WHAT MAKES SAMMY RUN?


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'Love is letting go of fear.'

-Gerald Jampolsky

I have long been fascinated by what motivates people to do what they do (and not do what they don't). In the classic 1940's novel 'What Makes Sammy Run?', a young man named Sammy Glick takes Hollywood by storm, destroying himself and many of the people he runs into in the process. His life is motivated by terror, and while it drives him to success, it also drives him towards an early grave as he runs a race where 'death is the only finish line.'

According to the Course in Miracles every impulse, desire, thought, word or action is motivated by one of two things - either love or fear.

When we think, speak and act from fear, we create more fear in ourselves and in the word; when we think, speak and act from love, we create more love in ourselves and in the word.

To make this distinction a bit more practical, imagine a simple activity that many of us engage in (or think about engaging in) nearly every day - exercise. In and of itself, exercise is a neutral activity. It doesn't seem to care whether or not you do it, although it certainly does appear that your body reacts differently depending on why you do it.

Are you exercising out of fear that if you don't you will be/become fat and slovenly and die unloved in the streets, kept warm only by the rolls of fat surrounding your midriff, or are you exercising because you love how it makes you look and/or how it makes you feel?

It is perfectly possible for two people to go through the exact same exercise routine, one trying to keep away the demons and the other feeding their soul. While the impact on their bodies may be the same, the impact on their overall levels of well-being will be dramatically different.

Does this mean one should never do anything if it comes from fear?

Not to me. But there is no question in my mind that a life lived in service of fear is nowhere near as rewarding as a life lived in the service of love.

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Today's Experiment:
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1. Do a few push-ups or sit-ups as if your life depended on it. When you've caught your breath :-), do a few more as an act of love for your body and well-being.

2. As you go through your day today, be especially aware of what is motivating your thoughts, words and actions. When is it love, and when is it fear? (If you're not sure, try out an even simpler distinction from the author Ray Dodd - is it fear or 'not-fear'?)

3. If you notice your speech and actions are coming from fear, consider holding back until you can move forward with love, or at least with 'not-fear'.

Bonus Tip:
Be kind to yourself! Notice whether you would be doing today's experiment out of a sense of fear of what will happen if you don't or a natural enthusiasm for what might happen if you do...

Have fun, learn heaps and stop running so hard (unless of course you really, really love it!)

With love,
michael

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