"To use fear as the friend it is, we must retrain
and reprogram ourselves...We must persistently and
convincingly tell ourselves that the fear is here--with
its gift of energy and heightened awareness--so we
can do our best and learn the most in the new
Assuming excellent health and amazing medical
advances, I am at the midpoint of my life. (106 would
be great age to make it to, don’t you think?) When I
look back over the last half (okay, I may be a bit
optimistic here) I find that the things I have done
that I feel the best about are those things that I
was afraid to do and did anyway. The flip side is
also true. The biggest disappointments in my life
came from opportunities that came my way that I
didn’t take advantage of because I was afraid.
When I was in high school, I had a chance to go to a
summer program at Cornell University. Here I was, a
kid from Leon Valley, about to be a senior at John
Marshall, and I decided that I couldn’t hold my own
after I looked over the very impressive reading list.
It was 1969 and that would have been a very
interesting summer program. And right after I
graduated from U.T., I had an interview at an
advertising agency in San Antonio. I blew it off
because I didn’t think I would be good enough to get
The case could be made that I’m where I’m supposed
to be and honestly, I’m very happy with where my
life has taken me, but I do regret giving into the
fear. Now I try to blast through those fears –
especially the ones that tell me I’m not good enough
or smart enough or talented enough.
What I’ve discovered is that whether I’m trying to
create or attempting a new adventure, when fear
pokes its head up, I acknowledge it and then go on.
I ask myself, “What am I in danger of not
accomplishing if I let the fear become a barricade?”
When my fear of not fulfilling my dreams becomes
stronger than my fear of not doing well, or not being
perfect, or being embarrassed, it becomes easier
to “pull out all the stops” and get past the obstacles.
What are you afraid to do? Why not go
ahead and risk embarrassment (or whatever else
holds you back) and try?
My latest opportunity is hosting a community access
program on cable. Info Matters
is Eddie and Del
Mims’ show and they let me host it every third
week. The next one will air on September 11 at 10
AM on Channel 20. I’ll be interviewing Yvonne
www.mymexicaneyes.com), who is starting
her professional photography career and jumping over
any obstacles to reaching her dream. Join us and let
me know what you think.
Last week’s contest was to come up with a new
origin for the term “pull out all the stops” (to put a
maximum of effort into a certain activity – coming
from pulling out all the stop levers in an organ,
resulting in the maximum volume.) This
month’s winner is from my friend and mentor, Debbie
Little-Wilson. Here’s her story:
It was really hot on the day that Betty and
Morticia were out walking by the lake..... They were
both pretty smelly.... Well, they weren't just smelly,
they were hot, sweaty and smelly.... They decided
to rest by the dam....
Morticia exclaimed, "I am going to die, I am so
hot...." (They live in Texas, after all).....
Betty said "I know just what to do!!!!" And she got
up, turned around and started unplugging the holes
in the dam ......
"What are you doing?" screamed Morticia..."Well, I
am pulling out all the stops, silly !!!!!" Betty sighed....
And the two girls smiled as they stood in front of the
dam while they were squirted by cool, fresh water.....
Sometimes, in life the only thing to do is pull out all
the stops to get the results that you need.....
Okay, a puzzle for the logical types out there:
29, 57, 44, 128, 140, 379 – What number (other than
1 or -1) can be divided into each of these numbers
without leaving a remainder? I’ll pull one winner from
the correct responses. The winner receives a gift
certificate from one of my favorite restaurants.