It’s easy to believe that the future you expect is also the one most likely to happen. As nice as that sounds, life plays out differently.
It’s likely that you do not account enough for uncertainty and ignorance in your own life. Not just in your life, but in your thinking, your evaluations, and your decisions.
This is not a criticism of you. If it were, the same criticism must apply equally to me. No, you and I are in this together. We both face the hidden icebergs of uncertainty and ignorance. Some we share together and some are unique to our own lives.
I share this note to create an awareness of how central uncertainty and ignorance are in life, how little we tend to acknowledge and appreciate that, and how much better life gets when we do. We can’t do much to alter the unknowable aspects of life, but we can alter how we deal with them.
Uncertainty is a truly pervasive force. We rarely appreciate how much it exists and how dominant a role it plays until we are drowning in it. Even then it’s mostly resentment, anxiety, and scrambling for stability. If you’re willing to step for a moment and look ahead, it’s not hard to see where there is uncertainty ahead for you.
- The connections and conflicts in your key relationships.
- The path of your children’s or your parent’s lives.
- Industry evolutions.
- Technology innovations.
- Political trends.
- Social movements.
- Stock market cycles.
- Leadership decisions where you work.
- Your health and the health of people you care about.
These are just a few examples of uncertainties with massive impact on your life. Not to mention the minor daily uncertainties that sometimes expand to become more serious situations.
The key is to stay hyper-aware that events are going to happen that will change the shape of the world or the trajectory of your life that you can’t possibly predict with any reliable accuracy right now. If you could, you would possess world-changing power. Instead, like all of us, you make your best assessment in the face of uncertainty with the experience you’ve gained and the information you have.
Ignorance is an equally dominant force. Consider how many things will happen behind closed doors without your knowledge over the next 10 years, with people you know and far more with people you don’t, that will have yet unknown impact on your life in some way.
Over just the next two years you will experience dozens of significant events that you aren’t even aware of right now. They will have various unforeseen impact, open new doors, and close others. I will experience my version of the same. These aren’t uncertainties about known things with knowable consequences. Right now, we are ignorant both to the events and to their impact.
For now, work on awareness. Work on your recognition of these dynamics. Work to make peace with the reality of uncertainty and the presence of ignorance.
Their existence is not up to you. How you deal with them is.
Answer the call. Do the work.
Share your thoughts