If I ask you what you want your overall lifestyle to look like, you will likely think of what you desire for your life.
A different perspective to help answer that question is thinking of what you don't want in your life. What do you fear?
You will find that what you don't want in life, what you fear, is, in most cases, the inverse of what you desire for your life.
"Fear and desire are two faces of the same coin." - Not sure who said this
An example of this desire and fear perspective applied to my personal life is my health.
I want to be in great shape, be able to cycle a century ride (I enjoy cycling), have sustained energy, and have a clean report for my annual physical. That is the desired perspective.
The fear perspective is I don't want to be chronically overweight, have deficient energy levels, and be put on medication due to the consequences of being overweight.
During the pandemic, I started establishing bad habits that got me closer to my fears. Some bad habits were overeating due to stress (from the pandemic and other things happening) and not exercising as much as I used to before the pandemic. While writing this blog post, I am trending away from the fear scenario toward my desired scenario.
The balance of the two helps motivate me from two angles, desire, and fear.
We see this fear and desire motivation in action when we use it to incentivize ourselves to complete a goal or milestone. You may reward yourself with something you desire if you achieve a goal. You may lose money or have other consequences if you don't reach a goal you set out to complete and others hold you accountable.
Fear-based motivation generally helps you in the short term, while desire-based motivation helps in the long term. Use both to help you push towards making positive decisions in your life.
Applying Desire and Fear Perspectives To Your Life
Think of the various areas of your life like:
- Personal Development
Think of these areas or others you think of from a desired perspective. What do you want your life to look like in these areas? Your results from reflecting on the question are your desired motivations.
Next, think of the areas from a fear perspective. What do you not want your life to look like in these areas? Your results from reflecting on this second question are your fear motivations.
The goal is to make decisions and take action to get closer to your desires and further away from your fears.
Something to note is you can be happy along the spectrum in the area. You don't need to reach your desire to be content. Strive to make each day help you get closer to your desires for the area.
Analyze the different areas of your life and look at them from the perspective of desire and fear for each region.
This reflection will help create two points for a specific area you can reflect on to estimate which one you are closer to.
Each day take action to help you drive closer to your desires and further away from your fears.