Embrace this Paradox for Peace
And the paradox is this: everything is uncertain but being definite sets you free. Say what? Let me explain.
Uncertainty is omnipresent
You’ve heard the old adage- that the only two things that are certain in this life are death and tax. Well, even this discussion is moot with all the 200-year-old-plus meditating Mongolian monks discovered recently, and with tax evasion as real as ever. It turns out our brains don’t like uncertainty much – in fact our brains try to latch onto certainty in order to feel safe. After all, the world of the unknown can be one hell of a scary place! Despite this, it is important to accept uncertainty if you want to be a positively contributing human being in this world. There have been an uncountable number of times where I’ve kicked myself for arguing fervently on a topic I thought I knew a lot about, only to discover (sometimes even later that day) how WRONG I was throughout the discussion. I have been incredibly and stupidly wrong. Many, many times. Furthermore, far too many times have I judged someone else for doing something only to end up doing the same thing myself in a few years or months later.
Equally as many times have I expected the worst from an unfavourable situation and been pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Even more times have I been rewarded for taking bold risks. The reality is that embracing uncertainty allows us to accept that we are inherently wrong – and this is a powerful launch point for growth. In addition, embracing uncertainty enables us to venture into the unknown – the mystical abyss in which things far beyond our imaginations occur. You just have to take the plunge.
Within this worldview of uncertainty, there is much value to be gained by selecting a scope of things for which you can pretend to be certain. As Tony Robbins stated: we get what we tolerate. Now if you don’t know what you are willing to tolerate, accept that you may be taken for a ride – not only by others but by yourself. Maybe this sounds a little extreme and it may be extreme for some cases but when you repeatedly find yourself in toxic relationships; it may be time to make some decisions.
Brain researcher Ernst Poppel states that we make around 20,000 decisions every day. Surely not all of these decisions require dedicated CPU assignment by our minds? You’re 100% right, they don’t! But remember, even making no decisions is a decision – you have decided to let other people decide things for you. Think about this: what are the things in your life that matter to you most and that you would wish could go a certain way? Often there is at least one thing you can take control of in any situation to increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
More is less
In this life, it is a disservice to yourself to not develop the essential skill of decision-making. Being a skilled decision-maker enables you to set standards for yourself, manage your emotions and follow through on commitments you have made – these are pretty worthwhile characteristics to develop if you ask me! Have you ever walked into a store and been completely paralyzed by the vast quantity of possibilities? This is the pivotal conundrum: we have been taught to associate having many options with having freedom yet having too many choices can be paralyzing. Well, here is a simple remedy: constrain your life to add more value to your life. The trick is to welcome the beauty of serendipity but have a framework of things that are ‘go’ and things that are ‘no-go’ (all the while preparing to be proven wrong). It’s sort of like having less clothes in your cupboard- sometimes we feel like we have more when we have less.
So where do you start? Get out a pen and paper right now and write down something that you’re going to start or stop doing starting from this moment. Maybe you decide to learn a new word everyday, maybe you decide to never purchase something over $100 without waiting to see if you still want the item two weeks later. You know what’s crazy about the brain? It listens to you more attentively than you realize. Have you ever told yourself to wake up at a certain time and found that you woke up exactly at that time, even without an alarm? That is the power of your mind. Do not doubt your mind’s ability to carry out its master’s instructions.
Decided what to decide on? If you’re really running out of ideas on something to implement today, let me leave you with this: decide to reframe every ‘negative’ event that takes place in your life in a positive light from here going forward. Did you lose your car keys today? Maybe something bad would have happened if you got in your car at the time that you needed to drive. Did you lose a loved one? Maybe it’s a calling to you to reconsider the way you are living your life or an awakening to jolt you into doing something radical for the world, as an ode to your loved one? Reframe everything that immediately makes you think ‘damn it, why did this happen to me?’
I’ll give you a mindset I’ve adopted for the last few weeks that has really changed my perspective on things, ‘life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you’. You just have to trust in the universe.
Meet her half way
The universe is a matcher of all energies so put out the right frequencies and you’ll get it right back. Decide now to make more decisions and you will get better at it with time. So what if you make a bad decision? Well a bad decision gives you data – data that you can use to improve your skills and scope of knowledge when making decisions moving forward. My top three tips are as follows:
- Journal every morning – here you can identify your input information going into your day, trace out an intention for each day and study the outputs from decisions made throughout the past day.
- Sleep on it – when timing allows for the opportunity, take a night to let things simmer in and wake up and decide which direction is best with a fresh perspective. Nothing can’t be made better by a nap! Except maybe a new haircut and even that is uncertain (see what I did there).
- Err on the side of love – make decisions under with faith that the world is a beautiful place.
Despite what our unconditioned minds would have us believe, the biggest threat to us is not uncertainty – the biggest threat to us is if we allow uncertainty to stop us from taking action. Get out there and make some decisions. Constrain in order to gain.