“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”
The human condition hungers for certainty.
Yet, nothing new or creative was ever born from it.
It’s a constant dance, in the middle of “Certainly!” and The Uncertainly, “Of course!” and off course, where anything out of the ordinary appears.
Whatever changeup from the way life is currently and/or comfortably going, whatever crazy dream or aspiration your spirit just won’t let you forget, whatever outlandish step all the pointers of your world are directing you to take…none of these can start with certainty.
For example, our initial offering of The Back Forty INFUSE Program was over a two day weekend in 2015. We had no certainty whatsoever as to how the content would be received, and were basically only putting on our first program as a pilot…to see if the message stood the chance of empowering people.
The response – and testimonials – were surprising, but we had only intentions going in…no certainty or even expectations.
Another example is our Back Forty Broadcasts, happening every Wednesday on our site live stream at 10:30am PST and on Facebook at 12pm. They started out with me in front of my computer sharing a tip or two, with no understanding of the technologies involved (YouTube Live, BeLive.tv) nor even any format. We just began as an experiment. It has evolved into an interview format, sharing ideas and great inspiration from leaders in the second half/best half of life mindset…and is both a helluva lot of fun for me as well as contributing to viewers.
No certainty going in, and even seeming certainty of unworkability many times in the midst of trying, but out the other side comes something valuable.
These are just our recent experiences in The Uncertainly. What are yours?
It pays sometime to remember the FIRST time we tried a new thing, especially if that activity has now become old hat and second nature to us. It wasn’t that way in the beginning.
Remembering these instances of The Uncertainly can support us to take risks even now, and now, and now, as we move into our greater yet to be.
The bigness of the game we want to play will determine how willing we are to reside in the not knowing.
Robert Burns said “There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.”
That means, don’t wait for certainty…because it’s a mirage. If you see it, run away. If you don’t see it, run toward.
Where can you play bigly, even in the face of off-course-ness and The Uncertainly?
Here’s a few tips to support you to engage in and embrace The Uncertainly:
Pick an area where you have wanted to make a move, whether it be a dream you’ve wanted to pursue or simply a new habit you’ve wanted to incorporate. Just pick something to use as your test case of embracing The Uncertainly because, if your success in whatever it is had already been assured, you’d likely already be pursuing it.
Lock yourself in to some new routine, schedule or commitment to devote time, energy or resources to whatever that thing is for you.
Is it signing up for a 3 month salsa class? Is it devoting 2 hours per week to research some subject in the library? Is it committing to send out 5 inquiries a week to ask for meetings with people doing something that you’d like to know more about, possibly a new career direction or hobby?
Whatever it is, lock yourself into engaging in that thing for at least 3 months, and get a buddy to hear your commitment. Tell them that you want their support to keep pursuing this thing for AT LEAST 3 MONTHS and, if you waver, they are allowed to beat you up to get you back onto your game.
Whatever it takes, simply do what you said you’d do and keep to your schedule for those 3 months.
And, when the voices come up to say whatever they say that would take you away (and they WILL come up) – “This will never work”, “I look stupid doing this”, “I’m not cut out for this”, etc. – just let them fall upon deaf ears because you have committed to a schedule, and you gave your word. Plus, your buddy will beat you up if you stop!
After your 3 month commitment to action and engagement on that thing ends, simply take a sober and loving evaluation of yourself and your interest and expansion into it.
Are you further along than when you started? Is there any more certainty, facility, or understanding from which you can now operate? Is it worth your committing yourself to yet another 3 months of experimentation to grow further in this thing?
Get your buddy to assist with this assessment because, if you’re like most people, you’ll discount your own growth and development. You’re around yourself all the time, so it’s hard for you to see your own expansion. But someone on the outside can see what you can’t. A good buddy will beat you into submission to have you realize how much you’ve grown, even in the face of your cynicism.
Notice that you are making a PLEA for your own courage and support to live the life that you think about but usually talk yourself out of even starting.
Just start, move into The Uncertainly, and you’ll build a muscle for more and more certainty around your second half/best half of life to unfold.
Your radical, playful, passionate and purposeful Back Forty is here for you, in The Uncertainly!
“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.”
“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”
There’s a difference between growing in the wind and blowing in the wind.
We start out with a vision, we set goals, and we move towards their attainment.
By doing so, invite in every challenge and deficiency of being necessary to achieve those goals and fulfill that vision.
Sometimes we’re swayed by those challenges or demands for our upgraded beingness. We can think something is wrong and get upset…in forms like doubt, anxiety, confusion.
For example, we moved forward into 2017 as the first real growth year of The Back Forty and, like wild-eyed dreamers, set some audacious goals. Keeping up with them – both in terms of time and beingness – has been like being strapped onto a medieval rack: it’s amazing how much stretch can come out of some bodies!
20/20-hindsight questioning of the methods, means or even validity of goals set is the first, default reaction to missed deadlines. Blowing in the wind can then result.
Yet, realizing that every step of the way, whether a timeline was kept or not, the mere fact that goals and deadlines were in place brought up every what-we-need-to-know-to-grow element required.
In The Back Forty, we say “you have yet to do what you came here to do”…which means, yes, you got it, more growth. And it’s the very challenges, obstacles and beingness barricades of the environment which shape your budding tree.
Can anyone say a tree “should have” grown differently than it did? Based on environment, opportunity, and an inherent, unique pattern of design, it just grew.
People, plans and organizations often look different in the end from how they begin.
The point is: flexing, growing in the wind, to become.
Jeff Bezos of Amazon was quoted as saying “We are stubborn on vision. We are flexible on details.”
Here are 3 Ingredients to GrowFlex, the best dreams and goals fertilizer on the planet.
Pull out from the chaos what has been attained, learned, defined, refined, clarified or requalified in the process of goal-minded pursuit. There may be a lot of crap to sort through, but manure has always been the most valued growth agent.
A dual-purpose ingredient, involving both the revision and adaptation of deadlines to meet new information while also Re-Visioning by reminding oneself of the initial and overall raison d’être.
Living like your life depends on it…while snickering behind the scenes that’s it’s all just a Big Game you’re playing to grow.
Where can you grant yourself and your dreams some GrowFlex today?
“No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you’re still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.”