THE MYTH OF CERTAINTY.
Some people are certain about some things, no matter what. But that’s not the kind of certainty we are talking about here. We’re talking about how everything changes. That nothing stays the same. Recognizing that, we can live a more meaningful and purposeful life…by living in the present moment.
We love certainty. We want to be sure. We like knowing. We crave security. We like making sense out of situations. We want to be certain of what is and what isn’t. We like to be in control of our lives.
But, what in our lives stays the exact same? When we’re young we’re taught there are ideas/systems/beliefs that we can be CERTAIN of. But the older .we get, the more we realize how LITTLE we know for sure. Instead of feeling less smart, we can experience more GROWTH than when we think we had all the answers
“The number one sign of intelligence is a willingness to change your mind — a lot, i.e. admit you are wrong and readily change your opinions and are willing to admit that they you know the answer.
Most of us want to know; we strive to get it right; to know what to do, when to do it and how to do it…in our relationships, our jobs, our parenting. We want to be certain of what we are doing. We want to be right. We work hard to be right.
Because we’re adults we feel like we should have things figured out by now; like we are supposed to have the answers.
Brene’ Brown describes the difference between living armored and living daringly.
Living an armored life is being a KNOWER and being right and living daringly is being a learner and the process of getting it right.
We can’t be learners if we already have all the answers. Wherever you are in life right now. It’s OKAY not to know.
No matter how smart you are, there is some area of your life that you don’t feel as certain as you once did. How do you feel about not knowing? How do you feel about sitting in the unknown?
Brian Perry, in his book The Myth of Certainty and Other Great News starts by saying:
1) It’s 100% okay not to know the answers.
2) All of us are making this up as we go.
Some of us might be uncomfortable with that. Some us feel the significance and liberation of that! That means you get to take risks and be bold. You get to live daringly. You don’t have to live an armored, walled up, perfect life.
But in order to do that, you must be open to change; to be willing to listen. Brian shares this quote “True listening is the willingness to be changed.”
Ask yourself, how much of a true listener am I? Am I resistant to being changed? Or am I open to a different point of view? Is vulnerably admitting that you might not have it all figured out and that you have no idea what you are doing – too hard for you? After all, Brian says, that “uncertainty is not exactly the most prized of human experiences.”
“But uncertainty comes bearing gifts. When we set aside the need to be doing this life thing ‘right’, when we splash more playfully around in the messiness of life, and when we share with one another the triumphs and tragedies that ensue, we give each other permission to leap, dare, crawl, embrace, fall, learn and love with all our might. We give each other permission to be who we most want to be, to live the lives we most want to live, to allow and celebrate that – and what that looks like will change radically over and over again throughout the course of our lives.”
None of is living the same way we did in our twenties or thirties.
What were you certain of at one point in your life? And what are you certain of now? What, at one point in your life did you feel in control of? And what are you really in control of now? Regardless of your age, is any aspect of your life the exact same as it was ten years ago? How about five years ago? One year ago?
You are not alone. Everything does change. Money, jobs, relationships, time spent, our bodies, opinions. If you honestly evaluate any aspect of your life, you’ll find it has changed, in some way.
Brian writes, “…nothing lasts. That means that whatever pain you might be experiencing right now will shift. That also means that whatever joy you are experiencing will also shift at some point. The key is being in the now. If I know for sure that everything is going to change, then I feel called to drink it in while it’s here, like lapping up cool water on a hot summer day.”
“It can be found right now; in the present moment.
It’s always the last place you look. Happiness is a lot like that. We look for it in all the wrong places. We look to others to make us happy. Or our jobs. Or our money. Where we live. What we eat. What we drink.”
Happiness and contentment work just like that. They are here. In this moment. In our relationships. Our jobs. Where we live. What we have. And if Vikki has taught me anything, it is that it is not the doing of any of those things that creates it. It is already here. But we must notice it. Right now. You see, it’s often the last place we look. Brian asks, “could it be that all these externals are getting in the way of our experience of joy right now?”
I am not against goals or ambitions or drive. I am just simply saying that the achievement of these goals is not what is going to bring you happiness. Let’s say that you set out after a goal or a dream, in whatever area of your life and you achieve it. That’s so great! But then what? What next?
If some far off goal is your driving force. The driving destination. Then what happens after your arrival? Are you then suddenly content and stop striving for something else? Do you have a target that you can achieve that once you accomplish it, will stop all your striving? Is it… if I can just get married or find someone special? If I could get out of this relationship? If I just could have kids? If I can just land that certain job? If I can just make more money. When I can retire. When I can move. THEN I will be happy. Then I will be content.
That is called Destination Addiction – a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job or with the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.
Is it REALLY the destination you are after? The accomplishment? The dream? Or is it the FEELING you hope it will evoke once you arrive there?
If you are going to church to find some sort of peace, then church isn’t the target. Peace is the target. Peace is the goal.
Kobe Bryant said, ““I can remember winning the national championship and being like, “OK, now what? What happens now? My teammates were celebrating, waving champagne bottles all around, and I was like, OK. and outside of that, it was OK, now what? You mean that’s it?” What he had worked for his entire life. He got. And he thought, that’s it?
Taylor Swift in, “Miss Americana”, said she worked her entire life and reached the pinnacle of her career asked, “Now what? Is this it?”
The now famous Valedictorian speech of an 18-year-old boy describes 15 seconds of joy after achieving something. But “There must come a 16th second. And then what?” We must show up fully now. Our happiness is not then. It’s in the present moment. We can’t talk about, dream about, pray about someday then… if we are living our days bitter, pissed off and resentful that we are where we are in the meantime. Meaningful lives, purposeful lives start here.
And the very things that are driving you crazy today may be the very things that you miss in years to come. We must embrace this moment, even the dead spots.
We have two core fears. Losing what you have and not getting what you want. There is one solution: falling in love where you are. – Jeff Foster
Step into the fullest and deepest experience of this life that we possibly can. Be intentional with this one life we have been given.
Brian shares “acknowledging something exists is one thing and it doesn’t require that I invest in it at all. Putting faith in something is a whole other ball game. What I have FAITH in I lean on, listen to and turn to.”
WHERE you are investing your faith and with WHAT DEGREE of intentionality is invaluable. What you have FAITH in, is a choice you are making every single moment. Every single day. It’s the story you are writing for your life and the story you are LIVING today. No one can help you to a deeper experience of the joy of life, if you don’t believe in the possibility of something deeper. Something more meaningful.
There is only one place we can control. And that is what happens between our ears! The stories we create in our heads are the stories we LIVE out.
What we focus on, grows. What we look for, we will find.
“Do what you can, with what you have, from where you are.” “Start by starting. Begin by beginning. You can write the narrative in your head and therefore, the story as you go.”
Find what brings you JOY on the journey. Find something BEAUTIFUL as you start your day. Take 5 minutes to do something every day that brings you joy.
The goals and dreams or even stuff we’ve ever been after, aren’t REALLY what we have been after. What we truly want is what we THINK it will FEEL LIKE to have, do or achieve whatever the object of our desire is.
Feel your feelings, just don’t drown in them. Feelings tell you where you are, not WHO you are.
Go ahead and dream and plan and see it clearly in your mind, but then feel it – feel what’s behind those goals – feel NOW what you imagine it will feel like WHEN you accomplish them! Your feelings can be some of your greatest tools. Embrace them.
Keep your eye on the prize but know that the prize isn’t the prize itself. It’s the journey and the feelings we experience along the way.
Oprah gave away cars to everyone screaming, “You get a car and you get a car.” and the audience went wild with excitement, I am telling you tonight that “You get a life and you get a life. We all get a life” What are you going to do with this one life you’ve been given? “Are you just going to struggle here until someone comes along and gives you a box with a key in it and then everything will be fine?”
The grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence. It’s greener where you water it.
We GET to start showing up to life as if it’s happening NOW. Right now, In this moment.
How many of you love a good road trip? On a road trip, progress is enough. On a road trip, releasing worry over the destination frees you to be where you are. On a road trip, it is the uncertainty itself that adds to the adventure and helps make every moment delightfully sweet.
“Embracing uncertainty will free us up to embrace the adventure of the beautiful road trip we are living RIGHT NOW. Life is a gift! YOU are a gift. Start living NOW, instead of SOMEDAY WHEN.