Why Selfless is Fearless

By: Jim Murphy

Why Selfless is Fearless (IX Principle #3)


Inner Excellence has 3 Principles (rules for life to memorize and live by):

  1. All things (and everyone I encounter) is here to teach me and help me, it’s all working for my good.
  2. Everyone does the best they can with what they have in their heart.
  3. Selfless is fearless.
    1. Self-mastery is mastery of the ego. Mastery of the ego is to be:
      1. Unoffendable.
      2. Unembarrassable.
      3. Undistractable.

Principle #3 will dramatically change your life if you wholeheartedly pursue the heart transformation necessary to be selfless, so you can be fearless.

Note: Principle #3 used to be: The problem is not the problem, the problem is the state you enter when you think about the problem. This has now been moved to a subset of principle #1. As astute IX practitioners will realize, the third pillar of self-mastery has also changed; undistractable has replaced unirritatable.

Why Selfless is Fearless(IX Principle #3)

“To love is to be selfless. To be selfless is to be fearless. To be fearless is to strip enemies of their greatest weapon. Even if they break our bodies and drain our blood, we are unvanquished. Our goal was never to live; our goal is to love. It is the goal of all noble men and women. Give all that can be given. Give even your life itself.” – N.D. Wilson, author

Yesterday I backed out of an amazing gift of a parking spot at the crowded Puerto Aventuras marina (Playa Del Carmen, Mexico) and heard a crunch. I hit a car parallel parked behind me.

Right away the owner of the offended car came running out. I immediately apologized and was in a minor state of shock. Immediately I wondered, “How did this happen?” I’m normally present and aware when I drive.

I knew I wasn’t present or aware. What was I thinking? Was it about this article due today? Or Taybo’s wedding in Playa Del Carmen tomorrow? Or perhaps what I was going to write for my sister’s (who I deeply love) eulogy on Sunday? Or maybe if I should commit to leasing a villa and move here in February? I was disappointed and down as I thought about the cost and what lay ahead in dealing with this in Mexico.

Then I remembered selfless is fearless. Why was I so concerned? It was because I was worried about my time, my energy, my money. Me, me, me. My life (and all the temporary transactions that come with it) was my greatest concern.

Then I recalled my purpose: to share God’s love, wisdom and courage with athletes and leaders around the world. I thought, “Well… whatever the cost, whatever time and energy I have to put into this going forward, that’s up to God and the universe he created.” Immediately I felt lighter.

I reminded myself that he’s the one in control of my life, my finances, and my destiny. I submit to a higher power, just like we all do. As you may recall, everybody worshipsThe question, as David Foster Wallace so eloquently taught us, is not if you worship, but what you worship. Perhaps it’s success, or money, or acceptance… whatever is at the top of your list in your hierarchy of desires, that’s what you’re worshipping.

Whatever is at the top of that list, the tippy top (as we used to say as kids), has two primary components: your greatest desire and your greatest fear. The farther out of your control it is, the more fear and anxiety will be an ever present threat.

The problem is that so much is out of your control. A virus could create a global pandemic that shuts down all your plans (and everyone else’s around the world). A dictator could invade the country at any moment.

Every time I think about me, my life, there’s always the danger I’ll get concerned, which may become nervousness, which may become lack of vision, and then turn into anxiety and fear.

This understanding, that the #1 obstacle in my life to my greatest goals and deepest dreams is my own self-centeredness, is the foundation of Inner Excellence.

That’s because when I think of myself, my subconscious (which runs my life, along with my heart), will remind me of all my failures and weaknesses. And it knows, better than me, that I don’t have full control of my life.

But on the other hand, let’s say your dream is to be the very best in the world at what you do, sitting at the very tippy top. And then you study Inner Excellence and start to pursue heart transformation so you can have a clear mind and unburdened heart on your journey (knowing that multiple IX clients have reached world #1).

One of the first things you’ll see is how you’ve gotten in your own way in the past (too many thoughts, too much judgment/negative reactions, and too much concern for self).

You’ll realize that your ego (that part of your mind that’s always comparing, always threatened, and never satisfied) is the biggest obstacle to the unobstructed vision and freedom you need to live your dreams.

You’ll also see that being fully present gives you the best shot at your dreams. You’ll see that when you’re fully engaged, heart, mind and body, unattached to your results, you can have the freedom you need to take the necessary risks required to tap your extraordinary potential.

3 actions to take:

  1. Look back on 2022 and see when you were offended, embarrassed, or distracted (from your purpose and your flow of resonance). Those three ego-based characteristics remind you that it’s time for more training on the path to your goals and dreams. If you really want this, you need to be undistractable!
  2. The next time you’re in a social situation, practice the Me, Myself and I exercise at the end of Ch. 2 in the IX book.
    1. See if you can go the entire time without saying anything that will put you in a positive light.
    2. Try to avoid talking about yourself (except to answer direct questions) and avoid using the words me, myself or I.
    3. Note: The purpose of this exercise is to reduce the ego’s hold on you, so you can let go of your fears and connect to your dreams. Remember, confidence is not gained by telling others how good you are, usually that’s just trying to convince yourself. Confidence is gained by facing your fears, connecting daily with your dreams, focusing on your daily routines–and having strict boundaries around them, and getting out of your own way. Remember that fully present is even more empowering than fully confident.
  3. The next time you’re really nervous or afraid, ask yourself if you’re doing this for personal gain or if it’s to share with the world the gifts you’ve been given. If it’s the former, it’s stressful, because so much is out of your control. If it’s the latter… smile and remember that it’s all working for your good, that your primary goal is to learn and grow, and you don’t even know if getting what you want in this case is the best thing for you. Then relax and know that you can now join in with the trees and the grass, the oceans and the fishes, the stars and the moon, who all are non-self-conscious, not out to promote self or concerned for self, but trusting that everything will work out exactly as it should.

I’d love to hear what you think about the new Principle #3 of Inner Excellence, and how it relates to the season of your life right now.

Let’s resolve this New Year’s to be selfless so we can be more fearless, because the world especially needs it for 2023!

Love Jim


The two primary reasons to move here (or anywhere in Latin America) are to become fluent in Spanish and be closer to the poor. A year ago on my visit to YWAM San Diego Baja, I wrote in all caps (and put a big box around) in my journal:


The other exciting thing would be to be a member at the PGA Riviera Maya golf club. However I must remember: I want to live fearlessly much more than I want to play golf. What I want most is to live with deep contentment, joy and confidence in my daily experience with God, and share that with you.


The audiobook version of Inner Excellence is almost done! There will be interviews and new material that you’ll want to listen to. Stay tuned!

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