Journey of an Introvert: How an extreme introvert's 52-week battle with fear opened hidden doors to understanding ペーパーバック – 2018/3/23
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For an extreme introvert (INTJ), content to be alone for days at a time, it took fifty-two years of avoidance for the author to ignite a fifty-two-week battle with his greatest demon, the paralyzing fear of heights. A Type-A control freak, either competing with society or pushing it away, it was only when he'd reached his emotional bottom that he finally surrendered, pleading for help. His rescuer? Teasing, whispering and provoking him for years, fear, his mistress and muse was waiting for him on a moonlit mountain road, desperate to rekindle their love affair. When he remembered that fear existed for him, a lifetime of frustration exploded into perfect clarity. Fear was more than a physical emotion. It had become a motivational idea. It was time to return to the beauty of internal competition and the audacity of setting impossible goals. Falling back on a well-honed toolbox of strategy, intuition and discipline, the plan was to spend fifty-two weeks at 52 years of age, explicitly confronting fear in all its forms. Incrementally building up to the ultimate goal to skydive, he'd windsurf Maui's north shore. He'd risk putting his motorcycle, and aging body, on a racetrack. Precarious cliffs snow skiing would become the norm. He'd even fly multiple aircraft, from gliders to military combat trainers. Following his plan, journaling his week by week adventure, his notes quickly became an unfolding mystery: Could he actually jump out of an airplane by his 53rd birthday? When the question changed to, "Had his life prepared him to ultimately face his biggest foe?", his mystery became a memoir, splicing together 52 years of adventure with his 52-week journey into fear. At the end of the year-long confrontation, it only took 52 in seconds in free fall to arrive at an ironic and overwhelming paradox. Piece by piece, memory by memory, the intricate jigsaw puzzle of his life had become clear. At its core, it's a story of how he challenges life, but more importantly, himself.
Athlete, adventurer, author, and introvert, Dan has lived and worked around the world: Bermuda, Lisbon, Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, Shanghai, Bangalore, Maui, and Japan. To fund his lifestyle, Dan has worked in the banking, finance and technology industry since 1986 in various roles from software engineer to consultant to Chief Information Officer. Born and raised in Nebraska, Dan played collegiate football at the University of Nebraska and at University of Nebraska at Kearney. Divorced with no children, he lives in Northern California. When not challenging himself with adventure sports, the martial arts, and work, Dan spends much of his time refining his golf swing and studying the Japanese language.
The book is written well, descriptive, and easy to read, which is not common for this genre. Following Dan’s path through his insecurities, fears, failures, and accomplishments is enlightening. Whenever I encounter or hear about these successful, go-getter types, I get the impression that they’re just naturally confident without an ounce of fear or doubt. Dan clearly describes all this and the hard work necessary to overcome these struggles and go after what he wants in life. He doesn’t always succeed, but that’s part of the lesson. But, man, he has succeeded a lot.
The book covers not just his goals and adventurers but his personal relationships with family, friends, girlfriends, and wives. Dan describes his approach to setting goals and tackling them, methodically taking a goal apart and coming up with a long-term plan. I understand well how his frankness and cold view of a problem rubs people the wrong way when working in a group. He suggests methods for dealing with this and recounts very interesting (funny) conversations he’s had with the hater types who want to get in the way.
His adventures are fun to read. As a bonus, if you like football (American), you’ll find this book even more of a kick.
I don’t consider this book to be a “You can do it!” type of book in the traditional sense but truly inspiring in a unique way that I haven’t experienced in other books. The book truly resonated with me on many levels and can make you think about your life, goals, and other experiences in a way that most people don’t, or won’t. The author is without a doubt, a very unique person and I felt this book was genuine and he didn’t hold back sharing his true feelings and thoughts. Very well done.