The only certainty is that nothing is certain. Pliny, the Elder
It is sobering thought that all our mighty plans are subject to uncertainty. This reality will help us temper our urges and help us prioritize more rationally and realistically. That is one of the greatest advantages of the hard reality that nothing is certain. One of the rare certainties in life is death and yet how many of us are prepared for it. Unless diagnosed with a life threatening illness, we would rather make plans for the future where we will live in than prepare for a future without the possibility of us being there. Part of the reason for such a line of thinking is because we would like to avoid all negative thoughts and that apart we often look at death as something happening to others. True, there is uncertainty about when we will die.
If you are alarmed, the good news is that uncertainty also provides hope. There is nothing certain about your life style or future; in fact it can turn much better. Who knows you might hit the jackpot if at all you buy a lottery ticket or your next job might be your dream job. Optimism, faith and hope are the 3 corners of the triangle called life. Even if you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, if you simply hold on to any or all of these corners of the triangle of life and do not give up you will be able to visualize the light within you and the tunnel is no longer dark.
When nothing is certain, it also means that changes will happen for the better or the worse. The challenge for us is to grasp the changes that suit us best and let go of the others which might be more alluring but really risky. E.g. A challenge for any professional sportsman is to decide when to retire from the sport. Endorsements and income could be tantalizing but will the body and spirit be able to cope up is the question. The future at this point may look uncertain but one can prudently switch to other options like coaching being a commentator, look at staring own sports academy etc. The take away here is that uncertainty can be very positive for it holds out ample scope for new growth and success.
Remember: “The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.” Erich Fromm
- Watch a magic show. You are certain there is a trick involved but uncertain how exactly the trick is performed. Attempt to understand how a certain trick is actually performed. Alternatively, attempt a few magic tricks yourself. First learn the trick, then practice it well and then attempt it on others. You will realize how it feels to be both uncertain and certain about your ability to perform and fool the audience.
- For a week track all the various jobs that are problematic for you to handle. Evaluate how many of such jobs were problematic because you were uncertain about how to tackle it or how to prioritize it. Eventually how did you get around the problem?
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