Once upon a time there were twin brothers called Love Alot and Fear Alot. Lov and Fe for short. The brothers were very different in both looks and temperament. In fact, they were so different that very few people believed they were from the same family, let alone twins.
Lov was outgoing, happy and loved life with a passion. He was never afraid to try something new or accept a challenge. Fe on the other hand was very introverted, worried about everything and always feared something would go wrong.
The boys grew up to live very different lives, no surprises there. Lov became a very successful businessman. Fe on the other hand struggled to hold down a job. People were always giving him opportunities, but he just couldn’t make anything work. However, one thing that could be said for Fe was that he was a trier.
One day Fe, admitting defeat, decided to visit his brother Lov. They rarely saw one another as they travelled in different circles. This was the result of having little in common due to their very different outlooks on life. Fe also tended to avoid his brother because he was afraid he would judge him for his lack of success. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. So summoning’s up all his courage, he contacted his brother, and they agreed to meet in Lov’s office the next day.
When Fe entered Lov’s office his brother greeted him with open arms saying, “Fe it is so good to see you. Take a seat and I will organise my secretary to get us some coffee. Is it still white with 2 sugars?”
"Yes, um, it is," Fe stammered. Firstly surprised that Lov greeted him with open arms and dumb struck that he actually remembered how he took his coffee. They rarely saw one another, so how did his brother remember how he took his coffee, wondered Fe.
They engaged in small talk until the secretary bought in the coffee. After she left and closed the door, Fe said. “Thanks for taking the time to see me brother. I came to see you because I have fallen on hard times. It doesn’t matter what I do, I just can’t seem to make my life work. I get a job, and it is fine at first, and then I end up hating it and eventually I leave. I keep on trying to make things work but the more I try, the worse things seem to get. I wanted to ask you what is your secret, why are you so successful?”
Lov looked at his brother for a moment thinking he really did love Fe, but their very different attitudes on life had kept them apart.
“Well brother”, Lov began. “I don’t really know, all I can share with you is the mindset I use to approach life.”
“I am really desperate brother. So anything that you can share would be much appreciated”, pleaded Fe.
“Okay” replied Lov wanting very much to see his brother happy. “This is the way I approach life. Whenever I am about to do something I ask myself, is what I am about to do, motivated by love or fear. For example, before I go into an important business meeting I ask myself, is what I am about to say motivated by my passion for the meetings purpose. Or is it motivated by fear that my ideas might be rejected? Most people's actions are usually based on some type of fear. This doesn’t make a lot of sense when you think about it.”
“People make up a fear and then take action based on that fear. They literally create a fear and then set themselves up to support that fear. All this does is take them further away from getting what they want in life.
Always remember what you focus on you find. Focus on the fear and that is what you get. Focus on what you want and that is what you get. When your motivations are love based, you just naturally draw to you what you want.”
“Hmmm”, said Fe thoughtfully, “but how can I relate what you have just said to my life?”
“Well let me think”, replied Lov pausing to reflect for a moment. “You said you keep on leaving your jobs. What motivated you to take the jobs in the first place?”
“Err money”, disclosed Fe.
“So is money a fear or love motive?” asked Lov.
“Probably fear, it is not that I love or am passionate about any of the jobs. I just need a job to pay the rent”, responded Fe thoughtfully.
“So you fear if you don’t have a job, you won’t have a roof over your head?” asked Lov.
“Yeah I suppose, but the reality is I have to work”, queried Fe a little defensively.
“Yes, but do you have to work in a job you don’t like or are not passionate about?” pressed Lov. He needed Fe to see that he did have choices that were not based on fear.
“Well I suppose not, but how do I find a job that I love?” exclaimed Fe, becoming a little frustrated with the conversation.
“What are you passionate about Fe?” probed Lov.
“Hmmm I don’t really know”.
“Well if you don’t know what you are passionate about, how can you find a job that you love?” questioned Lov.
“Good point”, acknowledged Fe, feeling hopeful that there might be a solution to his problem.
“What do you like doing?” probed Lov.
“Let me think. I know”, Fe responded excitedly. “I like building things”.
“Great, so would you be happy in a job where you build things?” asked Lo.
“Yeah I think I would be, but how can I get a job building things?” queried Fe suddenly feeling deflated again.
“I think I might know someone who could possibly help you out there. He has a fairly large business building houses and is always looking for apprentices. The money would be poor to start with, but you could build a career and maybe one day have your own business”, announced Lov.
For the first time that he could remember Fe felt some sense of hope and happiness stirring within him.
Before Fe could respond, Lov continued with, “and to help you out initially I will pay your college fees to attend building school until you start earning more money.”
“Really” said Fe with tears in his eyes.
“Really brother, let me call my friend now and set up an interview for you.”
“But what if he doesn’t like me and I have no experience or qualifications?” objected Fe.
“Fe are you passionate about building things?” coaxed Lov.
“Yes” replied Fe.
“Then at the interview just share your passion for building things and all will be well”, said Lov.
So Fe attended the interview and shared his passion for building with the owner of the business. The business owner was very impressed by Fe’s attitude and immediately gave him the job. Fe was overjoyed and for the first time he realised that he wasn’t afraid. When he was sharing his passion for building, all fear had disappeared. He felt comfortable and confident talking to the owner. Something he never thought he would feel.
Fe worked and studied hard. He found to his surprise that he actually liked studying. He had hated school, but studying building was really interesting. This was reflected in his grades when he came top in his class.
Two years had gone by and Fe and Lov who now saw each other regularly, were out celebrating Fe’s promotion to foreman. To celebrate the event Lov was taking his brother to dinner at a very upmarket restaurant.
Over a glass of expensive champagne Lov toasted his brother's success by saying. Here's a toast to you, my dear brother. Not only did you get promoted to foreman, you also achieved outstanding grades in your studies. As a way of demonstrating how proud I am of you, here is a cheque to cover the full cost of your tuition fees.
“Really”, replied Fe, feeling an overwhelming love for Lov. Over the past two years his fear of his brother had been replaced by a deep love.
“Really brother”, declared Lov raising his glass and proclaiming. “Here’s to Fe finding his passion and being motivated by love and not fear.”
“After they had taken a sip of the excellent tasting champagne Fe remarked. “You know when I walked into your office 2 years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I think we would be here celebrating like this. When you first spoke to me about the concept of whether actions were motivated by love or fear, I didn’t fully understand everything you said. However, what I have come to learn is. If I communicate with passion rather than fear, people listen and respect what I have to say. This is what I think led me to get the promotion. Also, I am now much more comfortable around people. I am no longer afraid they won’t like me or think that I am stupid. I have stopped fearing that people won’t like me or what I have to say. Instead, just focus on what I love to do. The strange thing is when I do this, I no longer feel that people are judging me or thinking that I am not good enough.”
“I have also learned”, Fe continued. “Never to say things for the sake of saying them, but to speak quietly from a place of love and passion. When I do this I find I don’t need to be critical or judgemental of others. This is because I am coming from a place of happiness. I have found that as long as I stay true to myself and my passions, I am not drawn into other people’s criticisms and judgements. I just allow everyone to share their thoughts whilst I hold onto the truth of who I am. My passion for my craft makes me good at what I do. So whenever I come from my place of passion I know I am doing a good job. Therefore, I don’t have to worry about what other people are saying. This gives me so much more control over my fears. I have come to realise that passion and love can’t live in the same house as fear. So when I am fuelled by passion and love I can’t be ruled by fear.”
“That is wonderful brother. You are certainly not the same person who entered my office two years ago”, responded Lov affectionately.
“Well that is all due to you dear brother. You never gave up on me, when I would have probably given up myself. When I walked into your office for the first time I fully expected you to be judgemental and critical, but you weren’t. In fact, you were totally the opposite; you were completely loving and supportive. I realise now that you could be loving towards me because your life was based on love and not fear. The more I thought about this, the more I realised because your cup was full, you could afford to fill mine. Had your cup been empty you would have been unable to fill mine.”
Lov just starred in amazement at Fe, thinking how much his brother had grown in two years. “You know Fe I am so proud of who you have become and even prouder to be your brother. You truly are amazing.”
Fe felt his brother’s love and his words touched his heart. It made him feel so thankful that he had summoned the courage two years earlier to seek his brother’s help. “Thank you brother for your kind words. It means a lot coming from you. I do have a question to ask you if that is okay? "Absolutely," Lov responded enthusiastically.
Does this technique work for everyone?” asked Fe eager to know what Lov thought.
“That is a really good question”, acknowledged Lov. “Everyone is slightly different in how they are motivated by either fear or love. I had a close friend who loved his job and was very good at it. However, the problem was that he secretly feared he would mess up and be fired. The pressure he was placing on himself and his family was enormous. He came to me one day to discuss it because he feared he would end up hating his job for all the wrong reasons. He also felt that it was affecting his life and his relationships.”
“So his story is different from mine in that he actually loved his job. So what did you say to him?” asked Fe curiously.
“Well I started out by asking him why if he was really good at his job did he think he would mess up and be fired. He told me that deep down he didn’t really believe he was good enough to hold down such a wonderful job”.
“Yeah I can certainly relate to not feeling good enough”, interjected Fe.
“I think we all can brother. I then asked him why he thought deep down he wasn’t good enough. He gave me a couple of answers that didn’t make much sense given his track record of success. All his answers were based on early childhood events and how he never really thought his parents believed in him. Of course these things had nothing to do with who he was now and his present day success. After a while, he finally admitted that he really didn’t know why he felt he wasn’t good enough.”
“Fascinating”, replied Fe, excited to see where the conversation was going.
“Yes it is, isn’t it. Often people make the mistake of relying on distant memories to inform the present”, responded Lov.
“So what did you say to him?” asked Fe keen to know how the story ends.
“I said to him that it didn’t make much sense to be afraid of something that wasn’t based on any actual present day evidence. This made him think, and he had to admit that I was right.”
“But how did you get him to stop having this fear?” asked Fe, leaning forward eager to know the answer to this question.
“I explained to him that he was allowing a fear that wasn’t real to ruin his life and that fear and love cannot exist at the same time. I then asked him how he could replace this unfounded fear with love. At first, he was stumped by the question. Then after giving it some thought he finally said that the thing he loved about his job was the fact he got to help a lot of people. He then had a light bulb moment. He thought maybe if he focused on his love of helping people instead of his false fear of failure that might help.”
“Interesting, but was this enough to get rid of the fear?” pressed Fe.
“Another good question, brother. It is, but only if you remember to focus on what you love. I suggested to my friend that every time he went into fear that he focus on all the people he was helping. This was the reality, as he was really good at his job. He also needed to realise that if he wasn’t there doing the job a lot of people would be disadvantaged. He needed to focus on all the good he was doing that wouldn’t be happening if he wasn’t there.”
“So did he take your advice?” asked Fe.
“Absolutely because it made sense to him”, replied Lov. “At first it wasn’t easy to fight the fear thoughts, but with practise and discipline he managed to finally slay the dragon and allow love to motivate him instead of fear. The interesting thing about this story Fe is that FEAR really stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Most of our fears are invalid, we never really stop to question them, but instead offer up silly reasons like blaming others or our childhood. If people were to really question their fears they would see that they have nothing to do with the present moment. It is such a common practice for people to allow the past to inform the present. I call it allowing past memories to ruin present day opportunities.”
“So is this why certain guru’s say you need to live in the present moment?” queried Fe.
“It is, but you need to keep in mind that living in the present moment is difficult when you live in fear. All fears are based in the past. All opportunities exist in the present moment, because at any point in time you have a choice of what to think and do. That choice is taken away from you when you choose fear because fear thinking will always lead you out of the present moment and back into the past.”
“But staying out of fear isn’t easy?” questioned Fe.
“No it isn’t, but you always need to remember that love and fear can’t coexist. So by remembering to focus on what it is you love or are passionate about this will keep you out of fear. What you love will vary between your professional and personal life. In my personal life, I love spending time with my children. So when I am with them, I focus on my love for them. I also love to play golf so when I am playing golf I focus on the joy I feel when the ball goes in the hole. Interestingly enough, this technique has made me quite a good golf player.”
“Okay that makes sense, but I have another question. What if someone hates their job and isn’t lucky enough to have a brother like me to help them find a job that they love. What can they do?” asked Fe, still not convinced that it works for everyone.
“The same line of thinking applies as it did with my friend. The only difference would be the person would need to firstly pinpoint something they really like about their current job. Often when people just focus on what they don’t like, it consumes them, and they fail to see what we do like. Have you ever noticed that when you start a new job everything is wonderful, then after about six months things start to go downhill. This is because people start to focus on what they don’t like until it consumes their thinking and then they leave. If they had stayed focused on what they loved about the job, then all the things they didn’t like would not have overwhelmed them. You probably notice in your job, Fe, that you have bad days, but you don’t stay focused on that do you?”
“No I have learned to shift my thinking to my passion or what I love doing. Then all the bad stuff just seems to fade away”, responded Fe.
“Exactly and if people did more of this, they would then be in the right frame of mind to attract a job that they are passionate about”, proclaimed Lov.
“What do you mean?” queried Fe.
“Well, when people focus on what they don’t like, it then consumes them to the point that they feel they just have to get out. They are then willing to take any job just to stave off the pain. A pain they have created by focusing on what they don’t like. Instead of looking for the right job, they take any job just to temporarily feel better. When you are focused on running away from pain, that becomes the primary motivator and not finding a job you are passionate about.”
As Fe listened intently he realised the truth of what Lov was saying. He saw people doing this all the time. It was as if people were caught in a cycle of unhappiness. Making decisions based on their pain rather than their passions.
“Interesting, when I think about it, I realise that was exactly what I was doing”, said Fe thoughtfully.
“This is a common mistake a lot of people make. If someone feels they are definitely in the wrong job and want to move to something that really fits their passion. The first step is to get into the right frame of mind by focusing on what they do like about their current job. This will then allow them to be patient enough to figure out what they really want. Allowing them to secure the right job in a space of love and not fear.”
If I understand you correctly, Lov. What you are saying is the real secret to success and happiness is bringing love into everything you do. This applies both professionally and personally. You do this by firstly asking yourself: ‘is what I am about to do motivated by love or fear’? If the answer is fear, then find a motivator that is based on love and just focus on that. Fear and love cannot live in the same house. When you focus on love, your fears will no longer have any power over you.
Drum roll brother because I think I have this figured out. Let me conclude by saying fear represents destruction, whereas love represents growth. Fear leads to loss, whereas love leads to prosperity. Fear leads to unhappiness, whereas love leads to happiness. Fear leads to failure, whereas love leads to success.”
“Well said Fe. I think it is time for a name change. I know mum and dad meant well when they gave it to you, but you have definitely outgrown it. How about we change it to Laugh Alot. Due to the fact that these days you are so much happier and laugh a lot.”
“Perfect brother” announced La, and with that they both laughed and drank more champagne.