First, a definition.
“A seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement” in today’s world seems more commonplace than absurd, but for the sake of this article the irony was almost too perfect.
How many times have you said or heard something like this?
- “We’re living in the most uncertain of times.”
- “I can’t wait for things to get back to normal.”
- “I miss the simpler times.”
- “Remember *event*? Those were the “good ol’ days…”
I hate to break it to you, today isn’t really any more uncertain for you than the day before you first heard about the potential of a pandemic.
Before you stop reading here and start preparing your email, social post, comment, or whatever other means by which you plan to inform me of the 100-year pandemic we’re currently facing – let me stop you. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about what got us here, why we’re here, and how it’s really no different that any other time in our lives. Stay with me a few more minutes and you’ll see what I mean.
The nature of existence itself is uncertainty and unpredictability.
We have always lived in uncertain and unpredictable times. It’s why we’re taught (and reminded) that “life can change in an instant” and “you never know what tomorrow will bring.” It’s because it’s always been that way.
Certainty only exists in the past.
As human beings we are creatures of habit and have a basic and innate need to feel safe and secure. It’s why we take the same route to work, have the same morning routines, watch movies we’ve already seen, get the same haircut every time, and go out of our way to protect our status quo. It’s why we call it our “comfort zone.”
The critical error is that we’re equating “comfortable” and “familiar” with secure. I’d go even further to say that not only is it a critical error, but it’s a recipe for disaster.
How many times have you seen the “guy that’s been there forever” get let go? The company that’s “been around forever” go under. The “thing” that never happens, happens. All the time, right?
So back to the paradox…
We have always lived, live now, and will forever live in a world that’s entire fundamental nature of existence is uncertainty. In essence, the only thing certain is further uncertainty.
Okay…so now what?
First, take a breath.
Second, understand that since uncertainty is at the very root and essence of existence, then it can’t only be a bad thing. Too often we place a negative connotation on uncertainty because it’s usually connected with an unwanted change. Finding the winning lottery ticket is also rooted in uncertainty, but we instead we just call that “good luck.”
Be thankful and grateful for the awareness and existence of uncertainty and the unpredictable nature of life.
Humans are the only beings with the ability to “see” potential outcomes in the future. It’s why you still see dead squirrels in the road.
Look at the amazing moments in your life…how many of those start with a “if that hadn’t happened, then I wouldn’t have ever been able to experience this“?
While we live in a world defined by uncertainty, we also exist in a world defined by laws of physics.
“But if everything is uncertain how do we have physical laws?”
I knew you’d ask that, so here you go:
One of those laws is the “Law of Polarity”
The Law of Polarity states that: “Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet.”
In essence: if A, then B also. If there’s a negative there must be a positive.
It’s our social conditioning that teaches us to fear and focus on the bad things that “could happen if…”
Once we’re able to breakthrough the terror barrier (another blog on that later) and we, quite often, prove our own ability to achieve more, do more, be more, and experience more.
May 5, 1954 and every day prior to that - it was physically impossible for a human being to run faster than a 4-minute mile. Simply couldn't be done.
May 6, 1954, 25-year old Roger Bannister completed the mile in three minutes, fifty-nine and four-tenths of a second. Ten years later, Jim Ryun became the first high-school runner to break the 4-minute barrier.
Our ability to control our reactions and respond accordingly will be the difference maker.
The thing to remember is this: we’re in this together from a perspective of supporting each other through the tough times, but your ultimate outcome is solely and completely determined by you and your actions. Be there for your friends and family. Be supportive and understanding in every way you can, but don’t lose sight that your recovery and theirs aren’t connected.
There has never been a time (in modern history) where every single living thing was impacted the same and nothing benefited. It’s never happened. Through every economic downturn there have been countless businesses and individuals that have prospered.
- During the “Panic of 1893” Thomas Edison founded General Electric.
- In the midst of the “Panic of 1907” General Motors was founded.
- A couple things happened in 1929 – the stock market crashed and a depression started…and two brothers incorporated their business. The brothers? Roy and Walt Disney.
It’s far easier to spot an opportunity in a crisis when you’re looking for it and (most importantly) open to receiving it.
Yes, we’re in the midst of a terrible pandemic and staying healthy should be everyone’s primary concern. A lot of people are also experiencing an economic crisis, but this you have far more control over.
How you bounce back will be up to you.
Knowing that the only certainty that exists is the past…channel the possibility and the power of your imagination to create a certainty in the future beyond your wildest dreams.
What will your success story be?