“We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause.” ~William James
Fuck fear! Fuck angst! Fuck existential dread! Turn it all into fuel for the fire of life instead. Life is less about getting what you want and more about making the best of what you get. It’s about playing a shitty hand of poker like a boss. So you got dealt fear, angst, ennui, dread, and a sense of meaninglessness? So what? Play the hand! Own it. Double down on it. Bluff the devil and take God for all he’s worth. Turn it all into gold by becoming unfuckwithable.
Unfuckwithable (adj.): When you are truly at peace and in touch with yourself, and nothing anyone says or does bothers you, and no negativity or drama can touch you. ~Urban Dictionary
Transform fear into fuel for fire:
“The difference between a good life and a bad life is how well you walk through the fire.” ~Carl Jung
Rule number one of being unfuckwithable: Fear is fuel for the fire of doing what you love.
Never forget that. It will get you through just about anything. And even if it doesn’t, at least you’ll have the ‘fuck-it bucket of your daring’ to toss all your fucks into.
At least you’ll have what you love. At least you’ll have your passion. Whatever that is. It will be unique to you. It might even be something that nobody else will ever need to know.
As long as what you love to do is valid and in alignment with the universal laws of health, you can’t go wrong. Be savage. Be fierce. Love dangerously. Love as you live—on the edge. Love on purpose, with purpose. Love like you’re not going to live forever. Because you aren’t.
With a love this fierce, this bold, this full-frontal boss-mode, fear has no choice but to become fuel for its fire. For—have no illusions—love is fire. Fear is its kindling. Because of this, it is the hottest fire that ever burned. No moth can resist it. No moth can survive it. Only the Phoenix thrives there. Or fire itself.
Be fire itself! No fear, but for the fuel of it. No concern, all burn. This is what fearlessness truly is. Your love is a blaze of glory just waiting to flare up. Let it flare through the sieve of what you fear.
Be brave despite danger or hardship:
“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.” ~Thucydides
Rule number two of being unfuckwithable: Focus on what you can control, let go of what you can’t.
You can’t know the future. You can’t control how things will turn out. You can only control how you react to how things turn out. Even then, it’s not about control. It’s about being adaptable. It’s about being flexible and resilient. It’s about being prepared for the worst, even as you hope for the best. It’s about pulling your fragile past toward your antifragile future.
In that speck of hope is all the courage you’ll ever need. A dash of courage trumps an ocean of doubt. Use that courage like a sword. Or, even better, a scythe. Cut through the storm of the unknown. Shred the shroud of not knowing. Slice and dice the thickness of uncertainty. Not for the goal of invulnerability. No. For the transcendence of absolute vulnerability.
Cut with your soul. Meet the danger in the throes of adventure. Meet the glory in the field. Meet the albatross on the path. Meet the Minotaur in the labyrinth. Cut! To cut means to engage absolutely. To cut is to become the sword. Even if you have no sword. Cut. Cut the obstacle until it becomes the path. And if God Himself should stand in your way, cut that bastard down and become one with all things.
Nip fear in the bud through self-inflicted knowledge:
“Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hatred, and hatred leads to violence. This is the equation.” ~Averroes
Rule number three of being unfuckwithable: Stay as close to the edge as you can without going over.
Death is a given. Use it to hone a proper perspective, to sharpen the sword of your courage. This soul-sharpening comes in the form of spiritual circumspection, or existential skepticism. Ignorance will lead to fear and fear will lead to hatred—with paranoia, nihilism, and ennui in between—if you’re not careful.
Stay ahead of the curve by questioning things to the nth degree. Be a razor-sharp question mark in the dark. Just don’t forget to also cut through the blinding light. For blinding light can be just as unhealthy as too much darkness. Be both: a beacon of light that cuts through the darkness and a beacon of darkness that cuts through the blinding light.
Allow uncertainty to become your guide. Just as fear can be transformed into fuel for fire, uncertainty can be transformed into fuel for curiosity. Curiosity is the cure for certainty. It will give you an edge. It will keep you ahead of the game. You’ll be playing James P. Carse’s Infinite Game while everyone else is toppling over themselves in the myopic one-upmanship of the Finite Game.
Most of all, even as it cures certainty, your curiosity will be your guiding light through uncertainty. It’s double-edged. It will help you become resilient despite discomfort. It will help you stretch your comfort zone despite comfort. It will help you become adaptable despite an inhospitable world. It will help you overcome yourself by not getting hung-up on your ego.
Why? Because curiosity is always on the edge. It is always the tip of the spear. It is always foremost. It is utmost, supreme, ahead of itself because it is always on the edge of its seat. It is always cutting, despite the world’s attempts at dulling its mettle.
Use it. Harness its trailblazer essence. Channel its catalyst synergy. Recalibrate the universe with it. Discover the cheat codes hidden in the storm. Do it despite the storm. Do it despite the slings and arrows of vicissitude. Do it despite the worst the tempest can dish out. Do it despite the fear. Do it because of the fear. Do it for the tribe. Then come back and share the magic elixir of being unfuckwithable.
Back to that shitty hand of poker… So you got dealt fear, angst, ennui, dread, and a sense of meaninglessness? Transform the fear into fuel, the angst into hunger, the ennui into curiosity, the dread into humor, and the sense of meaninglessness into meaning. Then go all in.
About the Author:
Gary Z McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide-awake view of the modern world.
This article (Fuck Fear! Transform it into Fuel Instead) was originally created and published by Self-inflicted Philosophy and is printed here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Gary Z McGee and self-inflictedphilosophy.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this statement of copyright.