Conquering Fear

One of the challenges of having big dreams and visions is that it can sometimes be difficult to quiet the mind when it’s time to sleep. Such was the case last night. Fortunately I was able to sleep in this morning and don’t have to work until this afternoon. The question that kept turning over in my mind last night primarily dealt with how to engage Rick Tumlinson, founding partner of Space Fund, as a collaborator in this project. Rick gave a stirring presentation in the Mars Society conference two weeks ago, and he was recommended to me as the person who could help arrange the financing to go to Mars. I emailed Rick about a week ago, but have yet to hear back from him.

I think that one of the things that I struggle with most in this journey is fear. That’s probably a common issue for most people, and fear keeps so many dreams from ever seeing the light of day. One of the things that occupies the most time for me on a daily basis is just working on being in a winning frame of mind and conquering fear. Some may suggest that there are more important things that I should be doing with my time, but I believe that shifting my paradigm is the most critical aspect of what I’m doing. Can I really go to Mars if I’m full of fear and doubt? The primary manifestation of fear for me seems to be that people are going to reject my ideas, particularly the people whose support I need. It seems kind of silly to me that I don’t really have any fear about the prospect of being launched on a rocket full of highly combustible fuel, spending two and a half years in solitude in the the most hostile conditions ever encountered by man, with the very real likelihood of never returning home, and yet I’m afraid to talk to people. Go figure.

Fortunately I have a couple things going for me in the struggle to overcome fear. First is a pretty solid history of success. Most recently I was really worried about opening this blog to the public, but I took the leap just a few days ago and linked it to my Facebook and Twitter accounts. The traffic on the site has been steadily increasing over the last few days, and I haven’t been bombarded with ridicule from people who are a lot smarter than I am. I’d like to just say thank you to everyone who has visited and taken time to check out what I’m doing. Whether you think it’s madness or genius (or mad genius), I really appreciate your interest. I would love to get some feedback on what people think of the Mars NOW project. In particular, I’m getting ready to do a post that addresses some arguments that I’ve heard, and I need your objective perspectives. So far I think the big concerns that I want to consider are: “Doing a solo mission is too risky”, “Why do we need to have people on Mars when we can just send rovers?”, “Aren’t you a little old to be doing this?”, “SpaceX already has plans to go to Mars. Why not just leave it to the experts?”, and “But you don’t have the technical expertise to go to Mars.” These and other probing questions (lay ‘em on me!) to be answered soon. Stay tuned!

The other big thing that I think that I have going for me in overcoming my apprehensions is some great information about success principles. I’ve shared before about the influence that the Life Leadership organization has had on my journey. At a recent conference I was speaking to one of my wife’s mentors and he suggested that utilizing a training program called Power Sales University might help me find and enlist the aid of some particular individuals. I wasn’t quite sure how this was supposed to help me. I never considered myself much of a salesman and had never really aspired to that particular occupation, but I decided to take his word for it and check it out. The Power Sales University program really helped me think about how to communicate with people focusing more on what I can do for them rather than what they can do for me. I think that sales sometimes gets a bad rap (not always undeserved), but we all try to influence others to consider things from our perspective on a regular basis, and this program just teaches how to do that more effectively. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m trying to sell anyone on the Mars NOW project, but I’m trying to share the vision and enlist collaborators.

Speaking of Mars NOW, when I shared this blog on my Facebook page I had a spark of curiosity about where else I could promote it. I started to search for the term “mars now” and discovered that it’s in common (or at least not uncommon) usage. I also found that someone had filed a trademark application for “#marsnow” a couple years ago, but it didn’t appear that the application had gone through. Just to clarify, I was previously unaware of these references and I’m not trying to infringe on anyone else’s intellectual property. If anyone takes issue with me using the totally awesome name “Mars NOW”, please let me now and I’ll devote all my mental effort into coming up with something even more amazing. That being said, I’m thinking that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to trademark the term, just to avoid potential conflict down the road. I have no intention of being like the Wright brothers and spending years of my life my considerable fortune embattled in litigation against people who used my ideas, but I figure that might prevent people from accusing me of stealing their ideas.

That’s all the time I have for writing today, but I’ll have more soon. Thank you again for joining me on this adventure, and please share this blog. Dream big, and keep your eyes on the stars!

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