A Life Driven By Fear

Unfortunately, I realize that I am driven by fear more than anything else.

I want to talk about fear.

Because, unfortunately, it has been the greatest motivator in my life. Not love, hope, greed, or joy. But fear.

My favorite quote about fear is from the classic science fiction book Dune, by Frank Herbert.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

– Paul Atreides, from Frank Herbert’s Dune

Hopefully none of us will face the same torturous life and death circumstance that made the main character Paul Atreides repeat that mantra to himself. But fear is a real obstacle to people living a fulfilling life.

In my meditation practice, I’ve learned to identify my most basic fears and try to develop strategies to overcome them. Still a work in progress!

For those who want to see the scene on YouTube from the 1980s cult classic movie Dune, here it is:

Continue reading “A Life Driven By Fear”

The Early Days: Stepping onto the Hamster Wheel

From my earliest memories growing up, I followed the rules. I checked off all the boxes.

And I was miserable.  Little did I realize it, but I had unwittingly followed society’s guidelines that led me to stepping onto the hamster wheel of constant consumption.

Check out this amazing YouTube movie by Steve Cutts which exemplifies the rat race. Yes, I know, I’m mixing metaphors but it’s a really good 5 minute movie!

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My Unconscious Pursuit of FIRE: To Be Unemployment-Proof, Part 2

Shanghai, baby, SHANGHAI! (If you ever watched the movie Swingers)

The second watershed moment that led me to want to be unemployment-proof was the U.S. immigration process for my wife, whom I met in China.

If I thought my career being in jeopardy because of my employment was stressful, imagine how I felt when I discovered my relationship with my wife might be in jeopardy!
Continue reading “My Unconscious Pursuit of FIRE: To Be Unemployment-Proof, Part 2”

My Unconscious Pursuit of FIRE: To Be Unemployment-Proof, Part 1

I wanted all the protection I could get!

Getting back to my story, I must admit that I actually didn’t know about FIRE as a movement until recently. Yet it turns out I had been unconsciously pursuing it for a decade.

And initially I didn’t pursue it out of the dream of living a more fulfilling life. It was fear and anxiety that drove me.

I wanted to become unemployment-proof.

Continue reading “My Unconscious Pursuit of FIRE: To Be Unemployment-Proof, Part 1”

A Long Overdue Breakup – How I Got Laid Off From My Job

An unexpected termination!

My lay off from my job really was like a long overdue breakup with a significant other. Each side knows the right thing to do but doesn’t want to be the first to pull the trigger.

On one hand, you have so much history, so much invested in the relationship that you think that it would be such a waste for it to all come to naught. The good experiences are still there, and you can easily relive those good times of the past. Continue reading “A Long Overdue Breakup – How I Got Laid Off From My Job”