The Practical Applications Of Fear In A Modern World

The Practical Applications Of Fear In A Modern World
Money
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

How much control does fear have over our lives? The question occurred to me after watching the trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s new futuristic tale After Earth, starring Will and Jaden Smith.

In the trailer, we can hear Will say to his son, “Fear is not real, it is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real, but fear is a choice.”

I put the thought in the back of my mind and let it marinate for a few days. Today I had lunch with a friend. He’s a young successful lawyer, who after three years at a prestigious firm has given his notice to pursue a start-up venture.

He explained that the choice was indeed very difficult. The fear of failure, the fear of losing job security, the fear of losing money and respect, the fear of future uncertainty … all undoubtedly weighed very heavily on him. However, he made a choice – a very admirable choice at that. A choice that many people think about, but so few act upon.

fear

Fear is a very primal emotion that actually has many benefits for the human soul. It allows us to make quick judgments when confronted with potential dangers and allows our brains to recall harmful threats so we avoid them in the future.

But beyond these conscious advantages of fear, it has limited application in modern times. No longer are we traipsing through the jungle eating berries and wild mushrooms while being hunted by jaguars.

The dangers we face today are quite minimal, statistically speaking. According to the Department of Justice, the odds of being a robbed in the US are about 1 in 420 per year. I imagine those numbers are significantly greater in any other western country.

Today we have increasingly more control over our environment, yet have much more fear residing in ourselves than ever before. Things like money, health, and how we are perceived in society are causing great anxiety and depression.

The reason seems to stem from the media realizing that stories focused around sensationalist fear capture more people’s attention. Instead of humans evolving past fear, the media has reintroduced this primitive emotion into our lives in excess. With all the reports of natural disasters, terrorism, and school shootings, we have a skewed sense of the real dangers in the world.

Fear is a powerful emotion that can creep into other aspects of your life. It can remain in our minds for as long as we let it, and it gets more difficult to get rid of as time goes by. Often we exaggerate the dangers and focus on the negative effects of an experience instead of the positives.

So how do we deal with fear? I cannot advise you how to best live your life, but at the very least, be aware of how much of your decision making is based on unnecessary fear.

As Franklin D. Roosevelt famously stated, “…the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”

Edward Mullen | Elite. 

Share Tweet
React
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Edward Mullen

Edward Mullen is a novelist, blogger, and podcaster from Vancouver, Canada. He is perhaps best known for the widely successful debut novel, THE ART OF THE HUSTLE — an inspiring rags to riches tale. His other books include DESTINY AND FREE WILL, and most recently PRODIGY. Edward has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of British Columbia and an Associate Certificate in Technical Writing from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Despite spending a lot of his time indoors writing, Edward continues to enjoy the outdoors. He is an avid tennis player, mountain biker, snowboarder, runner, and traveler. For more information about Edward's latest projects, please visit www.EdwardMullen.com.

More In Money

Also On Elite

Humor

This Drive-By Puking Is The Perfect Encounter Between Two Drunk Guys (Video)

Nowadays, basically everyone is walking around with a video camera capable of recording life in a higher definition than most of life should be recorded in, and we are not shy about pulling out our phones to capture as much as possible (even if it doesn’t deserve to be captured in the first place). A […]

World

That Favorite Childhood Memory Of Yours Is Most Likely A Figment Of Your Imagination

Those memories we recall so vividly from when we were children may not be actually memories at all. After rereading the “Ramona Quimby” book series by Beverly Cleary, an American author, Elizabeth McCracken, said last month she believes many of her childhood memories didn’t actually come from her own mind, but from the books. She […]

Life

Why You Should Tell Your Parents You Love Them Every Day

I remember the years as a little kid when I absolutely adored my parents. I wanted them to come on all of my field trips, to be around my friends and to talk to them all the time. They were my heroes, and I looked up to them so much. As I moved into middle […]