Americans don’t take roughly half of their allotted vacation time because of fear. Vera, if you ever find yourself in the position of being afraid to take your allowed vacation time, know that it’s time to take stock of your life.
Sixty plus years of life has convinced me that fear is the most persistent and powerful force in the universe. And that one key to a happy life is to overcome it.
It’s no easy task. In fact, some people may say it’s an impossible task. But they’re only partially right. It is impossible to conquer fear entirely, but it is quite possible not to allow it to dominant your life.
But it may take some planning. And willingness to take some risks (or what will be perceived by many people as risks).
If you’re going to be beholden to anything eternal to you, such as an employer, a particular client, an image or certain position in life, then it’s likely you’ll fear losing that thing. And it’s possible that that fear will lead you to do things you’d otherwise not do, and to feel things you’d rather not feel. It’s because the thing owns you.
The antidote to fear, in my experience, is freedom: the freedom to walk away, the freedom to live your life in harmony with your values and heartfelt desires.
Yet freedom can be illusive. Things seek to steal it, to deprive you of its glory. Fear tells us freedom is risky. Unreliable.
To the contrary, the risk lies in allowing fear to convince us that the other is the source of freedom and happiness. And that it doesn’t reside within.
We think we need more than we do. Fear convinces us of that.
Many people are afraid to spend time away from the office. They fear losing their job. Or their privileged position.
I hope you know freedom, Vera. My hope for you on this Labor Day is that you’ll never be afraid to leave the office and, if you find yourself in that position, that there will be a path out to freedom.