How to Balance your Goals & Fear

May 30, 2018

Confliction of goals & fear..

I feel I’ve always lived a conflicting life.  Perhaps that’s just what comes with the territory of having diverse interests.  Whether it’s my rubber arm when it comes to the party life – and then overdoing it – but also wanting to live a healthy lifestyle.  Or the fact my teenage wardrobe consisted of Abercrombie & Fitch, Dolce and Gabbana beside Metal and Punk Rock band tees.  I feel I’ve always been on the extreme ends of the spectrum.  Ain’t no in between.


As a young, but-getting-to-that-age adult – or at least that’s the way I see it – I’m less concerned with a Slayer or designer shirt, and more conflicted over the direction of my future.

Oh?  You too?  Yeah, not uncommon for someone in their 20’s.  Nor are the options of pursuit uncommon for someone my age.  I’m stuck at a proverbial fork in the road, trying to determine whether I desire a life of travel and adventure, or one of  career accomplishments and financial gains.


Not the worst options to have.


Both these options seem attainable and in front of me.  I have savings, I am educated, have a strong history of employment – though erratic, and have now overcome the fear of living abroad and travelling longer term.


Again, I feel like this particular contemplation is one many people my age these days deal with.  The world has never been so accessible and the opportunities are endless for young people with ambition.

To simplify..

There are two scenarios I continue to play in my head over and over again for my future:


Put my head down and grind for the next 10-15 years and save, invest, create, and repeat.  Allowing me to retire in my late 30’s and early 40’s with the ability to do whatever I want afterwards.  The catch being I give up some of my best years, though I’m a firm believer every year is better than the last – if you do it right.  But the way you experience life changes over time.  

FOMO, y’know?




Travel the world, see it all while I’m young and able, do risky things and live nomadically to accumulate stories.  Live a life of experience and see the beauty that is within our earth.  F*** you money doesn’t necessarily make it into this scenario.


You see, travel and financial independence are my goals.


Given a full lifetime, positive attitude, hard work and some luck these are attainable together in certain forms.  Engineering a lifestyle that includes an abundance of both travel and money is one that’s been done over and over again in recent history.


What the driver of this dilemma really is.. is FEAR


The Fear is Real..

Fear gets in the way of your hopes and dreams more than anything else.  It’s one of the most disruptive forces in the universe.


This fear is whispering in my ear;


“What if you work all those years and then get cancer the day you retire or an asteroid randomly hits earth and you never get to see the world?”




“What if you travel the world, have all these great experiences, but then aren’t able to support a family or yourself in any financial way in your elder years”?


“What if you get tired of living like a damn, dirty, traveling hippie?  But your window of opportunity to get into a great career has closed up”


I was listening to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast the other day.  He was speaking with his featured guests of the day at one point of the podcast about meteors and deepspace.  They were talking about realistically an asteroid could hit earth at anytime.  It’s really just luck of the draw.  Nor are we doing anything to prevent a collision in the foreseeable future.


Awesome podcast, I think it was #725.  Check it out.  That podcast actually got me thinking about the subject of this article.


Okay, so that’s some doomer shit.  If an asteroid hits and we all die, none of anything really matters.  That’s that.


Because you can’t live your life constantly betting on the worst case scenario.  You need to manage this fear.


Likewise, you can’t be obliviously optimistic assuming life’s going to pan out exactly how you wish it to.

Get real, and strategic..

Decide what’s important to you and the type of life you want to live.  It’s like I’m a broken record with this ‘engineer your life plan’ stuff.  Well, because it’s important.


“A goal without a plan is just a wish”

 -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


Consider the alternatives and the consequences of each path.  Best case, worst case and most likely.  Which options sound the most bearable?  Which options have the best upside?  Is there any detrimental risk?


Jump in.  Choose something and go with it.  Try and stick with it.  Everything is going to suck at first – or after the honeymoon phase of the new thing wears off.  I’m not great at this and I know I may have left opportunities on the table. The older I get, the better at this I’m getting and it’s something I’m consciously working on.  


Accept shit is gonna’ happen.  Embrace mistakes and when things do go wrong.  It either makes you grow as a person or can open the door for something even better.


Work hard, keep your eye on the prize and don’t worry about what can go wrong.  Just adapt as you go.  Remember, in the grand scheme of things you and I are just 2 people out of 7 + billion or whatever the official number is these days, in one small point in time.  You aren’t going to get out alive so just do what you want to do, and is going to give you the most satisfaction.



In conclusion..

The fact is, there’s many paths to choose.  So many, that there’s really not a right or wrong direction.  It all comes down to what’s going to fulfill you.


If I decide that growing as a professional and building wealth is most important to me then I might end up until my dying day.  And miss out on a lot of the world may have to offer.  But at the same time, I may accomplish untold feats and provide massive value to the world.


If the path I take ends up being one of adventure less focused on financial freedom, at least I’ll have incredible stories to tell until my dying day.  One benefit of living as a university student, was that it taught me to live on next to nothing.  I know I don’t need a lot to survive with a decent level of happiness.


In reality, if I want it I will probably reach both of my dreams after a certain matter of time and effort applied.  And should that hypothetical, but ever-feared asteroid come and end it all before I’ve seen my goals completed.. None of it will really matter anyway.  All will matter is that I went down swinging doing what I wanted, on my own terms.
From the first word I typed in this piece to now – the ending – I sure haven’t decided which direction I will take.  All I know now is that whichever one I do pursue, it won’t be the wrong one.


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  • Currently located in China, teaching English and working towards Financial Freedom. I write about money, travel, personal development and more!


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