Embaracing Uncertainty

IMG_3809I my personal life I’ve always been most comfortable with predictability, I like my habits and I’ve worn deep grooves following them.  It’s slightly ironic then that in my job I’m the complete opposite, striving for novelty, building new things, navigating my company through disruptions.

Over the last few years though I’ve come to realise that as work dominates my life less and less I need to embrace uncertainty in my personal life, I need to plan less, do more new things, go to more new places, learn new skills and do things outside of my comfort zone.  I need to do all these things whilst still being true to myself, a person who’s comfortable with the simple life, has no need for thrills and likes what he likes.

So I’ve created habits to track that encourage me to go to new places, try new things and I’m doing pretty well so far, but I haven’t given up on the things that I’ve enjoyed for years and probably always will.  The strategic in me is still planning for the long term, but being more flexible and objective free in the short.

I see this as essential preparation for retirement as well, which is probably 5-7 years away,  I don’t want it to be a big change, I’m starting to practice for it now, to find out what works and what doesn’t.

This whole topic is explored nicely in a book I read last year called The Antidote, here’s a brief quote:

What motivates our investment in goals and planning for the future, much of the time, isn’t any sober recognition of the virtues of preparation and looking ahead. Rather, it’s something much more emotional: how deeply uncomfortable we are made by feelings of uncertainty. Faced with the anxiety of not knowing what the future holds, we invest ever more fiercely in our preferred vision of that future — not because it will help us achieve it, but because it helps rid us of feelings of uncertainty in the present.

This is a good review of the book.  This is another great quote to end with:

Uncertainty is where things happen. It is where the opportunities — for success, for happiness, for really living — are waiting.

Unfortunately today was entirely predictable, try harder, but not too hard, Steve!

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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