If it seems counter-intuitive, keep falling.
Every major decision you make in life is because of fear.
It is drummed into you everyday. Get the job. Get the car. Get the house. Get the career. Only then, will you be happy. This type of rhetoric makes you believe that happiness is somehow a destination. It’s not. A huge house in a rich suburb, only then will you be happy. It tells you that the huge house and wealth is what brings happiness. Wealth can bring happiness, but only so long as it is eliminating fear. Fear moves the world.
Simply put: You only want the good stuff because you don’t want the bad stuff.
Earn more money and the fear of not being able to support your family decreases. The fear of having to lick the maggots from the next door neighbor’s bin-lid lessens. Earn more money and the fear of being a lonely old man, cutting toenails with your four remaining teeth, diminishes. The fear or becoming, that cat weird lady in the pink house, quietens.
Nowadays, it is generally accepted that a lot of money doesn’t necessarily make you any happier. That’s because money can never make you happy unless it is eliminating fear. You may have fun for a while driving your new Mercedes or Ferrari, but its always short-lived. Money can eliminate fear at the beginning and thus, make you happy, but as you acquire more and more money, your belief about ever having to eat out of a trash-can diminishes, and so does your happiness. The money isn’t stopping the ultimate fear of death, so it stops making you happy.
In modern society, daily happiness usually means solving problems that stop, or quieten, a particular fear. Think about it.
Get a, ‘Great work!’ from the boss and fear about performing badly decreases. Fear about losing your job decreases. Fear that you are not meant to be working there, decreases.
When you have too much money, too much time, new problems develop, although always based in fear. Don’t worry too much, you’re human, its natural.
Fear is there to protect you, but it’s dreadfully annoying, and doesn’t mesh well with modern society, but fear isn’t always a bad thing.
We have to talk about Claire.
Claire worked as an accountant. She was married and had two children that she loved dearly. She was quite conservative and became an accountant because…well because…she could never give a reason why she became an accountant, but she was one, and she hated it.
Her co-workers annoyed her; she never felt like she fit in. As soon as she woke up in the morning, her mouth got dry. She felt nauseous, and no, she wasn’t pregnant. She had to have sex for that to happen.
She was just anxious. Deep down she had a dream to be a writer.
Just anxious? Belittling anxiety is the same as belittling any other terminal illness. Yes, it can be terminal. It can kill you, make no mistake about it. And it’s not a chemical imbalance, so you can forget telling yourself that doozy. You can call it fear of living a lie. You could call it fear of never doing what you really want to do in life. You could just call it fear. It’s really all the same thing.
One of Claire’s closest friends died from breast cancer, and a few months later she entered severe depression. She was strong enough to continue on like usual, but without her best friend, her personal issues worsened. Her friend’s death impacted her greatly. Now in the mornings, along with the dry mouth, the image of her dying friend flashed before her eyes. The idea of going to work and working a job she hated, with the cold reality of death so close, seemed insanely stupid.
Over the next few months she continued to go to work because she was so fearful about what would happen to her family if she decided to leave. How could they survive without her income? In her mind, they couldn’t. She puts her dreams aside, for the four-hundredth and fifty-six time.
She continued on for another six months, when suddenly, due to her poor work performance, she was fired. It came as a complete shock to her family, but not to her. For Claire, it was as if someone just pulled the knife out of her back. Relief. She started writing, and for a few hours each day, she was happy again.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom
The truth is, Claire was never really worried about how her family would survive, because deep down she knew they would be fine. She had a fear of failure. She was fearful of criticism. It took the death of her best friend to make her realize what was important in her life, but even that wasn’t enough. Her decision had to be forced upon her to take action. She had to hit Rock Bottom.
You ever wonder why some smokers only quit, when they get a major illness, or when they are told if they don’t stop smoking they will die? They hit rock bottom.
Rock bottom is the only point where nothing more can happen to you. You move to a position of fearing, to not fearing, death.
Not fearing death means not fearing anything at all.
Rock bottom is where real life begins.
This fearful discussion will continue in Part Three.