Embracing Life Requires Embracing Uncertainty

Uncertainty is scary. There's potential for loss, for pain and for difficulty. There's no guarantee of success or even opportunity. But for all of the risk that uncertainty brings, if you're not diving in headfirst, you'll never grow. Carol Dweck, a well-known Stanford University psychologist, introduced the concept of a growth mindset.

Those who have a static mindset believe that their intellect works like an algorithm, you input questions and receive answers and if an answer isn't there it returns a "False Input" message. On the other hand, those who do adopt a growth mindset see their intellect as this live, cross-referenced database where ever piece of additional information expands the potential for a more complete understanding of the world.

As Voltair once noted, "Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one." The reason isn't that certainty is bad but rather that it requires nothing of you. You become complacent, apathetic, ignorant and outdated. A better option is to live in a constant state of uncertainty with short retreats back to certainty for a little R&R. In that outer rim of uncertainty we're pushing boundaries, uncovering truth and exploring new ideas no matter how seemingly insane they might be.

I'm working on a new project that's way out of my league. I'm not quite ready to unveil the specifics to the world just yet but the short story is that it's way to big for me to tackle on my own. In the preliminary research phase (which I've been in for months), I've found myself wading through seas of information that are seemingly endless. But with every piece of information I discover, I understand that sea bit better.

If I'm going to do this, I need guides — people who will give me direction and key insight that will help me gain momentum. That's the beautiful thing about uncertainty — others who have gone before you can act as your guide. And though it doesn't make the road certain, it does make it easier to navigate. Surround yourself with good people who share your values and share your heart, then don't be afraid to push forward into the unknown.