Over the last few days I’ve had the chance to listen back to the first 4 episodes of my podcast. I learned a few lessons from my second listens. I’ve distilled these lessons into three posts; life lessons parts 1 & 2, and podcast lessons. This post relates to Life Lessons Part 2 and covers episodes 3 and 4, I’ll post Podcast Lessons over the next few days.
Life Lessons 3: Trust your intuition
My third guest was Sam ‘Disaster Ready’ Sheridan. Sam wrote one of my favourite books, A Fighter’s Heart, about his time learning various combat sports but was on the show talking mainly about his most recent book, Disaster Diaries: or how I learned to stop worrying and love the apocalypse. Disaster Diaries is a how-to guide of what to do if the grid goes down, or there’s an earthquake, or the zombies roam the streets.
Sam was a great guest and spoke about how important it is to trust your intuition. His trust of intuition came as a surprise to me as much of Sam’s writing is heavily embedded in science. He said that intuition, especially about people, is often to be trusted as millions of years of evolution have honed our interpersonal instincts so finely that even though we mightn’t understand them, we should definitely heed them.
Over the last few years I’ve had a few shocks when people I thought I could trust have turned out untrustworthy. Once the initial shock wore off I was always left with the same feeling, a sense of having previously known something was not quite right about the person in question. I generally trust people until I’m given reason to do otherwise but since these upsetting incidents I’ve been much more open to trusting my intuition. My intuitions are vague, I suppose that’s their way, but having spoken to Sam I’m going to attempt to be more aware of them and act appropriately when they arise.
Life Lesson 4: There’s no courage in the absence of fear.
My third guest was Daniele ‘Savage Philosopher’ Bolelli. I’m a huge fan of Daniele’s earthy brand of philosophy and when listening back to this episode I was struck by his ability to easily communicate lofty ideas and principles with everyday language. This is Bolelli’s gift, one of them anyway.
There were several ideas that arose during our discussion but the one that struck me most was his relationship with fear. He spoke about the fact that there might be a monster under our bed or to put it more literally, maybe you’re right to be afraid. I believe fear to be the greatest impediment to human happiness. Not just fear of flying, or confrontation, or the many fears we often speak about but the myriad fears that penetrate our daily lives. Daniele spoke about the cure for these fears. Be a warrior. We tend to think of warriors as unafraid but most likely they weren’t. The difference between the warrior and the coward isn’t the absence of fear but the reaction to it.
I brought my eldest son swimming six weeks ago and when I went to leave him and sit in the viewing area he got upset and didn’t want to go. It turned out one of the girls in his group had called him names during the last class. He hadn’t mentioned it the previous week but once he saw her it all came flooding back. It wasn’t a big deal but it was enough to make him not want to swim. I gave him the usual pep talk and could see he was slowly coming around. Then I spoke to him about being brave, something every boy wants to be, and knew I had his attention. I broke the swimming class into stages and told him he just needed to get through one stage at a time and if at any stage he couldn’t cope I’d just be 10 feet away from him. Stage 1 was the 20 steps to poolside. My warrior took those steps tentatively and plopped himself into the pool. He waved at me for reassurance as my heart overflowed with pride. 10 minutes later he and his erstwhile tormentor were taking turns dunking each other.