Thursday, October 31, 2013


“A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks.”

Charles Gordy

“Hey, I've got nothing to do today but smile.”

Paul Simon – Only Living Boy in New York

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh

I’m serious.  Smile.  Right now.  As you’re reading this, smile.  That’s what I did tonight and I think I just discovered something important.  Let me start at the beginning. 
Tonight was difficult.  I had planned to make a nice dinner and then take my two youngest girls out for Hallowe’en.  But then things went wrong in the following order:
·      Shopping for food took a lot longer than I thought it would.
·      My girls wanted to go out with a friend instead of me.
·      I burned the bread.
·      I overcooked the meat.
·      Nobody was home to eat the food I had prepared anyway.
·      The girls were gone a lot longer than I wanted them to be, but I couldn’t reach the father of the children they were with.
·      When they finally got home, I had an uncomfortable interaction with the parent while trying to help him with something.
·      Instead of going trick-or-treating in the neighborhood, they wanted to see a “haunted house” first.
·      We had to drive there.
·      While going in the haunted house my youngest daughter didn’t grab on to me for comfort and protection, she grabbed on to the father of the other children who were with us.
·      They went through the haunted house three times. 
·      By the time we got home, it was too late to go out.
·      After finally getting them to bed, I realized I needed to go to the store for something before I could settle down to write.

So, it was a pretty discouraging night.  Then, as I was driving back home and feeling defeated, I decided, for no reason at all, to smile.  The moment I did, everything changed.  Well, no, only one thing changed – my attitude.  I felt completely different.  The feelings of discouragement, anger and frustration were gone.  And all I did was smile. 
I was once in a program called Tools to Life.  I highly recommend it. (   One of the daily assignments given in the program was to smile six times a day.  Perhaps I was remembering that tonight.  There are therapeutic effects from smiling. According to ( smiling does the following:
1.     Smiling Makes Us Attractive.
2.     Smiling Changes Our Mood.
3.     Smiling Is Contagious.
4.     Smiling Relieves Stress.
5.     Smiling Boosts Your Immune System.
6.     Smiling Lowers Your Blood Pressure.
7.     Smiling Releases Endorphins, Natural Pain Killers and Serotonin.
8.     Smiling Lifts the Face and Makes You Look Younger.

I know this much:  I went from feeling tense and defeated to relaxed and happy in a matter of seconds.  Right now I feel peaceful and excited.  The darkness that was surrounding me is gone.  My energy and motivation are back.  Everything looks interesting again. 
I wonder if I rediscovered an important secret.  I’ve told people that when someone answers the phone while smiling, that person sounds happy.  Perhaps the smile helps because when we give a full smile we have to open our mouths and perhaps we’re allowing oxygen to our blood.  I’m not sure how it works, but I’m pretty sure it does. 
So here’s the plan:  I’m going to smile every chance I get tomorrow.  I’m going to smile and see what it does for my day and for my attitude.    I’m going to Get Started and Keep Going…and smile.

Desert Island Books - List 1

“You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.”

Paul Sweeney

“Books can be dangerous.  The best ones should be labeled ‘This could change your life.’”

Helen Exley

“No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

If I could choose only ten books that I would have on a desert island, I don’t think I could do it.  But here goes anyway.  First, here are a couple of ground rules.
·      I have read each of these books several times.
·      I have given away copies of some of them.
·      I have recommended them to others.
·      I have some of them on different formats, such as book and audio book.
·      Some of them have great personal meaning to me.

1.     The Bible.  If I could only choose one, this would be it.  It has history, poetry, literature and best of all it has the power of the Holy Spirit.
2.     The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle.  Other than the Bible, I don’t know of a book that has had a greater impact on my life and thinking.  I literally had a spiritual experience while reading this book.  It doesn’t mean everyone will, but this book precipitated great changes in my life and in my way of thinking.
3.     Loving What Is – Byron Katie.  In some way similar to The Power of Now, but with pragmatic steps that have helped me many times.  Doing “The Work” has lifted pain from me more than anything else but prayer.
4.     The War of Art – Steven Pressfield.  This is another life-changing book. This book is one of the reasons I started writing blogs. 
5.     Hamlet – William Shakespeare.  The language is beautiful and though it’s fashionable to put down Polonius as a meddler and a busybody, I love the advice he gives to his son on how to live life.
6.     The Great Divorce – C.S. Lewis.  The best explanation of the differences between Heaven, Hell and Earth, period. 
7.     The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkein.  Technically, it’s four books, but I count it as one volume.  Perfect fantasy and adventure.
8.     Marvels – Les Daniels.  A great book about Marvel Comics up to the late 90’s.
9.     The Naked Now – Richard Rohr.  A guide for those who want to understand and live out the mystical aspects of faith.
10.  The American Presidents – David C. Whitney.  I love U.S. President books.  There are actually several I could choose from.

Okay.  I can’t do it.  Listing only ten books is impossible.  I knew I couldn’t do it.  So I’ll do another list soon.  I have a lot more to write about and a lot more I want to read.  I just have to Get Started and Keep Going…and keep reading.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Turning a Corner

None of us knows what the next change is going to be, what unexpected opportunity is just around the corner, waiting a few months or a few years to change all the tenor of our lives.

Kathleen Norris

I have good news:  Success is guaranteed. 
All that is required, in my case, is that I put ______ more days into this and write _____ more blogs.  I also need to do at least ______ more radio shows and do _______ more videos.   I might also need to write _____ more books.  When I have reached those goals, then I will have become financially successful.  All my dreams will have come true.
Sadly, I don’t have those numbers. If I had, I might be far more excited.  It could be tomorrow, next week or next year.  So the best thing to do is keep moving forward until I reach my goal. 
Still, I feel like I turned a corner last night.  Something shifted for the better and I feel relieved.  The last few weeks have felt more difficult than usual with regard to staying in Purpose.  I’ve overslept several times.  Sitting down to write, I felt like each word was carved out of ice.  I even missed a couple of days of writing.  Then last night, after a particularly hard day, I prayed.  I wasn’t even praying for myself.  I was praying for someone close to me who has been going through a hard time.
Now maybe the two aren’t connected, but a few minutes later I got an idea for my next blog.  I was so excited that I rushed home and didn’t go through my usual routine of putting on my pajamas, getting a snack or even using the restroom.  All I wanted to do was write.  And that’s what I did.  I wrote almost with stopping.    I think I finished the blog faster than I’ve ever finished a blog.  Then I changed, went to the restroom, got a snack and wrote another one. 
This morning I woke up, scheduled a radio show and then walked for 25 minutes while I did my show. 
I don’t know if it’s the exercise or the prayer or the tapping or all the water I’ve been drinking, but I felt like I had passed a test and was now ready for the next level.  The test was the sense of dryness and struggle I’ve been feeling for the last two weeks.  Yes, I was doing my radio shows and the You Tube videos, but the blogs seemed like so much work.  Interestingly, before this happened, I decided to set a goal of 365 blogs by December 29, 2013.  
Yesterday I actually thought, “Maybe my goal was too ambitious.  Maybe I should go back to one blog a day.”  That seemed so reasonable.  The voice did not yell or insult me.  It seemed to be so understanding.  But something didn’t feel right.  I was listening to the Enemy.  It was being sympathetic, but it wasn’t being kind.  It was trying to divert me. 
So here I am writing.  I’ve gotten other things done, too.  I feel motivated again.  But that’s not even the best news.  The best news is that despite the uncertainty of the last two weeks, I still remembered to Get Started and Keep Going.  I remembered, even if not consciously, that determination is the emotion without emotion.  I just had to Keep Going no matter what, even if everything I was writing felt pointless.
It was a good lesson, one that I may have to repeat, because I can’t always count on feeling great.  I can count on fatigue, apathy, fear and procrastination.  But if I stay the course, I can also count on inner growth, increased self-esteem and, eventually, tangible results.  In Wake Up and Live, Dorthea Brande says, “Act as if it were impossible to fail.”  The first word in that sentence is “act,” which is short for action.  I have to act.  I have to do.  I have to write.  She didn’t say, “Do nothing as if it were impossible to fail.”  I have to do something.
So here I am doing something.  And I’m going to keep doing something until I get what I want from this life.  I’m going to keep writing, keep working, and keep moving forward.  Now the truth may be that even if I work diligently and well, I’m not guaranteed success.  Still, I’m going to act as if it were impossible to fail.  I’m going to act as if my success were guaranteed in a certain number of days, after a certain number of blogs, radio shows, videos and books.  That’s why I write at night when I’ve gotten home from work.  I want to get closer to my goal, whatever it may be.
So I Get Started and Keep Going.  I know when its’ time to stop, but it’s not now.  I just turned a corner and it’s time to keep moving.


“Hell is a state of mind - ye never said a truer word. And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind - is, in the end, Hell. But Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakeable remains.”

If I could get rid of just one of my numerous faults, I would get rid of fear.  I hate fear.  I hate what it does to me.  I hate how it closes me off from the world like a coffin.  I hate how exhausting it is.  I hate how it doesn’t even allow me to consider other possibilities.  I hate how small it makes me feel.  In The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis says that Hell isn’t large; it’s small.  He says,
“All Hell is smaller than one pebble of your earthly world: but it is smaller than one atom of this world, the Real World. Look at yon butterfly. If it swallowed all Hell, Hell would not be big enough to do it any harm or to have any taste.”

Maybe that’s why fear makes me feel so small, because being in fear is like being in Hell.  It’s still large enough to consume me if I let it.  It overwhelms me sometimes.  It’s a darkness that seems as if it will never leave.
But it always does. 
So what I have going is a cycle.  A vicious cycle.  Something triggers a fear response in me.  Perhaps a rumor at work.  Maybe a (misinterpreted) comment.  Possibly a financial issue.  It doesn’t even matter.  Here are some fears I’ve struggled with:
·      Fear of being broke.
·      Fear of not reaching my potential. 
·      Fear of illness.
·      Fear of not being good at my job.
·      Fear of running out of writing ideas.
·      Fear of suffering.
·      Fear of being alone.

I think most of our fears boil down to the last two.  The irony is that fear is suffering.  It’s some of the worst and most intense suffering most of us will ever experience.  The other irony is that when I’m trapped in fear, I’m also alone.  It is only when I am not in fear that I can give of myself and love others. 
The good news is twofold. 
1.     Fear is not real.
2.     It can be overcome. 

With regard to the first, I know fear feels real, especially when we’re in the midst of it, but, trust me, it’s not.  It’s a phantom.  Even if we experience the worst, and many of us have, we discover that life can still be good and sweet.  Perhaps not immediately, but we find that we can laugh again.  We discover that we don’t have to suffer forever.  We can love again.  We can create good out of tragedy.  In some cases, we find our purpose from tragedy and setbacks.
With regard to the second, fear can be overcome.  Here are some things I’ve done to take me from fear to joy:
·      Doing “The Work” as described by Byron Katie in Loving What Is.
·      Tapping, as described in The Promise of Energy Psychology by Feinstein, Eden and Craig.
·      Breathing.
·      Meditating.
·      Taking a nap.
·      Talking to the right person.
·      Praying.
·      Asking for prayer.
·      Exercising or doing something physical.
·      Reading something interesting or motivational.
·      Laughing.
·      Smiling.
·      Working.

There are probably other ways.  But all of these methods have taken me from the darkness of fear to the bright light of hope and life. 
Still, my goal, and perhaps it is an impossible one is to eliminate fear altogether.  I never again want to suffer those debilitating moments when fear surrounds and overwhelms.  To quote Lewis again,  "What are we born for?" "For infinite happiness," said the Spirit. "You can step out into it at any moment...”
I can be happy at any moment.  All I need to do is Get Started and Keep Going.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Thank You to My Muse

Dear Muse,
I just want to write a quick letter in case I haven’t told you lately how much I appreciate you.  I will make this quick, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.  I just know that you want me to be responsible with my time.  So here is what I want to say:
·      Thank you for spending time with me today.
·      Thank you for all the time you spend with me.
·      Thank you for never getting tired of me.
·      Thank you for never getting tired of my fears.
·      Thank you for laughing at my fears while not laughing at me.
·      Thank you for requiring only one thing of me – that I spend time with you every day, faithfully.
·      Thank you for reminding me that pursuing you, not fame or money or success, may actually bring me fame, money and success.  At the very least, I will be happy for the rest of my life.
·      Thank you for being patient with me as I grow and develop as a writer and as a human being.
·      Thank you for all you are saying through me.
·      Thank you for giving me something new to say every time.
·      Thank you that what you are saying through me is showing me the kind of man I want to be and can be.
·      Thank you for the special times when all I had to do was sit and the words came with almost no effort at all.  Those times encouraged me.
·      Thank you for the other special times when great effort was required.  Those times strengthened me.
·      Thank you for always waiting lovingly and patiently for me when I allow other things to distract me.
·      Thank you for causing me to miss you when I allow other things to distract me.
·      Thank you that you always have something to teach me.
·      Thank for you teaching me that being consistent and persistent are my two greatest strengths.
·      Thank you for telling me to be patient and that the day I am waiting for will come as long as I keep working.
·      Thank you for not being impatient about how many times you have to tell me to be patient. 
·      Thank you for the body of work you have inspired and helped me to create in such a short time.
·      Thank you for showing me new ways to do my work as long as I continue to be faithful with the old ways, too.
·      Thank you for your forgiveness when I am selfish or scared and for your forgetfulness once I spend time with you.
·      Thank you for seeing me as the man I can be rather than the man I sometimes am.
·      Thank you for all the books you encourage me to read.
·      Thank you for giving me one more thing to wake up for every day.
·      Thank you for not being picky about where I spend time with you as long as I do spend time with you.
·      Thank you for the future and for all the gifts and inspiration you are going to give me.
·      Thank you for pushing me beyond my limits, thus making me realize that perhaps all my limits are in my mind.
·      Thank you for reminding me that fear is also all in my mind.
·      Thank you for helping me and inspiring me to write this.
·      Thank you for the next blog I’m going to write tonight.
·      Thank you for being the perfect partner for me.  I love you.


Monday, October 28, 2013

The Clock Is Ticking

The clock is ticking. The page is blank. The bed is waiting.
I need to work quickly if I’m going to do one more blog tonight.  Constantly there is an inner battle to stay focused but open.  Relaxed but intense.  This duality is the paradox of Purpose.  The only answer is to Get Started and Keep Going.  So that’s what I’m doing.  Writing one more blog in order to reach my goal of two a day.  Then it’s time  for some sleep.  I really need to be up at 5:00 a.m.  Otherwise, it’s hard to get things done.
Despite the difficulty writing two blogs a day presents, I enjoy the challenge.  I’m enjoying it at this moment.  I’m visualizing being done and I’m visualizing how I’ll feel, if one can visualize a feeling.  If I really need to put 10,000 hours into this to get good at it, then I need to do this now.  I don’t even have to write a lot.  I just need to write.  There are no other rules.  Just write and write every day. 
And that’s all I have to say tonight.  I just needed to Get Started and Keep Going, but not for very long this time.  I’m trying to break the cycle of staying up too late and not getting anything done in the morning.  So this is me taking care of myself.  The clock ticked.  The page is no longer blank.  And the bed is still waiting.

Not Too Little, Not Too Late

I’m saving money in a jar to buy a house near the beach.  I probably don’t have enough yet, but it’s okay, because I’m not ready to buy yet.  But I will be ready one day.   Emotionally ready.  Logistically ready.  So I also need to be financially ready.  A problem I’ve often had is that I was not always ready for the big moments.
Once at work, when I was an elementary school teacher, the night custodian walked into my classroom and said, “The principal’s coming.  She’s really mad about how messy the rooms are.”  Looking around at my disaster and at the frightened look in my eyes, he said, with some pity, “You’d better clean yours quick.” 
It was too little, too late.  The window in front of me announced her imminent arrival. There was nothing to be done but stay frozen in fear like a rabbit and await my doom.  I wasn’t doomed, but it wasn’t exactly a comfortable interaction either.  She came in, looked around in disgust and exasperation and said, “Mr. Farrell, please!  Clean this room.”  This was a big moment and it was a bad one.  It was one more bad moment in a year of them.  In fact, it was one of the worst years of my life because it was consisted of moment after moment like that.
Many of those moments were bad because of other people’s decisions, or that’s what I’d like to believe.  The truth is that most, if not all of them, were bad because of my decisions.  And they were all momentary decisions.  Here are some of the decisions I made that year:
·      I took classes that I had no interest in.
·      I stayed in a job that I was not well-suited for.
·      I did not spend enough time trying to improve my work.
·      I spent a lot of time complaining and blaming others.
·      I stayed up too late doing nothing.
·      I didn’t take a good look at how unhappy I was.
·      I didn’t take care of my health. 
·      When I did try to make some changes that were true to who I was, I didn’t stick with them.
·      I didn’t write down my goals.
·      I overcommitted myself to other people’s agenda.
·      I allowed my room to get messier rather than keep it clean.
·      I let many, many moments slip by when I could have been doing more.

Every time one of these things happened it was because I made a decision in the moment to not do my best or to not follow my heart.  Perhaps I thought I was doing my best, but I really wasn’t.  As I said, I decided to make some changes in my life and when I did, I felt happier than I had felt in years.  That happiness should have been the clue.  That should have been the turning point.  Instead, I got scared and kept things the way the way were.  And I did this for five more years!  How many moments was that?
Still, no lesson truly learned is wasted.  Though I don’t always practice it, I understand the power of the moments, when decisions for action or inaction are made.  I understand that they add to or subtract from our lives.  I understand that every penny I put in my jar adds up.  I also understand every penny I save or spend poorly adds to or subtracts from my life as well. 
So I put a little in every day.  It adds up quickly and I don’t miss the money I contribute on a daily basis.  There are other ways I can add to my life:
·      I can smile kindly at others.
·      I can speak kindly.
·      I can exercise for just 30 minutes a day.
·      I can read a little more.
·      I can get up and go to bed a little earlier.
·      I can drink a little more water.
·      I can spend a little more time with my girls.
·      I can be a little more thankful.
·      I can write a little more.

Who knows what the pay off will be for doing these things?  I don’t want to do them because I think there will be a payoff, but because they’re the right things to do.  But if a big moment comes, then it won’t be too little, too late.   I will have been saving for it.  Every time I Get Started and Keep Going, I’m creating the potential for good moments, like money in a jar.  

Before Going to Sleep

“Don’t wait for opportunity.  Prepare for it.”

Robert Farrell

I wonder if I can write a blog in 20 minutes and then go to bed.  That would be nice and I would stay on track with my goal of two blogs a day.  So far, I’m not doing very well with that goal.  Sometimes I don’t do well.  Sometimes I get off track or I make the goal too hard.  At least that’s what I tell myself.   But what if it’s just hard…but not too hard?  Can I write one more blog tonight?
Honestly, this goal exhausts me sometimes.  Why did I do it?  Can’t I just quit?   Am I seeking attention?  Validation?  Approval?  Or am I trying to do a little good in this world?  Maybe all of the above.  All I know that is if I want to be a writer, I need to write.  So here I am, trying to put out one more blog, even though I should be sleeping.   
Sometimes, all that’s required is taking the next step.  And the next.  And the next.  So that’s what I’m doing: taking the next step.  Eventually I may drop, but at least I’ve gotten a little further ahead.  I’m a little bit closer.  The important thing, more than the blogs themselves, is doing the work, doing the writing.  “Process is more important than product and people are more important than process.” 
Right now I’m only worried about the process, about the writing.  Yes, this is hard.  I feel tired and cold and alone, but if I can just write a little more, I can reach my goal.  I can do two blogs a day.  Then I can reach my next goal, to go to bed. 
Of course, this might not have happened if I had gotten up earlier, but I didn’t.  I slept in until almost 8:00 a.m.  Tomorrow I don’t have that luxury.  I have to go to work.  I have to get up at 5:00 a.m. if I want to reach any of my goals. 
Why am I doing this to myself?
Because I want to be a writer.
Why do I want to be a writer?
Because I think that’s one of the best ways I can help the world.
So here I am, staying up late at night, trying to make a difference.  Trying to do something good.  Trying to inspire and lead by example.  This is what I can do.  I’m hyperactive, easily stressed, and not very good at many things.  But I can do this.  This is the talent God gave me and I want to use it.  I want to make a difference.
What do I mean by “make a difference?”  I mean that I want to produce something that will motivate and inspire.  I want to someone to read (or hear) my words and think, “I have a talent, too.  Maybe I don’t think it’s much, but I can use it to give people hope or relief or even joy.  Maybe what I do will inspire others.  Maybe I can make the world a better place, too.”
That’s my hope. 
I also hope to prosper financially.  I don’t need to be mega-wealthy, but I’d like e enough money to leave my children and grandchildren.  I want to buy my house on the beach.  I heard it said that less than 1% controls more than 80% of the wealth.  I don’t know if that’s true or not.  I’d like to see it distributed more evenly.  But, as I said, I don’t need to be mega-wealthy, though the more wealth I had, the more people I could help. 
Until that day, I hope I can help people with my writing.  I hope I can inspire people to find their way of helping others.  The only way I will know is if I Get Started and Keep Going.  A lot.  That’s why I’m trying to do two blogs a day.  That’s why I’m doing my radio shows and my videos and my books.  I’m trying to reach Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, the point where this goes from being something small to something huge.  But it may just take time.  Ten thousand hours, again according to Gladwell.  That’s ten years.  I’ve been writing most of my life.  But what if it takes ten years of writing blogs before I am financially successful?   Do I want it that badly? Would I wait, like waiting for a lily to grow?  Would I be that patient?  I would.  All I want is to do this always.  If it means I have to work at it for ten years, so be it.  I don’t think I will, but if I do…then okay.
Okay, indeed.  That’s it for now.  I finished another blog.  I was able to Get Started and Keep Going.  And now I’m going to bed.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

To Be Royalty

Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The great quest of life has always been to discover truth.

Joyce Meyer

The people who shape our lives and our cultures have the ability to communicate a vision or a quest or a joy or a mission.
Anthony Robbins

Yesterday, on top of a lot of other things I had to do, there was a memorial service for a very dear friend.  I went early to the site to make sure I knew where to go.  When I went in there was a giant collage of pictures of her on a large screen and I almost started crying.  I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach and I couldn’t breathe. 
Why do things like this happen?  My friend was young, vibrant and beautiful.  She had two young sons.
King Solomon wrote, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”  Proverbs 25:2
In other words, God doesn’t often give us the answers to life’s perplexities.  He wants us to search it out.  He doesn’t want us to be content with pat answers, homilies or second-hand advice.  Why?  Because life is complex.  There are no answers that we can see, and there are many answers.  But to understand injustice, loss, pain, and confusion, we are required to go beyond the ordinary.
The word “question” comes from the word “quest.”  It is said that life is a journey, like a road trip.   But I think it’s far more than that for those of us who want to live fully.  I'm not on a road trip.  I’m on a quest.   I don’t want to meander.  I want a destination, a reason.  I’m on a journey with Purpose.  It’s a journey in which I try to understand why I get lost sometimes and in this way help others answers their own questions and find their own way. 
Though we can, as in The Fellowship of the Ring, embark upon this quest with others, we must, each of us, decide by ourselves to go.  If we are lucky, we can find people who will go on the quest with us.   Even if we are on the same quest, we might each have a different reason for going.  It is said, “He travels fastest who travels alone.”  But I’m not in a hurry.  And I don’t want to be alone on this quest.
So how do I find my answers?  For me, it involves the following:
·      Writing
·      Speaking
·      Studying

These are the ways I process information and feelings best.  These may seem very traditional, but they work for me.  Don’t be fooled into thinking they are easy though.  Take my writing, for example.  Before I started writing this blog, I thought, “I don’t want to do this anymore.  How many times can I say the same thing?  I should quit.” 
Then I started writing and all that went away.  How many times have I fought this battle?  Tonight was my 262nd time – one for each blog.  That’s right.  Every time I sit down to write, I get hit in the face with self-doubt.  Every time.  It never gets easier.  The fear never goes away.  Never.  Until I start writing.  And sometimes not even then.  Still, I Keep Going.
Speaking is pretty easy for me.  The problem I’ve had is getting speaking engagements.  That’s something I need to think about.  I’m fortunate to have my radio show and my You Tube videos as speaking outlets, but I want more.
Studying, for me, is the hardest of the three, but it also feels like the most rewarding.  I enjoy tapping into the introverted part of me that just likes learning and being alone.  What is best for me is to sit down, with books, paper, pen and highlighter and take notes.  When I do this, I feel like a king.  I am searching out a matter and this is to my glory.  Also, when I do any of these things, I feel like I am beginning to understand life and my place in it a little better. 
Of course, like most quests, this one is not easy.   As I said, I get attacked almost every time I write a blog or do a show or a video. Again, as in Lord of the Rings, the Dark Riders are everywhere.  For me, the deadliest Dark Riders are Fear and Distraction.  I fight them every day!  Still, in spite of the battle, or maybe because of it, I Get Started and I Keep Going every day.  That’s all I can do.  That’s all I need to do…to be royalty.