“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” — Oscar Wilde
The thought of death totally petrifies me. I hate the feeling of uncertainty. I hate not knowing what’s going to happen next.
I can deal with failure. I can deal with shooting for the stars and falling flat on my face. I can deal with making a complete fool out of myself. I just can’t deal with the uncertainty of life after death.
What’s the point of this? Well, I’ve come to accept this uncertainty and I dance with it. Nothing is guaranteed in life.
I’ve also come to understand that safety is the most dangerous thing in this day and age.
What’s uncertainty all about?
According to Wikipedia, Uncertainty is defined as:
“The lack of certainty. A state of having limited knowledge where it is impossible to exactly describe the existing state, a future outcome, or more than one possible outcome.”
In other words, you have zero guarantees and you don’t know what’s going to happen next.
I get really nervous when chasing goals. Before my last pro wrestling show I wasn’t ready at all. I didn’t want to go out for my match. I thought of excuses and possible ways I could fake an injury. My nerves always take control of me.
Then, I just go and adjust accordingly. This applies to traveling alone and starting new business ventures.
Here’s a shocking truth for you about taking the safe road : nobody knows what the hell they’re doing. Nobody is ever certain of anything. We’re all uncertain about everything. Some folks just appear to be more confident. Others just don’t care and avoid safety at all costs.
[Must read: Are You Radical With Your Thinking?]
What happens when you do the certain thing?
Nothing good in the long run. You just keep on keeping on.
I have a friend who’s so predictable and I just can’t handle it. You can guess where he’s going to be at all times and what he’s going to say next. He never has a new opinion, a new idea, or anything interesting to share. Truthfully, I rarely even hear from him anymore because he’s busy being predictable.
I recent shared this article on Facebook about a man who wrote about wasting his life. I usually don’t share this kind of crap, but I really wanted to open some eyes and spark some discussion. The man is 46 and realizes that he didn’t chase after any of his goals nor did he follow through on any plans. He took the safe road and now he’s emotionally bankrupt.
The article finishes off with a startling statement:
“I realized I let procrastination and money stop me from pursuing my passions when I was younger, and now I am dead inside, old and tired.”
That’s just terrible. That’s where the safe road gets you.
What’s The Uncertainty Technique?
This is concept that I’m introducing to you right now. The general idea here is that it’s more beneficial to go after the uncertain route than going for the sure shot. As hopeless as it feels to let go of control, you sometimes have to. There’s no fun in going after only guarantees.
Don’t you want the prettiest girlfriend? The best friends? Top career path? Amazing experiences?
Before we go any further, we need to look at why most of us fail miserably and give up when it comes to the uncertain path.
We either blatantly take the safe road, slack off, or just create excuses.
This brings us to the concept of the lizard brain. This article over at The Huffington Post describes it best:
“The lizard brain is the resistance. The resistance is the voice in the back of our head telling us to back off, be careful, go slow, compromise. The resistance is writer’s block and putting jitters and every project that ever shipped late because people couldn’t stay on the same page long enough to get something out the door. The resistance grows in strength as we get closer to shipping, as we get closer to an insight, as we get closer to the truth of what we really want. That’s because the lizard hates change and achievement and risk.”
Sound familiar? Don’t feel too bad. It took me forever to just type this article up.
What’s your homework?
I want you to overcome a fear and actually start something new. Take on a challenge. Do something different. It can be as simple as finding a new part-time job or joining a new gym. If you’re really afraid, you can try just changing your Facebook profile picture.
Next, I want you to sign up for something or agree to something that’s very uncertain.
Every single person reading this has failed to launch at some point. That’s in the past. Moving forward, I want you to launch constantly and to embrace failure. There’s nothing worse than not trying.
“The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.” — Neil Gaiman