I remember reading those No Fear shirts years ago when they were fashionable. Around the same time I loved to watch the cheesy movie No Retreat No Surrender. A kid at the time, I thought I was fearless. Every obstacle I came across I would pump myself up mentally with either the phrase "No Fear". If something wasn't going well the first time, I would chastise myself "No Retreat, no surrender". For a long time these two phrases got me through just about everything.
It's strange how living life teaches you both humility and fear. Those phrases don't work anymore because the failures and fear of future failures that we have can cause us to become completely catatonic.
Thursday night I have a two minute speech to give about a defining moment in my life. A specific incident that I can look back on and say, at this moment I learned that a certain virtue is necessary and important to me.
I have been approaching the speech with the same attitude I did as a kid. "No Fear" I can conquer this pit in my stomach, sweat on my hands and shaking in my bones. They are nothing to me, they will happen and I will not be any worse off. People will judge me, but I leave myself open to judgment constantly by having written on a blog. I do not worry about that.
I worry about what I will say. I don't view my life as having any major jumps in it. I have come to be who I am by 100,000 small insignificant changes each building on a previous change. An action by a friend, a sentence from a teacher, a book I read, a poem I wrote a reflection on life and it's events and a small change. Over and over again, repeated to the point of my current life. My life is, well, normal. I don't view myself as an extraordinary person, I'm a simple person doing simple things and sharing them with others.
Five days of thinking and an hour long discussion with my wife pushing and prodding me to dig into my past, which I rarely do anymore, have finally given me a topic to discuss. Now to prepare to face the speech and the room full of people watching, listening, and not caring with No Fear.