Be Afraid to Live

To live life to the fullest, we must be afraid. It’s in our genes. Rene touched on something in her recent post about Fearvana that got me thinking about exactly that. That being fear, and how we need to embrace it, that is.

Black Canyon
Be afraid.

To Live Life to the Fullest, Be Afraid

Not long before discovering Fearvana myself, I read an article about how to live your best life and maintain a healthy brain, by living the life for which you have evolved. This conversation about how to live life to the fullest delves into how evolution has prepared us to live a certain way, which most of us are not doing.

It takes around a million years for evolutionary change to happen in a species…Each of us, however, sees drastic changes in our lifestyle and environment over a matter of a few years. ~Dr. Arash Javanbakht

scary sculptureRead that CNN article for four tips to living your best life. If anything like me, you’ll be surprised by number four.

To live our best life, we must change:

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  • How We Eat
  • How We Move
  • How We Sleep
  • How We Fear



Yes, fear. In that podcast about Fearvana, Akshay Nanavanti mentions the old adage, “Don’t be afraid to fail.” He then quickly proceeds to debunk it outright. He suggests its better to be utterly afraid, and try anyway. Even if you do fail, it is only by embracing our fears and overpowering them that we truly grow.

Adversity is one of our greatest gifts and a necessary access point to reach the next stage of our personal evolution. ~ Akshay Nanavanti

big rock
Push your fears away.

Which brings me back to that evolution article. I’ve spoken about how comfort is overrated before, but never knew there was actual science to back that up. It makes sense. For many millennia, as a species, we ate a primarily vegetarian diet of roots, berries, greens, and on a good day some fish or grubs. During those same thousands of years, we remained very active, keeping our heart rate up simply trying to survive by walking, climbing, and running – often from predators. Our lifestyle maintained a slower pace, and our sleep patterns followed a more circadian rhythm.

And yes, we were afraid. For millennia, we human beings were regularly exposed to fear from predators or opposing tribes out to get us, or from our own tribal members trying to steal our food or status. I’m also certain our prehistoric predecessors were frequently afraid of the unknown. After all, not much was known at the time, and a solar eclipse may have sent them running back to the cave.

dewey rock room
Are you afraid? Good.

And this brings me back to our nomadic lifestyle, and how I now know it is keeping us alive. Living the life we live helps us live our life to the fullest. For starters, we’re doing our best to keep up the exercise and eat a pretty healthy diet. But this lifestyle can also get pretty scary. Ours does at least, since we tend to frequently put ourselves in one scary situation after another. And that is a good thing.

Our current life is usually too safe…Finally, you may need a regular dose of healthy and safe exposure to real-life excitement, and a little bit of fear. ~Dr. Arash Javanbakht

Akshay agrees, I wonder if the two have ever met. One of his suggestions for living life to the fullest, is to do something that scares you at least once a week. There I go digressing again…

Leaving our lucrative business we left behind in the default life was a pretty scary first step, which we powered through pretty quickly. The dreaded engine ding of death, boondocking in remote spots, spending weeks in Slab City, navigating L.A. traffic with the trailer, and RVing to Alaska all come with a good dose of fear. And that is a good thing.

Danger? Bring it!

We have not had much to fear over the past few months, living in luxury with full hookups and the security of an accommodating RV resort community with all the amenities. All that will change soon as we hit the road again, with many unknowns around the bend and our first marathon looming on the not too distant calendar.

Am I afraid? You bet. And I’m better for it.

What are you afraid of?

2 thoughts on “Be Afraid to Live”

  1. Yup, fear can be immobilizing if we allow it to consume us and prevent us from reaching our potential. We just jumped off the “psychological” cliff about a month ago to go back to our sailing/cruising life. Boy, did we get pushback! It may or may not be a mistake, but we are thrilled to be moving in a direction where passion and love overrule caution and reserve!

    • Right on Joan and Chuck, congrats! That is a HUGE step to take and what a natural fit too. No such thing as mistakes, every move we consciously make to live the life in our hearts is an adventure. You’re in for some good times! If you put a “subscribe to us” form on your blog I’d love to follow along with your next phase in the nomad life (otherwise I fear that I would forget to check it out).


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