Uncertainty is a part of growing up.
Everyone is uncertain about the future. What’s going to happen tomorrow? Next month? Next year? Will it be good? Or bad?
There are only questions – never answers.
While it may not be so obvious, everyone is also uncertain about the past. Not so much about whether something happened, but about whether (or not) it was good, bad or neutral.
The only thing that is NOT uncertain is the present.
You know what’s happening. You have the power to choose. You have time and opportunity to act on that decision.
Is that why they call it “present”? Because it’s a gift?
Taking action in the face of uncertainty – of outcome, or intent, or usefulness – is an act of courage, optimism and determination.
It signifies your intent to make things happen.
It’s your puny effort to become Fate’s rudder, turning the ship of your life in the direction you want to set sail.
Lending it power and impact are your dreams.
Dreams span a wide spectrum. There are two poles.
At one end are the “How nice it would be if…” kind of dreams.
How nice it would be if
- I won the Powerball lottery
- I had been the one who founded Facebook
- I went to Stanford business school
- I married Bill Gates’ son!
Y’know, the ones where you sit and wonder how life would be if you met or knew X, got or won Y, went to or entered or arrived at Z.
The dreams which you don’t (or can’t) do much about – but look forward to with all your heart.
Day dreams, really. Fond hopes. Wishes.
You need a fairy Godmother to make them come true!
At the other end of the spectrum are the “I’ll get it done, or die trying…” dreams.
These are fired by passion from your heart. They are driven by a deep-seated purpose, stuff that characterizes you existentially. Fierce motivation that’s inspiring, empowering and self-defining.
- I work with families where parents (and grandparents) commit to giving their all to help little children with life-threatening birth defects survive – and thrive.
- I work with small business owners who try, and fail. Get beaten down, and get back up. Who keep on trying – and eventually succeed.
These dreams need action. They involve making choices. Require extreme discipline and persistence.
And they are guided by optimism that flies in the face of pervading uncertainty.
Many dreams fall somewhere between these two extremes.
But you’ll always sense them as being closer to one or the other.
And you’ll adjust your attitude, action and affect towards making them come true.
Your passionate dreams will always be different from anyone else’s – and so they’ll matter more deeply to you than to others.
Even dreams powered by fiery passion don’t always last forever. The constant uncertainty sometimes takes a toll on them.
But remember this.
No meaningful achievement was made with absolute certainty. Great inventors, scientists, physicians, entrepreneurs, leaders – all of them faced the same uncertainty that you do today.
The difference between those who succeeded, and the others who did not, is their ability to stick on… to pursue their dreams despite their uncertainty about ever making them come true!