Halloween is just a few short weeks away. And hey, if Christmas can be an entire two month long event, then I think Halloween deserves more than just a single day at the end of October. Besides, even if you don’t like Halloween and aren’t too much of a horror fan like I am, then you gotta at least appreciate the fact that Halloween acts as a gatekeeper to Christmas growing like a fucking cancer into yet another month in the year. Halloween is like NOPE, this is where we draw the line. BOO! YOU SHALL NOT PASS!
And so instead of making October an ongoing celebration of jingle jangles and holly jolly good times, we enter a sort of dark age of the year., where we embrace things that are scary like ghosts, ghouls,goblins, and other diabolical monsters and weird paranormal entities. There’s no dolls as toys, unless the doll is possessed and trying to kill you. There’s no cutting of turkey, just the cutting of human flesh by a killer’s blade. There’s no bright colored lights, just dark forests, dimly lit by flashlights of unsuspecting teens who are being hunted by some sort of evil that lurks within.
Joy, peace, serenity, gratefulness -- those are the type of emotions typically associated with *other* holidays. But not Halloween. Not this bad boy. Oh no. Halloween elicits the emotion of fear.
Fear is quite a peculiar emotion too, isn’t it? That chill up your spine. That anticipation over whether there’s something creepy lurking behind the corner or if it's just a void of darkness. That shock you get when something unexpectedly jumps at you.
Fear is what keeps you on your toes. It gets your heart pumpin quick and can swiftly surge you into an adrenaline rush or it can creep up on you slowly, making you super alert and on edge about your surroundings.
Fear doesn’t necessarily have to be this detrimental feeling; it can actually be fun (and we sort of celebrate that premise during Halloween). See, there’s this idea of “safe danger”. Like riding a roller coaster, you’re not in any actual danger of falling down extreme heights or looping around upside down, but you feel that adrenaline *as if* you are in danger (even when you’re safely strapped and buckled in a seat). Likewise, there’s no actual danger in watching on your television screen an actress portraying a lonely girl walking alone in the woods at night with a silent stalker, portrayed by another actor, tracking her every step, but you can feel that intense fear, despite it being just a portal on screen.
Or maybe you go to one of those local “haunted” houses or hayrides, where people dress up in costumes of monstrous, grotesque, or otherwise intimidating beings. It’s not actually haunted ,of course or legitimately threatening. The man chasing you with a chainsaw on the hayride doesn’t even have a real chain blade attached to it. (of course there was a shooting at a hayride in Pennsylvania, so that's something that's actually scary)
Yet, despite the made believe nature of horror, your instincts kick in. You can feel your heart beating ever faster. Those chills up and down your spine. And it hits as a sort of “high”.
People love putting themselves in danger without the actual danger being present. It gives all the perks of being in fear (the adrenaline rush, the excited feeling in your chest) without the risk of coming across any harm.
While every single other holiday throughout the year has happy happy joy joy vibes, Halloween focuses more on fearful agitation vibes .Whether its a bunny hoppin around with a basket of eggs or a fat man in a red suit riding a sleigh, every holiday besides Halloween has some sort of lighthearted gimmick. The only gimmick Halloween has is being as scary, horrifying, and frightening as possible without actually putting yourself in harm’s way.
Whether it’s your “bag of candy” or not, Halloween definitely stands out as the most unique holiday in the year, with its dark and spooky charm.
Anyway, since it is the season of terrifying tales and all things horror, I’d figured it’d be appropriate to talk about REAL fear. I’m not talking about the fear you get when someone jumps out at you from a bush wearing a sheet over their head to disguise themselves as some sort of “ghost”. Nor am I talking about spilling your popcorn as a zombie jumps out from a dumpster in the movie you’re watching.
I’m talking about the genuine fear and anxiety you may feel during certain scenarios in life. Maybe you feel failure. Maybe you get anxious over the thought of rejection. Maybe you find it frightening to save for retirement. Maybe it’s absolutely horrifying for you to go out and be social.
Well, today we’re going to look at the cause of fear and how to go about handling it as a lazy procrastin8r, so put on your weresloth suits, howl at the moon, and let’s dive...right into it!
Fear Freezes You.
Like a deer caught in the headlights, the emotion of fear can put a stop in your tracks, preventing you from moving forward.
You then become so stifled by these frightening sensations that you can’t act or proceed in any way. You stagnate progress and remain trapped in a perpetual state of dread and horror. You’re panic stricken and locked in place, trembling to yourself in a mental and emotional place of uneasiness.
Fear entangles you like a thick spider web, encasing you in a cage of paralysis.
Yet, you call yourself lazy. You blame your lack of motivation on laziness. You say you’re tired because you're lazy. You say you haven’t made any step towards your goals because you're lazy. You cry out that the reason you barely get out of bed is because you’re just too gosh dern lazy.
Laziness becomes the scapegoat for your consistent inability to do things. Why haven’t you advanced your career lately? Why haven’t you gotten in shape yet? Why haven’t you quit drinking and smoking excessively?
“I’m just too lazy,” you’ll tell yourself, and write it off as a personality trait that you have no control over. You excuse yourself over and over again, thinking you’re too lazy to do it.
Here’s the thing, I want to make it clear to you all folks...
You’ve been putting off doing things, not because you are lazy, not because you are procrastinating.
You are putting off things because you are afraid and hesitating.
Now, of course, there is a difference, a fine line, between procrastination and hesitation, something we’ve covered in much depth before. The thumbnail version is that procrastination is purposefully deciding to do something later, either because you find it strategic to wait or you just don’t feel like it right now; whereas hesitation is wanting to proceed immediately, but failing to do so because of your own self doubt or fear of failure.
I recommend going back and reading that article though because it will definitely be applicable as well as helpful in today’s material.
Anyway, back to pointing out how your motivation, or very well lack thereof, stems from fear and not laziness.
You take a nap, not because you’re actually tired from doing things, but because you’re tired *just thinking about* the things you have to do (even though in reality you didn’t do any of it).
You’re simply overwhelmed. So what do you do?
You cower in fear. You skulk away from your goals simply because it seems too “monstrous” of a task for you to handle. You hide under your bed, instead of sleeping on top of it, to put it in a metaphor.
In other words, you’re not putting things off in efforts to be comfortable and at rest, you’re only putting things off in efforts to protect yourself from the potential “danger” that you imagine there to be -- whether that’s fucking up or getting rejected or criticize, you’ve created a monster out of the possible consequences that may happen in your attempts to complete a task or goal.
You use your blankets as a shield from the evil entity you fabricate instead of as a warm thing to keep you comfortable in bed, as you sit there cowering away.
Or perhaps you see the task at hand as too much of an encumbrance, an ominous haunting, leeching your energy. You’re dreaded by the sheer amount of shit that must be done. And so, again, you begin shivering in your shoes crying to take you back to the mystery van.
Look there’s no demon present siphoning your life energy. There’s no vampire drinking your blood. There’s just you acting afraid (and maybe even really feeling it).
But at the end of the day, and during the darkest of nights, it’s all in your head. You’re the one choosing to let those feelings get a hold of you. You’re the one choosing to torture yourself, more than any hockey-mask wearing bandit ever could.
As the famous saying goes “There’s nothing to fear, but fear itself.” But seriously, dude...
Fear is a primal instinct, alerting you of possible death. Fear is what kept our ancestors alive.
But we’re sort of past those hunting and gathering days. So I guarantee you. I guaran-freaking-tee you, that the goal you have will not result in death at failure. Unless of course your goal is to wrestle a grizzly bear or something legitimately dangerous, but I’m pretty sure that ain’t the sort of goal you’re after now, is it?
You want to lose weight, earn more money, meet new friends - shit like that, right? You want to achieve something worthwhile.
But haven’t been able to motivate yourself to do it, no?
Look man, I ain’t against sittin’ around on my ass. And I’m certainly not one to condone any sort of “work hard and get to it” mantra, but you can’t be holding yourself back because you’re afraid of the outcome and that’s really where your lack of motivation comes from.
You’re not motivated to make a move because you believe there’s too much risk involved (death).
If you get rejected asking that girl out, if your business idea winds up being a complete flop, if you end up sucking ass at playing guitar, you’re not going to die, man. You may embarrass yourself a bit. But there was never a “cause of death: embarrassment” report written.
Just let it go and go with the flow.
Be willing to take risks. You risk a lot more sanity and wellbeing *worrying* about the risk than the risk itself even has.
It’s a bigger loss to sit there and do nothing, when you actually want to do something, but are choosing not to because of whatever it is you fear, whether that’s failure, rejection, or whatever sort of negative result you can imagine.
See, procrastination comes from a place of desire. It comes from a place of purposefully choosing to wait ‘til later, as opposed to avoiding doing something out of fear.
Laziness is calmness. It’s relaxation.
To be lazy is to remain composed -- to stay cool, calm, and laid back at all times. No matter the situation. No matter what scary monster or creature you come across. No matter how dark and eerie life gets.
You practice sprezzatura - a certain level of nonchalance to the point where nothing stifles you in fear, or even shakes you out of bed for that matter. Nothing’s a big deal. Nothing frightens you.
Fear is a panic, which is often self-induced due to your own negative thinking pattern. It’s giving into stress and getting “worked up”.
Eliminate any sort of “work” in your life and be lazy. Don’t run n’ hide from your goal.
Approach it slowly, smoothly, and deliberately like the sloth climbs a tree.
When it comes to attaining any sort of goal, whether that’s financial, personal, or relationship, don’t live is the horrors of hesitation by giving into that fear you find within yourself. Only put things off when you mean it, when you legitimately want to, not because you’re so terror stricken by your own anxious thoughts and feelings.
Remember that scene at the end of the movie “Cabin in the Woods”? Spoiler ahead if you haven’t.
The Elder Gods awaken and unleash their wrath against the world of humanity because the sacrifice was not complete. Meanwhile, the characters Dana and Marty chill in the center of the temple, sharing a joint and awaiting their fate.
No fucks given.
If you hold fear (of anything), then you are giving too much of a fuck.
Stop giving a fuck, man. You’ve grown too attached to outcome. Give out candy but don't give out fucks!
You living in a constant alert state, worrying what will happen next, what *could* happen next. Worrying what if this happen? What if that happens as well?
What if the killer finds us? What if he has a machete? What if he has supernatural powers to teleport if we try and run? What if I get bitten by a zombie?
Look man, your life ain’t a horror film. Don’t make it out to be one. Nothing in your life is really that threatening, sinister, dangerous, or evil.
Make your life a sitcom. Find humor in the everyday situations. Laugh out loud and enjoy it. And as always….take it easy, take *real* easy.