The political philosopher Thomas Hobbes argued that 'men fear not only the present but the future as well. It is impossible for a man, who continually endeavoureth to secure himself against the evils he fears, and procure the good he desireth, not to be in a perpetual solicitude of the time to come' (Leviathan: Or the Matter, Form, and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil, Chapter XII). In a century where law was dictated by religious dogma, Hobbes used reason and empiricism to identify the innate characteristic of all and every individual: that fear hinders us but it also drives us. Since as far back as we have existed we have always been driven by some form of fear, either to survive, either to run from danger or to venture out into the unknown. Often these series of choices had little degree of certainty but if we didn't follow through on them the feeling of regret would be monumental.
Several months ago I asked myself the one question that individuals have been asking themselves for a millennia: what is my purpose in life? Just the idea of this question brought about anxiety and nausea. For so long I felt as if as was walking through life being a creature of social and economic conformity with no real purpose aside from existing. The mere notion of this chilled me to the bone. How can I go through life with no real purpose and make no real difference in the world? The first stage of fear kicked in: I was living a routine life and adding no value to the world around me and I wasn't part of anything significant. After all religion and philosophy has taught us that we were brought here for a reason. Even those that do not believe in a higher power will say that as inhabitants of this planet and as members of this global society, we should be making a difference. Adding value to society is what makes the world tick. Funnily enough it was the first stage of my fear that drove to me make a life-changing decision. It was also this decision that brought on the next stage of fear: fear of the unknown.
I decided to pursue my passion of writing and all things beauty. Interestingly enough passion and fear go hand in hand. What we are most passionate about is what drives us and is also what fears us. I made the decision to quit my job and what I thought was the career path for me, to then work on actually making a difference. But how does writing about beauty and writing about my general thoughts really help? Again extreme fear set in. Can I really sustain my passion for writing to in turn make a difference? I pondered over these questions for some time. To me these questions equated to the unknown and as we know, the unknown has feared us for as long as we can remember.
After a lot of soul-searching I realised I was asking myself all the wrong questions; questions that were actually more negative than positive. What I needed to do was change that feeling of fear into optimism. What did I really fear? Was it the fear of no income? Was it the fear of no stable and routine job? Was it the fear of failure? Or was it the fear of rejection? Yes it was of all these and more but can I allow these series of fears dictate the future of my life and the ability to make a difference? Absolutely not. I have a passion and I feel this passion can become something more than just a pastime. I feel like I can talk about my experiences in the realms of beauty and life and share it with others. Monetary remuneration and walking up the social or fame ladder has nothing to do with it. Yes there is no certainty and yes I will always be in a state of perpetual solicitude of the time to come, but I will have no regrets because I know I tried. The biggest reward is when you know you have made an intrepid choice and you have overcome the fear that is associated with it to have then succeeded. Never allow yourself to be hindered by fear of others and most importantly the fear that often exists within yourself. Fashion that fear into drive and walk into the unknown with a belief in yourself and a belief in what you are capable of. When you can be aligned with this thought process you can really achieve anything and you will definitely make differences beyond what you have ever comprehended.
Having made the life choice that I have made, I haven't looked back. Everyday I work and write with the knowledge that I am making a difference. Everyday is a happy day, knowing that I quashed the fear that loomed over me and now I look to the future and the unknown with one foot ahead of me, and a smile on my face.
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