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Do you act on your fears, or do you act on your hopes?

By maxwell edison ·
As Yogi Berra once said, when you come to a fork in the road, take it. But which fork do you usually take? Do you take the fork that's born of fear, or do you take the one that offers hope? Do you quit your job because of the potential opportunities that will present themselves, or do you stay in an unfulfilling job for fear of giving up a little bit of security? Do you ask that pretty girl out on a date, or do you pass on the opportunity for fear of rejection? Do you speak your mind in hopes of being understood -- or perhaps even convincing -- or do you keep quiet for fear of appearing wrong or foolish?

Deciding not to act is, in its own way, a decision to take a certain path. In general, how do you base your decisions? Do you base them on what you DO want, or do you base them on what you DON'T want? And should the same questions apply to a nation as well as to an individual?

It's also said that you can't miss a shot you never take. Do you risk taking the shot in hopes of hitting the target, or do you hold back for fear of missing it?

None of us (either individually or as a nation) has the benefit of hindsight. The law of unintended consequences will undoubtedly surface, but whether it be for the good or for the worst, only time will tell. Does the law of unintended consequences ever prevent you from making a decision, or more accurately, compel you to decide NOT to act?

Any and all examples and tangents are welcome. This question has no limits.

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by Tig2 In reply to Do you act on your fears, ...

There was a time in my life when hope was all I really had. And while there were several times over the course of that time when I seriously questioned things like right and wrong, and if I had really chosen the best path, inevitably the day came when I realised that the light shining in my eyes wasn't another oncoming train.

I try to consider the choices in my life as opportunities to stretch beyond the boundaries that I can see. As you, Max, once pointed out to me, it is how we handle adversity that makes us strong and defines our character. I can't think of a single lesson I have learned when everything was roses. But I know a hundred things I have learned from the end of my rope. That being the case, fear doesn't drive me.

Having said all that, I know that doing the 3 Day scares the sh*t out of me. After months and miles of training, I have learned a lot. Unfortunately, I worry that I haven't learned enough or that I have missed some key element in training that will screw me up on the event. Do not take this to mean that I won't follow through with it- I will if I have to CRAWL those 60 miles. But I freely admit that I am scared.

Richard Bach once said, "Argue for your limitations, and they're yours." I believe that. I believe that I can accomplish only those things that I set out to accomplish. There are no "Happy Accidents" in life- one makes their own luck. Even if the mechanisms are not readily apparent.

The day I begin to operate from fear, I have lost. I have battled hard to choose life- I refuse to give up one iota of the quality of the life I have.

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My driver's ed teacher

by TonytheTiger In reply to Hope

told me something that applied to steering out of a skid. I find it also applies to life.

"Look where you want to go, not at what you're trying to avoid, because your actions tend to naturally follow your eyes... if you look at the tree, you're probably going to hit it."

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I'm "risk seeking"

by jmgarvin In reply to Do you act on your fears, ...

I tend to jump in with both feet. Usually I can make it work out, but I've gotten into some sticky situations. I'll shoot for things, even if I don't think they are attainable.

I also get annoyed when companies are so risk averse they aren't willing to try something new. I'm not talking about changing the friggin' world, I just want to try to make things more efficient and better. If I'm wrong, we've lost nothing and if I'm correct it is possible for large gains.

I am too much of a wimp to open my own business, but I think that has more to do with the comfort of having a reliable paycheck ;-)

'Course I always have a back up...I can go work a McDonald's when worse comes to worse. ;-)

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My husband

by maecuff In reply to Do you act on your fears, ...

who is in sales, tells me that there are only two ways to make a sale, either by desire of gain or fear of loss. He's more on the 'desire of gain' side of approach. I guess that applies in general, doesn't it?

It depends. Acting out of fear can be an act of self-preservation in many situations. As far as risk goes? I've never been afraid to jump in with both feet, although, I have to admit, the older I get, the scarier that jump gets. I don't know if it's because I'm tired or if I better understand what can really be at risk.

Given the climate of my current situation, I've got to be ready to jump, because fear isn't much of an option.

Gee, thanks Max. I had put this sh*t out of my mind, being that it's Friday night and all.. now, It's back. And this's personal.

(Sorry..was having a bad 'Jaws' movie moment)

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Mae- Personal opinion

by Tig2 In reply to My husband

So you are automatically entitled to tell me to STFU.

I don't think that you give yourself enough credit. Wrong? No. Most people don't. But I doubt that you have a clear sense of your strengths.

My experience has been that at just the point you can't take any more, you find the strength to go forward. And if you are like most people, you can remember the weakness in you without serious thought but rarely recall the times when you tested your strength and found it in working order.

I am permitted to have a unique view of you- I am outside you and can gauge your capacity without your self prejudice. Sometimes it is necessary to do exactly that. Difficult? Absolutely. So ask someone you trust for an opinion.

I don't think that you "argue for your limitations". I just don't think you give yourself fair credit.

Don't know if any of that helps. It's meant to.

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by maecuff In reply to Mae- Personal opinion

I would never tell you to STFU. I probably don't give myself enough credit.

My personal strength? Believe me when I say I have a great big steel rod that runs right through my center. Again, I don't give myself fair credit, but I don't completely sell myself short either...

Please don't stop giving me your opinion, I love hearing it, it always gives me something to think about!

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Mae, I honestly believe that Tig is right...

by vanessaj In reply to Mae- Personal opinion

She put it so much more clearly and succinctly than I could on the other page...but I agree with her assessment. And I believe she knows what she is talking about when it comes to strength - on every level. You both seem to have it in abundance (and smarts). :-)

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by faradhi In reply to Do you act on your fears, ...

I find my actions are usually a combination of the two.

I have my hopes that I work towards and My fears i work to prevent. Neither is the sole catalist for my actions.

Currently, my greatest hope is to be a dad. We have been trying for two years. Hope keeps us trying. Now we are looking at adoption. Which is a reaction to the fear that we may not be able to have one ourselves.

I hope to see the cubs win the world series. So I am currently working on a plan to live to see 200 because I fear the cubs will not make it in my lifetime.

I save money out of fear of losing my home. I want to be sure that if the worst happens I have enough to cover while I am out of work. I hope to progress in my career that will improve my income. So I study new technologies to increse my earning potental.

I put money into investing for the hope of wealth. However, fear keeps me from day trading.

Fear is just as important as Hope. Fear conditions our actions. Fear prevents me from doing things outside my abilities.

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by OnTheRopes In reply to Do you act on your fears, ...


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That Depends

by Too Old For IT In reply to Do you act on your fears, ...

Job and Medical issues: Act on fears

Everything else: Act on hopes

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