Are you afraid?
We all have our fears.
Maybe it’s a fear of heights.
Maybe it’s a fear of public speaking.
Maybe it’s a fear of failure.
Along with joy, sadness and anger, fear is one of the most basic human emotions.
These days, it feels like fear is always on public display.
There is fear about the economy.
Whether it’s a global focus or a more U.S.-centric view, most economic headlines today are comprised of GDP figures being revised downward, continued unemployment and the need for more stimulus.
Perhaps more disconcerting is the fact that we are now looking at structural unemployment in many economies.
Although the U.S. unemployment rate may have dipped to 8.1% in August, it masks what’s really happening in the country – people have stopped looking for work because they can’t find it…and those folks aren’t included in the unemployment numbers anymore, hence the perceived decline (http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2012/09/07/why-did-the-unemployment-rate-drop-8/).
That’s legitimately something to be afraid of.
There is fear about leadership.
With both political parties having wrapped up their highly orchestrated convention stagecraft (which included both the over-the-top to the bizarre speakers), one can’t help but notice all of the talk about fear, uncertainty and doubt.
While our politicians bicker and point fingers at what we should be afraid of, the real fear should be about the issues of substance – our declining educational competitiveness, our deteriorating infrastructure and our eroding institutions.
And whether it’s on public display or not, I’m sure there is probably fear about your career….and life in general.
Now more than ever, you need to be at the top of your game.
With the twin forces of technology and globalization, we’re in the “always on” age.
If we wish to remain competitive, we must commit to lifelong learning.
As Thomas Friedman reminds us with a great quote from futurist Alvin Toffler, “illiteracy will not be defined by those who cannot read and write, but by those who cannot learn and relearn.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/opinion/sunday/friedman-new-rules.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
Learning how to do things differently.
Learning how to think about things differently.
Learning how to have “no fear”.
That means taking the calculated risk.
That means making the leap of faith.
That means going with your gut.
All too often, fear is what will hold us back from taking that step forward.
It’s our defense mechanism.
It’s our armor.
It’s our way to protect ourselves from a perceived threat.
Yet, what if we can’t see the real threat?
What if the real threat is missing that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?
What if the real threat is not trying something that was going to make you happy?
What if the real threat is your fear?
Well, that ends today.
Whatever the situation, embrace it.
Take the step forward.
Make yourself uncomfortable.
Push yourself into unfamiliar territory.
Life is too short.
Make the most with your time.