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The School of Anxiety is The School of Greatness

Claire Regina Fox | 9:42


How can a man come to know himself? Never by thinking but by doing, try to do your duty and you will know what once what you are worth, reflection and introspection can teach us who we are. Other people can teach us what is possible, but only through action can we create a life worth living?

Do the work then step back, the only path to Serenity. But here's where most of us struggle, we discover a way to a better future. But at the decisive moment when bold action or hard work is called for, we shirk from our duty and hide behind a wall of excuses. Tomorrow we tell ourselves but tomorrow remains us today. Soren Kierkegaard, the 19th century Danish philosopher saw only one way out of this predicament. If we wish to escape from a life of passivity, stagnation or mediocrity, we must be willing to attend what he called the School of anxiety for anxiety, according to Kierkegaard is a Janus faced phenomenon. It has a demonic side which can ruin our life, but it also has a constructive side that can guide us toward the development of a greater self. Which of these two faces it will show depends to a large degree on how we approach the anxiety eliciting situations of our life.

To understand the role that anxiety plays in self development, we must recognize that as humans, we are placed in a unique predicament. Unlike all other creatures who are ruled by instinct and necessity, we must contend with our freedom, we can use our imagination to create new possibilities, and we can project ourselves into these alternative futures to see where they lead, choosing among the paths of the possible and then taking the steps toward actualizing. These possibilities is what leads to self creation and according to Kierkegaard, it is self creation, that is the ultimate task of man.

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