Fear a little less in your life by doing more every day. After all if you are afraid and you let fear to sit at the head table, when are you going to get the chance to sit next to your dreams?
Work and deadlines are the key to fighting our fears. We will always experience fear in our life. It is never going away because being afraid is part of who we are, it is an undesirable by a very biologically useful part of our being. We often wish we didn’t have to face our fears, but what we don’t see that without those fears we wouldn’t feel the pressure to live meaningfully.
Work and deadlines. Deadlines and more work.
Let’s spend a little time on work for the moment. Getting to work and getting things done can do wonders for your well being. We talk of work as that drunk uncle nobody wants to see at Christmas, but in fact work is our life. Everything we do and are is a result of work. Babies can’t feed or change themselves. Bananas from Chile are not going to magically appear in the store all by themselves. Stories are not going to just appear, and whatever is on your mind and deeply pressing on your heart needs to find life in the sacramental, sacred duty of work.
We have to work smart. We sometimes get tangled up with the illusion of work. We appear busy. We tell everyone that we’re busy, but in reality we are simply moving a piece of paper from a to be. We are building or contributing to something that really doesn’t matter. We don’t know why we do it, we don’t see the purpose of why we do it, and we fantasize about the time when we no longer have to do it. This isn’t smart work. It is paid work. What we need is to somehow find, maneuver, discover, and create work in our lives that matter.
At first this work might be appear to be a hobby. You can only devote so many hours a day to it, but you do, and slowly, over time what you do for one hour a day, turns into something you do all weekend, and in turn might very well turn into work that allows you to earn a living and be able to dream up more work to do.
We could spend a lot more time here, but it’s important to move on and speak about deadlines. Dead. Line. What a wonderful hidden metaphor. All of the work that we do has to eventually come to an end. It has to come to the end of the line. It has to ultimately die. But not just die, that’s failed work, busy work, work that doesn’t matter. When you honour deadlines, your work comes to the end of the line and dies, but it is resurrected into something else. Your work inspires and transforms you and those around you. A good deadline allows you to finish one task in order to move on to the next one. It is a death with possibilities and those possibilities need a concrete date and time.
You probably wish you had more time and could prepare a little more. You wish you could have studied more and you don’t like the look of those rain clouds. But we don’t get to live forever here. Our lives are finite. We meet our own deadline and for that reason we should learn to be comfortable and bring our work to a natural conclusion.
This conclusion should be obvious before we begin. It doesn’t have to be exact and there is flexibility in moving it a little, but no matter what it is you’re tying to do, there has to be a finite amount of time, and a finite amount of resources which you are willing and able to commit to the work.
Work and deadlines.
These are two practical solutions to overcoming fear. They are worth revisiting and practicing as much as possible.
Meaningful work will make you a better human being. It will give you the confidence and peace you’ve been waiting for. Meaningful work might even change the world.
Cover photo generously provided by photographer Michael Dam.