My name is Brian McFadden. Right now, I live in Toyohashi, Japan with my wife charlie and son fenix.

How to Reprogram Our Brains to be More Courageous



As a Southern Californian, I suppose you could say that I’ve turned into a sucker for self-improvements schemes.

Of late, I’m wondering if a lot of this stuff is just a turbocharged circus that simply dazzles us into thinking that progress is supposed to drop into our laps like a delivered pizza.

Would Ronnie Lot approve of this posture?

It’s Sunday and I reserve these days for a different rhythm in order to beat despair and recharge the brainpan. These days are well-suited for ancient wisdom to remind of the teeth of reality.

It’s an inconvenient trip to witness nature when you have a newborn at home. I’m not talking about the zoo where we pretend it’s like the real thing. A trip to Montana where grizzles roam. Slipping by an 11-foot croc in the Keys. Or spotting a Yukon wolf in Alaska which means it laid eyes on you well before you found it.

But the closest thing to that is David Ottenborugh narrating a scene from nature. With my son asleep on my chest, I sank into the couch for an episode of The Hunt — a series showcasing the strategies of the predator and the prey.

In Zambia, wild dogs hunt in packs. Adult Zebra are too big and Gazelle are too fit for the pack to hunt. Wildebeest, however, are fair game.

The pack spotted a herd of wildebeest and began the chase. By reaction, the wildebeest took off running in a natural attempt to save their own lives. However, after a short chase, the wildebeest stopped, turned around and presented their horns to the pack. The wild dogs stand no chance against a the horns. Undersized and over-powered, the chase came to stalemate and the wild dogs became powerless. The wildebeest lived another day.

Living in a world where escapism is sold as a commodity, this scene flipped me into a confusion. I didn’t know whether I wanted to do a back flip, take a nap, or purge all my possessions.

Having my son snoring on my chest offered some groundedness. The through-line hit me: Having the courage to stop running and face the enemy head on might be the best option to keep your head above water.

We all have a form of fear on our tails. I suppose the question is when will we realize that fear — like the wild dogs chasing the wildebeest — will forever have better endurance than our pair of lungs and two legs?


The Battle Inside

Stop chasing happiness and start choosing the spirit of repetition