The following is an excerpt from the book:
Grow a Pair of Antlers: The Fearless Climb to Lead Your Herd
Fearless Climbers are people who seek to conquer their fears and limitations to
experience more freedom. They serve with integrity and earn respect and
influence to inspire their herd more effectively. They value and pursue
freedom above all other goals, but they understand freedom comes at a
price. To become a Fearless Climber, you must embrace uncertainty and
discard the comfort of security. You must be ready to risk the appearance of
foolishness and failure for the exhilaration of the climb and the joy and
wonder at the summit. You must be willing to disappoint some people to
The reward is the opportunity to pursue your passions and live with
purpose and meaning. Freedom opens the door to living authentically. To
honestly express your feelings and pursue your goals. To be free, you must
care less about what people think about you. You will not be able to please
all the family and friends you love. You will have to risk their disapproval.
When you post your ideas into the world, you will be judged. Just accept
that as the small cost of helping the many who are desperate for your
support and encouragement.
Freedom includes the ability to choose how you respond to criticism.
To choose what your mind dwells on. To choose what news, education, and
emotions you allow into your personal space. You must make a conscious
effort to live with intentional purpose and take courageous actions. You
must not fit in with the majority. If people are judging you, celebrate your
big rack of antlers! You have found the path to making your impact on the
One of the reasons we keep our opinions and ideas quiet is to protect
our ego, our self-esteem, our public image. I recently saw a social media
post by an old friend whose son is transgender. She is supporting his
decision and helping him establish a new life as a woman. I was blown
away by the courage it must have taken him to make such a dramatic and
controversial change in his life. And I was equally impressed by the
devotion of his mother’s love. I wanted to post a message of encouragement
to both of them and hesitated. What if my conservative friends saw my
post? What would they think of me? I was ashamed of my insecurities and
fears, especially compared to the boldness of my friend and her son. So I
sent the message. My small gesture sent some love into the world and they
received it. If my other friends want to condemn me for it, that is for them
to defend to the creator of love. It’s not my problem. I learned an important
lesson in courage and my antlers grew a little that day.
Another reason we limit our adventures is to protect our worldly
possessions. We stay in jobs we hate to protect our big houses or investment
accounts. We turn on security alarms to prevent other people from stealing
our stuff. We are striving for some feeling of security and control. I’m not
suggesting you leave your car unlocked and running in the parking lot. But
to be truly free, we must be realistic about the limitations of security.
Security is a temporary illusion designed to help us sleep at night. The
market could crash, war could start, a natural disaster could hit, or we could
take ill - at any time - without any warning or ability to prevent it or control
it. I’m not saying this to be scary and I don’t suggest we dwell on or worry
about any of this. I’m suggesting we do what we can to pacify our fears
about the future, then evaluate the risks and rewards of actions we can take
today. When you focus on the present, you become free to live your best
life now and become more comfortable with uncertainty.
Freedom is risky. It takes courage to give up the convenience of
security. When we are born, we have no freedom. We are completely
dependent on others. As we mature, we struggle against our parents’ rules
that keep us confined. At some point, we must go into the world and fight
for our independence with hard work, sacrifice, and perseverance. Freedom
is the product of discomfort. Much of the success of our life is determined
by how hard we fight for freedom - how hard we work for it - the leaps of
faith we take to get it. Fearless Climbers lean into discomfort because it leads
to growth. They fly in the face of uncertainty because it precedes
achievement. And achievement creates confidence and influence.
You have three choices for your life. You can fight against something.
You can fight for something. Or you can remain passively silent. Silence
empowers the bullies and the haters. It’s time for each one of us to stand for
something and speak out! When you give yourself the gift of freedom to
stand for something, you will unleash the power and momentum of
intention, courage and influence. You will be on your way to changing the
world and making it a better place for all of us to share.