use the 'audio format' to share ideas, thoughts, and reflections. I decided to start a new audio series where I'll read some poems and book quotes related to Deconstructing Fear's theme.

I have to admit that I loved reading and re-reading this poem. Each time I did, I found something else to reflect upon. I hope you like it. Click here to learn more about Rebecca Elson, a Canadian astronomer and writer.

This is the audio version:

Mads Damgaard shared with us, his perspective on Fear and the connection between the fear of death and other fears. Watch the interview.


Culture of Fear

Every time I check the news, I'm tempted to write to you about the effects of nurturing a culture of Fear. The challenge is that we all live in one; therefore, it isn't easy to see it and even harder to get out of it.

What happens when we are lead to believe that what we care about the most is about to be destroyed? In the recent assault on the American Capitol, we've seen the answer. Millions of Americans are afraid of losing their livelihood. Hundreds, or maybe some thousands are willing to kill and be killed to protect what they consider essential. If you think differently from them, you might think of them as delusional, but the monster under their bed is real to them. 

Our fears feed aspects of our sense of reality.

If you are interested, I recommend you read this article published in The Atlantic.


A request for you

I would like to focus some of the next Deconstructing Fear Interviews on the topic of Journalism & Media. Do you know any journalist I could invite for an interview?

You know how to contact me. If not you can write to me via Linkedin or this form.

A message from Sia, that looks specially commissioned for Deconstructing Fear :)

I wish you a positive beginning to the year!

Sincerely

Jose.

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