Facing the Fear of Tomorrow: E.g., Losing Job & Income

Fear of Tomorrow

One of the most common fears that prevents a lot of people from being happy today is the fear of tomorrow. This fear stems from worrying about losing work, income, or otherwise quality of life. People just think, “I’m good right now, but what about tomorrow?” This is a slippery slope because tomorrow is by its nature uncertain, and anything can happen. So we can worry indefinitely about tomorrow, regardless of how good or bad we feel today, which is a sure way to become depressed over possibly nothing.

From my experience, this fear affects both the “rich” and those with more modest incomes. Almost everyone contemplates a future where they may have to sacrifice their lifestyle due to financial constraints. The vivid imagery of this potential future can resemble a type of death, complete with homelessness, a lack of ability to provide for oneself and loved ones, and uncertainty about where the next meal will come from.

But let me ask you, is this fear realistic? While it is possible for the worst case scenario to happen, how likely is it, especially if we prepare as much as possible for different outcomes? Although we cannot accurately predict what will happen tomorrow, it doesn’t mean we have to live in constant fear of uncertainty. We can, however, take steps to prepare for the unknown and increase our chances of navigating future challenges successfully.

Escaping the Baseline of Happiness

Escaping the baseline of happiness

Happiness baseline theory states that our happiness and unhappiness are predictable. For example, if we are 50% happy and 50% anxious, we will continue to feel that way regardless of what happens. 

This means that whether we win the lottery or lose everything, eventually we will return to our happiness baseline. As such, most of us worry unnecessarily, as even if we solve our current problems and desires, there will be very little long-term improvement or deterioration in our happiness. In the short-term, we may feel better or worse, but over several years or a lifetime, we will feel relatively the same. 

I mention this not to demotivate you, but to provide a solution for escaping the happiness baseline and enjoying life more. If we realize that most of the time we worry for the sacks of worrying over possible futures, pasts, or life events, the real solution for happiness is not found in fixing our current situation, but in fostering emotional intelligence, as it is a much better predictor of our well-being. 

I want to make it practical for you as well, as “emotional intelligence” can sound somewhat abstract.

Preparing For The “What If” Scenarios

What If

To prepare for an uncertain tomorrow, there are a few things we can do:

1. Create a savings account: This account will provide a safety net in case of emergencies or job loss. Saving at least three months’ worth of expenses is recommended, although having a year’s worth would be even better.

2. Live below your means: Similarly, it is recommended to continuously strive to reduce our expenses, as this helps to create a savings account but also allows us to realize that we may not need as much as we think to live a happy and fulfilled life.

3. Invest in future employment certainty: We can achieve this by developing strong job market skills. By doing so, even if something were to happen to our current job, we would have the confidence that we can find a new one quickly. What specific skills will be in demand? It’s hard to say, as there are so many opportunities available in the market today. However, if you are unsure about your current skill set, now might be a good time to invest in further education and enhance your qualifications.

Overall, the opposite of the fear of tomorrow is not doing nothing or being ignorant of what could come. Instead, it involves a calm and collected  preparation for a “just in case” scenario, preferably done with a smile on one’s face.

The Fear of the Future in Other Areas of Life

Fear facing tomorrow

Certainly, this fear of the future extends beyond income and job security to other areas of life, such as relationships, health, and physical safety. However, it’s crucial to remember that just like with income, the future is never guaranteed, and we can take steps to prepare for possible future challenges while also enjoying the present moment. 

Ultimately, no matter what happens, our lives are happening today, right now actually, so it’s important not to wait for a hypothetical future that may never occur in order to find happiness and fulfillment. Instead, we should strive to do our best and just be happy right now, even if things get a little bit rough.

Stay happy today!

Picture of Roman Russo: Author of Optimal Happiness

Roman Russo: Author of Optimal Happiness

Roman Russo wasn't always happy and struggled with his own negative emotions, anxieties, and depression, until one day he pledged to resolve this part of life, whatever it took. The journey took 6 years, but it was worth it. Today, Roman considers himself to be one of the happiest people alive, part of the 1% of the happiest elite, and he now teaches others a working and universal happiness formula to reach a similar goal. He offers his best advice on Optimal Happiness social media, newsletter, blog, and books, and teaches a complete and unconditional happiness formula in his online courses.

“The problem is that of optimization,” states Roman Russo, author of Optimal Happiness: The Fastest & Surest Way To Reach Your Happiest Potential. There is plenty of advice on how to be happier or less sad, but no one is speaking about how to become the happiest we can be. And this is the difference that makes all the difference. By not looking at our maximum potential for happiness, we fall short of achieving it. After all, we all have hundreds of ideas on how to be happier or less sad, but most people still feel like they are not living their best lives. As such, Optimal Happiness explores the question of how to be the happiest we can be, regardless of who we are, where we are from, and what our life circumstances are. It proposes a complete and unconditional formula for happiness and explains how you too can become happy today and forever, inviting you to join the 1% happiness elite and become one of the happiest people alive.

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