A military father is putting his five year old son to bed.
He has just returned from a three month overseas deployment.
He finishes the story and turns off the light, kissing his son Good Night.
His son tightly grasps his Dad and says, “Daddy, don’t leave, I’m scared of the dark”
Having been given intelligence on this situation by his Long Haired Admiral, the Dad reaches into his pocket and pulls out a flashlight and gives it to his son.
“Man cub, keep this flashlight right here and whenever you are afraid of the dark shine it around to chase away the darkness. it’s ok to be scared. Because without Fear we could have no courage. And without courage people could not be brave and do amazing heroic things.”
“You see son, Darkness is scary because it hides what we can’t see but once we shine the light, it chases away the darkness. Without darkness there could be no light and the light gives us hope and happiness and enables courage”
The little boy shined the light around the room and smiled. “Thank you Daddy. I’m not afraid of the dark anymore.”
Fifteen years ago I was that father with my son.
As a Navy SEAL, I have done some of the most incredible things most humans can push themselves to do and I have been absolutely terrified at times. But I dug deep, found the courage and Overcame those fears.
Interestingly enough the greatest fears I have encountered had nothing to do with threat of bodily injury, accident, or physical feats. The greatest fears I have encountered had to do with the darkness in my mind.
The demon who lurks within. We all have one.
The Beast, The Demon, The Dragon, The Slayer, The Destroyer, The Naysayer, The Little Devil. All insidious dark creatures who try to convince us we will not be successful and should not even try.
Spare yourself the pain and embarrassment. Quit. Stop trying. You’re worthless. Ugly, too small, too weak, the wrong sex.
For most of my adult life I have tried to destroy that demon. I figured if I could be relentless and positive enough, eventually he would die or give up.
He never has. He is always there.
Not too long ago I was speaking to a friend and amazing businessman, Bedros Keuilian. He like so many other incredibly successful people also wrestles with his demon. He calls his, his Monster.
We talked and he said, “Jay, embrace your demon. The reality is, your demon is what drives you. Your demon is what gives you hope. Your demon is what inspires you to Overcome and have courage in the face of great adversity.
Your demon is the darkness and you are the Light.
In that moment, my friend handed me a blazing flashlight of hope.
I am the Light in the Darkness.
I flashed back to my son. There can be no light without darkness and no darkness without light. They need each other.
In that moment I listened to my demon snarl and growl in the back of my mind and I smiled.
I’m not afraid of the dark anymore.
You don’t have to be either.
Success and your dreams are waiting.
Be the Light in the darkness and Overcome.