In his book “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success,” Deepak Chopra suggests that we embrace the idea of uncertainty, and that we factor it into our daily lives. As he writes,
The search for security is an illusion. In ancient wisdom traditions, the solution to this whole dilemma lies in the wisdom of insecurity, or the wisdom of uncertainty. This means that the search for security and certainty is actually an attachment to the known. And what’s the known? The known is our past. The known is nothing other than the prison of past conditioning. There’s no evolution in that–absolutely none at all. And when there is no evolution, there is stagnation, entropy, disorder, and decay.The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, by Deepak Chopra, 86
I have been mulling this over since I read this passage (not for the first time, but for the first time where I think I truly understood it) last fall. It came up for me again recently, because I am dealing with a situation that brought up some fear of uncertainty.
In fact, I wasn’t handling the uncertainty well. I was getting upset, overwhelmed, and resistant. However, after thinking it through a bit and talking to a friend, I realized that what I was going through was an opportunity to embrace uncertainty.
As Chopra writes, “Every day you can look for the excitement of what may occur… When you experience uncertainty, you are on the right path–so don’t give it up.” (87) In other words, we ought to welcome uncertainty! We ought to factor it in, in fact, and see it as part of the process.
I tell you, this notion is still news to me. As a child, there is nothing I wanted more, craved more, than certainty. And there was nothing I experienced more at times than uncertainty. It easily got overwhelming. Now I realize that perhaps my expectations were a bit off. I see now that by factoring in uncertainty as a necessary part of the experience of living, I set myself up for a richer, happier life.
For example, when you expect there to be uncertainty, I think it can make you more likely to take risks. You aren’t so worried about risk, because, after all, what is risk if not uncertainty? It doesn’t mean you take dumb risks… no, no no, it merely means, that you know that life has an element of uncertainty embedded in it. You are fine with that.
Which sounds like the smart thing to be. After all, we don’t really have any choice about whether uncertainty is a part of life, do we?
I’m certain of it 😉