This week, I came across two posts about the value of resisting/overcoming the effect of fear, and a related post about what makes people aim for more impact in their work:
First, Anandi and House of Peanut was inspired by my post about how work-life balance isn't just for parents to write about how letting go of fear was instrumental in helping her achieve the work-life balance. She has a part time schedule in an industry known for long hours (technology). How did she get that? Well, for one thing she asked for it. Go read her post to learn more.
Next, Coding Horror wrote about a presentation he gave called How to Stop Sucking and Be Awesome Instead. He's got some good points. If you're intrigued by the post, I recommend downloading the full presentation, too- there's more good stuff in there.
Although they don't focus on this point, I think both writers are well aware of the role of money in supporting their "fear-free" lifestyle: if you genuinely NEED that job to put food on your table next week, it is hard to be fearless. This was sort of the point I was trying to get across in my post on buying happiness, which annoyed so many people. I may come back and try to discuss this again at some point, because I truly think that one of the best things I do with my money is save it so that I don't have that fear at work.
Finally, Cal Newport had a really interesting post comparing himself to another mathematician who has published similar, but higher impact papers. He hones in on why the other guy might be better equipped to produce papers worthy of high impact journals, but I wonder if there is also a fear component- i.e., that some people aim for a lower impact journal because they fear rejection from the high impact ones.
So what do you think? Are you fearless? Do you think that conquering fear is as important as Anandi and Coding Horror argue that it is? Is fear related to whether or not you aim high in your professional life?
I'm going to be busy and unable to check in on comments on this post much this weekend- I don't usually get a lot of comments on my Weekend Reading posts, so that probably won't be an issue. Of course, you guys will all be nice to each other discussing things in my absence! But if something weird happens and a flotilla of trolls shows up or something... I'll squash them when I can, I promise.