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Long ago, as early man had just began to explore his environment, fear and anxiety had an important protective role. Imagine the early cave man faced with the risk of being mauled by a huge tiger, he feels fear, it heightens his senses, it pushes blood to the tissues that need it the most, so that he can either fight or flee. The emotion that arises from a real external threat is fear, like when you are faced with an angry dog. The emotion that arises from a perceived threat is anxiety. Like when you walk alone on a lonely street.
In today’s world we perceive threats very differently. We aren’t constantly weary of animals attacking us, the risks of human life have changed. Being the dominant species of our planet, there is very little outside human society that we have to be afraid of on a daily basis. The biggest fear of the homo sapiens is that of failure.
Failure to live, failure to love, failure to make money, failure to be happy, failure to be accepted and so forth. That is what drives our anxiety up. We live our lives trying not to fail, trying to win every little battle, so that we can reach whatever it is that we set out to reach ! Cant blame this generation though, we were taught in school and elsewhere that failure isn’t an option, you have to succeed. But no one ever took the time to explain to us what success meant, in school yes, 1st rank is success. But in life? How do you stand first in life ?
Now imagine 7 billion organisms in a mad race to be successful on one small rock floating around in space, and each one of them has a different definition of success. All of us set goals and take the steps to reach them, constantly planning ahead and constantly afraid of the consequences of failing on the way. But at the end we all go to the same place, irrespective of where we came from and what we did ! In the long run, considering that most humans are afraid of failure and most of us haven’t gotten a clue as to what success actually is, this post just got very confusing, very fast !
Best of luck with life on earth! Peace out !