Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fear Itself

I'm not sure what I experienced. But I experienced it, and other people did too. I'm fairly sure it was a universally horrible experience.

What made it horrible, was that it wasn't our experience, we were merely witness to it.

My friend once pointed out that you can't keep making bad decisions and not have them catch up to you eventually. In a similar vein I read in a book 'it is my experience that life makes us pay for our mistakes... what you are experiencing now is that payment.'

Here is the thing with bad decisions though, they compound perhaps? Yes, my experience also confirms that we have to pay for our mistakes - but this doesn't deprive us of choice in how we pay for those mistakes. And how we pay for them is yet another opportunity to make a good or bad decision.

You can either - take the pain now. Also known as cutting your losses, which is to make one painful payment to get out of the situation. Or you can remain in the situation and make a small payment every day for the rest of your life.

You reach an age where your friends start getting married. You reach an age when your friends start having children. Scariest though is reaching an age where your friends start paying for mistakes they made earlier down the track.

The worst outcome in your career is not perhaps losing a job you quite liked. It is maybe, keeping a job you dislike. The worst outcome in love is not being left by somebody you loved, but maybe keeping somebody you don't love.

What seems ridiculous is how escapable these worst-cases appear to be. It only takes one to end a relationship. An employee can quit at any time. There are exit fees to be sure. But that's the pain you can take now to be rid of the daily pain you will experience otherwise.

I can understand a degree of hesitation, because many of these exit strategies once commenced will carry out on you. What I don't understand is how people feel trapped into simply making payments for the rest of their life.

It must be fear. That's the limit of my imagination. People just must be afraid to set these painful processes in motion.

I like to style myself as thinking, that I'm in respect to the long run MORE afraid that tomorrow will be no better or worse than today, than I am that tomorrow might be worse than today.

A fluctuation I can handle, a long-term trend terrifies me.

While I wouldn't say we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Fear makes for bad decisions it seems, and thus may be one of the things most worthy of fearing.

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