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ENG_112 Fear Setting – 800 words

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Assignment instructions: View the TED Talk by Tim Ferris called “Why you should define your fears instead of your goals.” Use fear setting handouts to practice his process; you do not need to include these handouts with your essay submission. Read along using the transcript linked here (Links to an external site.).

In his TED Talk, Tim Ferris discusses ways in which he uses stoicism to make decisions and thrive in high-stress environments. He describes the ways in which people may overcome self-destructive behaviors by “fear-setting.” His three step fear-setting process suggests that by first listing what-if scenarios of what you fear, then exploring what may be gained by successfully navigating your fear, and finally what it may cost you to avoid what you fear, you gain the perspective necessary to examine what may be holding you back from making difficult choices that could improve your life.

“So around 300 BC in Athens, someone named Zeno of Citium taught many lectures walking around a painted porch, a “stoa.” That later became “stoicism.” And in the Greco-Roman world, people used stoicism as a comprehensive system for doing many, many things. But for our purposes, chief among them was training yourself to separate what you can control from what you cannot control, and then doing exercises to focus exclusively on the former. This decreases emotional reactivity, which can be a superpower.” (Ferris)

Writing Prompt:

Complete the fear-setting handouts linked here (Links to an external site.) and draft ideas about choices you’re contemplating related to school, work, and/or your personal life. Then, in an essay of 750-900 words, describe how you typically make decisions about difficult matters and how applicable fear setting may be when you make decisions in the future. Your essay should have a distinct introduction, discussion with specific examples, and conclusion. First person is expected, but DO NOT include apologetic or redundant phrases such as “I think”, “I believe”, or “In my opinion”. If you include a quote from Ferris’ talk, use proper MLA documentation of (Ferris) at the end of a quote with a period on the outside of the parentheses.