“Fear kills your ability from seeing beauty”-Will Smith
I was at the gym this morning and I was in the mood to watch something that was going to motivate me. I was over listening to music and I needed something that was going to really force me to think deeper and work out harder. Recently at the gym, I moved away from music and started listening to books on tape. I am almost done with Anthony Bourdain’s, “Kitchen Confidential”, which by the way, is an eye opener to restaurant life and funny as hell. I highly recommend it. A couple of weeks ago my friend Julie had asked me if I ever saw Will Smith on Instagram. I had told her that I hadn’t. She told me that he was really motivating and inspiring and she thought I would really enjoy his videos. I thought I would give him a shot on YouTube today. He said something in one of his videos that shook me to my core. In this video Will and his family just went scuba diving and before they went under, Willow, his daughter expressed that she was a little scared. When they came up from the bottom, she was happy she did it and was happy at the beauty she witnessed. Will said to her, “Fear kills your ability from seeing beauty, fear ruins life.” Truer words were never spoken. So many emotions and thoughts raced through my head at that very moment. When I young I was terrified of flying, therefore, I did not travel because of my fear of flying. I had many opportunities to go to amazing places but I always stayed behind. “Stayed behind” are exactly the key words. I kept myself from seeing the beauty this world holds. I kept myself from learning new things, exploring new places, finding out who I was and who I had the potential to be. I met Vanesa years later and I had to overcome that fear pretty quick. I had absolutely no choice as she wanted to travel and I wanted to spend time with her. Through travel, I have learned so much about myself, the world, other people and I continue to grow. I also could not help but think of my grandmother as well.
Back in 2015, we had taken my grandmother to Puerto Rico with us. Before we took off on our trip, I would playfully bully my grandmother and tell her she would have to swim in the pool with us, go where we go, jump on and off boats with us, and eat where we eat and not complain about it. To give you some back story, my grandmother is a VERY picky person. For as long as I have lived, I have never seen her in a pool or an ocean. She just didn’t do it. I never knew the reason why but I would later find out that fear kept her back. When I think of my grandmother, fear is not a word I would use to describe her. At a very young age, she left her comfort zone and two young daughters behind in El Salvador to leave to the United States of America to find a better life for herself and her little girls as her husband was killed in an accident. That is one of the bravest things I could think of and I’m not sure I would be strong enough to do. Fast forward to Puerto Rico, she went in the pool, jumped on boats, and had a blast. One night Vanesa was in the pool with my grandmother and she told me that my grandmother had said to her, “Why did I not do this earlier, why??” My grandmother was in the pool with her virgin strawberry smoothie every day in Puerto Rico. My grandmother realized that at her age, she has missed out all her life on “seeing the beauty” because of fear.
My personal fear was holding me back as well. I wanted to see new things, I wanted to swim in clear blue warm water, I wanted to climb mountains, and meet people from around the world but I could not be on a plane for a long period of time. I remember when I took my first trip with Vanesa. It was horrible. I was fidgety, nervous, scared, and ansty. I think I took like 3 Tylenol PMs and had a strong drink to calm my nerves. I remember Vanesa turning to me with a weird look on her face and asking, “Dude, are you ok?” I was not looking good only 2 months into us dating. With time and some self reassurance, I soon started to control my fear of flying and really started to look forward to taking more trips more often. I am now thrilled to say that fear is no longer holding me back from traveling. I push this on my kids every time I see fear in their eyes on something they may be scared to try. I tell them, “It’s okay to be scared but it is how you use that fear to help push you forward. When you finally push through that fear and accomplish what you wanted to do, it will make you stronger for the next task”.
“Fear kills your ability from seeing beauty,…. fear ruins life.””-Will Smith
Thank you Will.
Que viva la vida chula,
PS: I was scared of turbulence. I absolutely hated it. I remember listening to KROQ one morning and the segment was called, “Ask an Airplane Pilot”. A listener called in and asked, “Does turbulence scare you? Will a plane crash because of it? What scares you?” The pilot said, “Turbulence is nothing. It’s like a speed bump in the road. A plane has never crashed because of turbulence. It may get bumpy and scary but nothing to worry about. If the power ever goes out in a plane, then that is something to worry about.” Ever since then, every time it gets a little bumpy I think to myself- it’s just speed bumps onto a road to swim in clear blue warm water, to climb mountains, and to meet people from around the world.
What are you afraid of? How will you push past it?
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