“You create your life, and you can recreate it, too. In times of economic downturn and uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to look deep inside yourself to fathom the sort of life you really want to lead and the talents and passions that can make that possible.” — Sir Ken Robinson
Pain is an interesting sensation. It hurts, obviously. Even small pains can sting—like burning your hand on a hot pan on the stove, or whacking your funny bone while closing the bathroom door. Sometimes pain lingers, and we are left to pick up the pieces while also continuing to preserve in the face of a feeling that doesn’t know when to leave. But despite the discomfort, pain also is a signal.
A sign that something needs to change. Or a moment of healing. Or a lesson and story that enables us to grow.
Not that I’d wish pain on anyone of course. Nor is all pain an “opportunity” or a good thing. Caveat caveat. But when we are personally facing pain, we have to do something with it. If not healing then what? If not a chance to change or help others change then we just what? Give up? No. It won’t be an overnight change, but gradually we will move forward, day by day until we find a way to use the pain.
One flavor of pain is uncertainty. We try to avoid uncertainty. But forcing uncertainty to be certain is like wearing a two-sizes too small sweater—half of you is still cold, you’re still stressed and uncomfortable and everyone is in on the joke but you.
2020 has been anything but certain. Personally and culturally. But if you’re reading this, you’re still alive. And if you’re still alive there are endless opportunities you can take.
Recently I was not chosen for a job opportunity. I had three rounds of solid interviews and ultimately someone else was chosen. I asked for feedback, but there wasn’t really any. There was no reason I wasn’t chosen—I just wasn’t. There was only room for one. Their intuition choose someone else. Good. I’m happy for that other person. The company is great, so I’m happy for them as well. Again, there are plenty of other opportunities out there. Now I can focus on them.
There’s very little in life that is truly certain. And many things we deem as certain, such as our career or direction in life, are only certain at a surface level. I’m not trying to be pessimistic. Once you realize that the unexpected is normal, then you have room to embrace all aspects of life and let go of the outcomes.
There’s a difference between external and internal certainty. Just because the world is shaky doesn’t mean we have to be.
Are we focused on our personal essentials? Eating clean. Moving and exercising. Surrounding ourselves with good books and good friends. Meditating. Sleeping well.
Are we making intentional decisions? Choosing work because we want to be, not because the money is good. Hanging out with friends that lift us up instead of tearing us down. Standing for our values.
Are we prioritizing what matters to us?
Part of being a creative person is turning uncertainty into something new and different.
Original ideas are built from uncertain outcomes. We can stack the decks in our favor, but it still takes a leap of boldness to pursue a dream.
Ironically embracing uncertainty makes everything certain.
STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1061
P.S. If you enjoyed this article, consider buying me a coffee ☕️.