Don’t fear fear

Fear is used, often unintentionally, to motivate and control people far too often.

  1. Do you study because you love to learn and can’t wait to add something new to your world, or do you study because you’re afraid of failing an exam?
  2. Do you go to work to meet someone’s need and thrive off of the energy that gives you, or do you work because you’re afraid of not having money?

Sure. We need good grades and we need money. But both are measurement tools, not goals in and of themselves. We use rulers to measure how long something is. We use grades to measure how much someone has learned. We use money to measure how much someone has contributed.

That last one may be controversial. To paraphrase Rabbi Daniel Lapan: when you meet someone’s need through a product or service, they give you certificates of appreciation printed on green paper with presidents’ faces on them. If you don’t like your current income, figure out how to serve more people.

I’ve been talking about fear this week. Sadly, many people in your life have scared you into doing what they wanted by threatening your grades or your money. The result is that you feel the need to chase these things directly instead of pursuing what they measure: learning and contribution.

Learn. Contribute. The grades and money will take care of themselves.

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