The Money Principle Brain Teaser: what are your fears for the year ahead?
Last week I asked about hopes for the year ahead and shared mine. This week, I would like to turn and face some demons – these are the incapacitating fears that paralyse us and prevent us from being all that we could be.
Facing our fears head on is much recommended by the self-help and motivation literature. In fact, one the most useful and powerful exercises suggested by Tim Ferriss (sorry, was going to link to Tim’s site but my computer tells me that it has been reported as an attack page) in his book The 4-Hour Work Week, I find, is the one involving writing your worst nightmares down and then considering what could be done if they materialise. I did it and was amazed by how transferring the fear from my head on a piece of paper (OK, on screen if we are to be precise) completely disabled it.
Fear, though, has the ability the morph and re-surface; so, I thought that the time has come for another go – this time my question is only about formulating fears.
The question is:
What are your fears for the year ahead?
Here is my answer:
Most people’s fears are about health, security and the economy (both the state of the economy at large and their personal and family economy). This is why, governments are particularly careful and face the most intense controversies, when dealing with these; health, security and the economy are also by far the largest expenditure/investment items in any budget.
I am not worried about health immediately – we are all in good health, may it long continue. It would be splendid if John and I get in form and shape a bit more but this is not a fear: it is something we are taking action on. We are just back from the skiing slopes and I am looking for running a marathon again; it is time!
Most of my fears are about the economy and they spill over into security. My fears are:
The euro may collapse. This may sound as an abstract fear but it will have very real effects for the UK economy (and this is very concrete in our case). Moreover, this will affect our family’s economy severely as well: most of our earnings are in euro.
We will carry the
debt negative wealth for another year, or even longer. This is immediately linked with the first fear and I’ll be so disappointed.
I’ll lose my job. There was a time when academics really had ‘jobs for life’ but this has changed quite a lot in the UK: now we have long term contracts. This still means that we can be sacked only for gross incompetence (which obviously is hard to prove in academia) but it is possible to close departments and make the academics in these redundant. Having said this, my fear may be very misplaced but this is a long story.
Grown-up sons will be part of the ‘lost generation’ of the early 21st century. This could happen; the question is what is there to be done about it and what my role in this could be.
It is your turn: what are your fears for the year ahead?