The Annoyance of Uncertainty
I’m a worrier. It’s annoying as hell. When things are out of my control I tend to worry. Not because I want to control a particular outcome, I worry because the outcome is uncertain and may be an outcome I do not want. One I did not ask for.
I think it’s safe to say that all of us like certainty and would like to bitch slap its evil twin uncertainty. We like to know what we are up against. Knowing every aspect of what we are up against lets us plot the moves needed to guarantee our desired outcome. Not knowing all aspects of what we are up against can paralyze us. Don’t believe me? Ask a fainting goat.
I am learning that letting go and embracing the unknown can be rewarding. Let’s look at a couple examples.
The Situation: You’re kayaking on a lake, in the fog. You have limited visibility to what surrounds you. You’re trying to make your way home. You’re tentative because you’re worried about what you may encounter. You slowly move across the water creating what-if scenarios in your head while missing out on the beauty that surrounds you.
The Outcome: The trip home takes forever and when you arrive your nerves are shot. The trip was uneventful and you are left with no story to tell and a need to slam down some bourbon to calm your nerves.
The Situation: You’re kayaking on a lake, in the fog. You have limited visibility to what surrounds you. You’re trying to make your way home. You’re enjoying the peace and quiet. Letting go of the uncertainty that lurks beyond your field of view, you embrace the tranquility of your surroundings. Then out of the fog appears a mother goose. Not just any mother goose. A pissed off mother goose. She attacks. You react by paddling toward home at a speed an olympic athlete would be proud of, all the while trying to keep from shitting your pants.
The Outcome: You make it home quicker than expected and when you arrive you’re full of energy while your heart is racing. The trip was very eventful and you’re left with a great story and a need to slam down some bourbon to celebrate your new water kayak speed record.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, when you let uncertainty control your thoughts you become paralyzed and miss out on what the journey can provide. When you go with the flow and are open to what may lie ahead you can enjoy what is here and now.