Back when our knuckles still drug on the ground, human beings had a lot to fear if their situation wasn’t secure. Not having shelter security could mean dying from exposure or beating eaten alive. Not having food security could mean starving. Not having companionship security could mean you didn’t pass on your genes by fathering (or mothering) a child. We had an inherent nee for security.

Today, I think there’s something in our genetics that still makes us incredibly fearful of insecure life situations. The thought of not being employed, especially, is something that stops us dead in our tracks.

Unemployment is certainly a huge problem and I’m not trying to make light of that situation. Let’s think about this though - what is the worst possible scenario for you if you don’t find a job.

  • You could lose your home. This is definitely a concern, though one to be taken in strides. For some, it may mean renting instead of home ownership. For others, it may mean moving in with mom and dad again. You may even have to resort to applying for government aid, and in a very worst case scenario situation, you’ll have to choose between living in a shelter and living on the streets.
  • You could not have enough money to buy groceries. You may have to cut back on what you purchase, getting only the bare essentials or apply for food stamps. Again, there is a very worst case situation here in that you might have to rely on a soup kitchen to eat.
  • You could lose relationships. If you aren’t making any money, it could cause marital strain. It also prevents you from spending time with friends, since going out to dinner, seeing movies together, and so forth all cost money. The worst case scenario is that you spend much of your time alone.

Notice that none of these situations lead to death. Even in the most desperate of situations, you don’t have to worry about your lack of a job leading to death.

So why do we fear it like a caveman worried about being eaten by a lion?

We fear it because somewhere along the way, we equated security with success as a society. Anyone who isn’t secure in their lives in some way is a failure. We’re taught it from birth. It’s ok to fail…but make no mistake, you failed. At least, that’s what we come to believe.

But ask yourself this: If you wake up every morning and go to a job you hate with no plans to ever leave said job, isn’t that a failure too?

Lack of security is not a failure, as we’re taught to believe, but rather a transition. It only becomes a failure if we settle into our ways, unable to change because we think we can’t. It’s the fight that makes you the success, not the outcome of what you do every day. A million dollar salary doesn’t make you a success if you day work every day, and a raman diet doesn’t make you a failure if you are actively working to improve your life situation.

Remember, even if the worst case scenario happens, you will be ok as long as you keep stepping forward. The world can throw a lot of crap at people, but if you have a positive, hard-working reaction, you are a success already.

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