Do you use fear to take you to the edge?

Today is May 24 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “do you use fear to take you to the edge?” Navigating the chaos often involves fear. Going into the unknown, having difficult conversations, and believing in yourself when others do not create a sense of fear for anyone trying to accomplish a goal. If you examine the residue left by those who navigated the chaos, however, you will often find examples of people who used fear to take them to the edge, to make them better, and to push them far beyond their comfort zone.

Science fiction writer Frank Herbert, author of Dune, the best-selling science fiction novel of all time, wrote “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Those who navigate the chaos come to understand how to use fear to take them to the edge, to push them to the edge, and to challenge themselves beyond what they thought possible. Translating dreams into reality will no doubt expose you to fear; but will you give in? Will you let fear scare you away?

The 1975 American thriller film Jaws directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's 1974 novel offers just one example of how Spielberg used fear to push him. Despite the movie’s tremendous success, Jaws had to overcome a variety of obstacles that included:

a)the original stuntman the studio hired was not suited for the job;

b)the young director demanded perfection and refused to shoot in a tank;

c)the movie’s budget more than doubled and went from $3.5 million to $8 million

d)the shooting schedule tripled from an original 55 days to 159 and

e)the mechanical sharks began to deteriorate in salt water and d)the ships started to sink.

Jaws producer David Brown said "There were times early in the picture when we felt we had made a mistake hiring Steven who was maddeningly perfectionistic…and I have to hand it to him for sticking to his guns."

In a New York Times interview Spielberg said: “Every movie I make, there’s a hurdle to it. I look for things that will scare me. Fear is my fuel. I get to the brink of not really knowing what to do and that’s when I get my best ideas. Confidence is my enemy and it always has been…There is a fear of getting lost and then staying lost in a quagmire of having made a bad choice that I’m stuck with for the next 60 days of shooting. I felt that way on Jaws only because it was so hard to make, not because I didn’t know how to make it. I was lost. For a movie that became awesomely successful and gave me complete personal creative freedom, I still look back at it and even now say it was my most unhappy time in my life as a filmmaker because whole days would go by and we wouldn’t get a shot.”

How often do you use fear as fuel to take you to the brink of not knowing what to do?