How you can learn to navigate uncertainty
Certainly, we as human have the characteristic of always trying to control everything as independent individuals and owners of our own life and actions. That characteristic lead to a sense of rewarding when tick boxes are marked but more occasionally ends up in frustration and false expectative. These inner emotions become a loop in our life and affects overall mental health and confidence to navigate that sea of uncertainty which is the future.
Is there such a thing as certainty? Familiarity yes, but even that will change over time.
As someone with ASD it would predicate that I need certainty and familiarity, but my 'templates' are varied and I actually like change where I have to use my own knowledge and skills. I can't remember a lot of phone numbers but I can read a map...
Isn't uncertainty that keeps the excitement alive? If you are certain of everything how do you keep things interesting?
I love this quote from James Clear: "Don’t feel qualified? Nobody does.
You can only be qualified to do that which you have already accomplished or trained for.
Anything new is accomplished by unqualified people."
And this is the issue with AI since it’s built on the known. In my family, I’ve noticed that friction occurs because we adapt individually to ambiguity at a difference pace. I’m very much a seeker of the unknown whereas my daughters and my husband find comfort in certainty. My daughter rewatches the same movies and shows constantly but I never do.
One of the issues with navigating in what we do not know, is not to get "lost" in the field of uncertainty and the unknown, be able to move ahead, explore and learn, avoiding fatal "cliffs" on the journey.
Leverage the power of requisite variety in embracing volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
Love this. Well said. And a big fan of Rovelli's work.
Fascinating topic Rachel. It's been very top of mind for me recently because I've been taking part in a global experiment into uncertainty tolerance and how we are wired to react to it. Worth checking out https://www.uncertaintyexperts.com/.
Great subject, uncertainty.
Sure, we usually feel uncomfortable with uncertainty, mostly because of the sense of vulnerability that comes along with it. Some Psychological Anthropologist might cite the maybe-there-is-a-sable-tiger-behind-this-bush thing to explain it.
I guess we try to fight the sense of fragility that rises from it by holding tight to whatever helps us feel more secure, hence the popularity of articles on “the 5 things you should know/learn/try”. Or to dumb pseudo thinkers or gurus who talk smoke, but with an authoritative tone.
It is like ‘Give me my certainty, who cares if it’s illusory’.
But a high sense of certainty kills curiosity, wonder, the need to explore, the desire of discovery. It makes us stop asking ourselver, searching for answers, thinking.
It turns us into a bird tightly clinging to a cable because it has forgotten it can fly.
Uncertainty is the trigger to thinking and reasoning. If welcomed, it enables us to look inside ourselves, investigate our abilities and find out how to navigate that ocean of things we don’t know. It makes us switch the autopilot button off and grab the steering wheel.
I’m part of a generation of young people that face uncertainty and doubts in more spheres of life than many of the generations before. Especially after the pandemic, we’ve been hit by anxiety and similar issues due to the lack of certainty. We need to realize that uncertainty is not some quicksand that will bring us down. Instead, it is a wide blue ocean full of beautiful stuff to discover; and if we learn how to sail, we will be able to avoid the sharks. Unfortunately, every time we unlock our smartphones, we’re bombed with false promises of certainty that prevent us from learning that.
I find that "total ignorance" and "complete certainty" are often one and the same. When people are completely certain, it's often because they are totally ignorant of what they don't know, and yet they (we) often think it's because they (we) have all this knowledge or ability in that area.
It's worthwhile taking a moment of meta questioning (or rethinking), "If I'm so certain or confident, and total confidence is often a sign that one doesn't know what one doesn't know, what could it be that I don't know about this situation, and how could I find out?"
Love the beginners mind by Suzuki. Lifelong learning is the path to progress awe and magic. Not knowing is a great place to be, to not know what happens next but to be ready and alert. ❤️