Fear of Nothing - front cover

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Fear of Nothing

Contents

Introduction

1. Waiting for a Rainy Day

2. It’s All One Big Mess

3. Into the Dragon’s Lair

4. Paying the Price of Clutter

5. Digging Out

6. Candles, Lit and Unlit

7. Squeezing the Hourglass

8. A Shot in the Dark

9. Back to the Present

10. A World of Possibilities

11. Ebb and Flow

12. Daylight

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Introduction

Clutter is more than an inconvenience. A busy schedule does more than leave you feeling exhausted. Together, they keep you from taking effective action. They keep you from living your life. They drain the color and melody from your world and turn each day into the same dreary struggle as the day before.

Life is simple. Clutter . . .

READ THE INTRODUCTION

1

Waiting for a Rainy Day

There are no rainy days anymore.

In an earlier age, a rainy day actually meant something. “Rainy day” was almost synonymous with bad news — you could till, plant, and tend your fields in fair weather, but rain would interrupt your plans and send you indoors.

As a farmer in the agricultural age . . .

READ A STORY FROM CHAPTER 1

2

It’s All One Big Mess

Ulvila and Pori were two small towns located on opposite sides of the Kokemäenjoki river. When winter approached, the water in the river started to fill with ice. The ice made it harder for boats to cross the river between the two towns.

Mikko was unhappy about the ice that got in his way when . . .

EXPLORE A CONCEPT IN CHAPTER 2

3

Into the Dragon’s Lair

The fiddler suddenly stopped playing and lowered the fiddle to her side. “According to the old verses, this is an important time,” she said. “When they speak of this year, this is the first thing they say:

“‘The dragon blue admits at last defeat,
“‘An ancient crown returning to its seat.’”

There was no question what dragon . . .

4

Paying the Price of Clutter

Clutter is strangely elusive. You can be surrounded by clutter, yet when you try to lay your hands on it, it vanishes. Enter an obviously cluttered room determined to find and remove the clutter, and you might emerge after an hour with only a handful of items to throw away. It is a kind of paradox. Look at a cluttered room as a whole, and the . . .

5

Digging Out

It can be useful to divide our experiences between the inner world and the outer world. The inner world is the mental world that contains our thoughts and feelings. It is supposed to be a separate, private space. The outer world is the material world of physical objects and movement. Here we may bump into other people and encounter the hard, cold truth of . . .

TURN LIFE INTO A VACATION IN CHAPTER 5

6

Candles, Lit and Unlit

Walk into a café at night, and the candles you see are more than decorations. Candles provide the starting point for the scene you see. You see people and tables, menus and mugs because you see candles first. At a table where a candle has gone out, you see only indistinct figures sitting in the shadows. But at a table with a candle flame, you see . . .

7

Squeezing the Hourglass

On days when Doc Richmore came around with his wagon, Max Rush always found something to buy. One time, he got a pair of scissors to replace the scissors he had broken earlier that day. The next time, it was an extra coil of rope and a hammer. “I could run out of rope or break a hammer next week, or . . .

READ ABOUT SLEEP DEFICIT IN CHAPTER 7

8

A Shot in the Dark

Picture this. You are leaving a store with a bag of groceries, but it turns out you have too much to carry in one bag. You try to organize the groceries just right, but no matter how you position them, it is still too many. What you need is a second bag. You can divide the groceries between the two bags and carry them more easily. But this works only . . .

9

Back to the Present

Science fiction readers learned the mechanics of time travel in H. G. Wells’ 1895 novel The Time Machine. Time periods were almost like countries you could visit. Time travelers visiting a time period in the past would return home by going “back to the future” — a phrase that provided the title for a 1985 time-travel movie. A time machine could break down . . .

10

A World of Possibilities

The weather was not what Marie had been hoping for. Instead of flying home to her birthday party, she would be spending the evening waiting in a dingy little airport. In the snowy weather, her connecting flight would be leaving four hours late, no, make that six hours late. There were other passengers who would be waiting all night, and the airline . . .

11

Ebb and Flow

For Jumble the blue dragon, perhaps it had all become too easy.

Jumble had been collecting treasures for 75 years, storing them away in his cave in the mountains. In his younger years, it took all the stealth and cleverness he could muster to make off with a handcrafted pitcher while an unsuspecting villager’s back was turned. . . .

READ A TECHNIQUE FROM CHAPTER 11

12

Daylight

If you have followed the suggestions in this book, you have seen your world come to life. The change started with the realization that you cannot wait for a rainy day or any other version of “someday” for the action in your life to happen, and that your only chance to take action is found in the present moment. You took away the dead weight of . . .

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Rick Aster

Main Stage

Notebook

Gallery

Aster Farm House

take chances - pay attention