“Worry, doubt and fear”: A video essay

By August 24, 2015 41 Comments

Yesterday I ate lunch with an 80-year-old man who still gets up at 6 AM every morning.

He volunteers at a local parking lot where he spends each morning monitoring the lot for 2 hours. He does this so that he can talk to the high school kids who park there for school each day.

His mission?

Encourage them. Bless them. Be there for them. Speak positivity into their lives.

The next 2 hours of his morning he spends reading. Mostly scholarly works pertaining to his Christian faith.

But he challenges himself. He challenges his ideals and beliefs every single day.

He’s currently obsessed with Buddha. (He has some really interesting theories pertaining to him.)

Then the next hour he spends writing. Articles. Blog posts. Speeches he might give one day. Anything that comes to mind.

He does all of this by 11 AM each morning.

When I asked him why he followed this routine, he responded, “What else am I going to do? Go play Scrabble with all of the old people?”

At 80 years old he’s still young.

He’s curious.

He’s eager.

He has a burning fire inside him.

He’s younger than most 20-year-olds.

What did you do before 11 AM today?

Most of you reading this are wandering through life.

Most of you are older than that 80-year-old man, because being old isn’t a time of life, it’s state of mind.

You’re consumed with worry, doubt, self-distrust and fear.

It’s paralyzed you from taking action.

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About a month ago I ran across a speech by General Douglas MacArthur. Douglas MacArthur was a five-star general in the United States Army during WWII.

He gave this speech so many times that people began to call it the MacArthur Credo.

It’s extremely powerful.

It’s something I read every Monday morning to ward against cynicism and pessimism. To scare away the fear and silence the doubt.

It’s a brilliant work of art.

I loved it so much I decided to turn it into this month’s video essay.

Enjoy!

 

General McArthur’s Credo:

“Youth is not entirely a time of life – it is a state of mind. It is not wholly a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips or supple knees. It is a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a freshness of the deep springs of life. It means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, of an appetite for adventure over love of ease.

Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul. 

Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair – these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust. Whatever your years, there is in every being’s heart the love of wonder, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing child-like appetite for what next, and the joy in the game of life. 

You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.

In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer and courage, so long are you young.  When the wires are all down and your heart is covered with the moss of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and then only, are you grown old. “

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Question: Do you struggle with doubt and fear? If so, what do you do to overcome it?