The Philosophy of Fear

"In general remember that it is we who torment, we who make difficulties for ourselves—that is, our opinions do." -Epictetus

If you’ve been exposed to any semblance of motivational jargon, you’ve heard the following adage more than once: be fearless. Don’t let fear rule you! Fear is the enemy! The irony of preaching fearlessness as the answer is that achieving this clichéd state isn’t what induces action. Fear itself does that. It could be argued that without fear, we wouldn’t actually do anything. Some of our greatest accomplishments come after moments in which we were filled to the brim with fear—that project launch, that presentation, that pressing question that changed everything. It’s the very harnessing of this fear that leads us to astounding ourselves. With that in mind, it may be safe to conclude that “fearlessness" isn’t what we need; a set of right fears is.

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The Philosophy of Contentment

“My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it… but love it.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

How many of us can say that we want nothing in our lives to be different? Not forward, not backward… That backward part being of particular challenge. If prompted, we could likely list countless things from our individual pasts that we wish would’ve been different. If you've ever had the thought, I wish this would’ve happened differently, or not at all, you're far from unique. Feel free to breathe a sigh of relief at that. But let’s talk about something that is unique: taking such ownership of and responsibility for your life that you truly wish nothing were different.

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