Hollow Certainty

As humans we are programmed through the ages to move towards certainty. Our brains are hardwired to constantly make sense of the world we live in. It does not like uncertainty. It needs to predict what will happen next in order to be prepared enough to survive.

We live in a society that creates certainty for the same reason. There are traffic laws so that we can predict what the other driver is supposed to do. We have social norms in relationships in order for us to feel save in such a relationships.

What really puts my mind in a spin is the fact that everything changes. Change is the only constant we can be sure of. How come we spend so much mental energy to create mind maps that gives us this hollow certainty?

Take the weather for example. There are some times, when you can predict weather well for the next 15 days. Other times, you can’t predict the next two hours.

“The business climate, it turns out, is a lot like the weather. And we’ve entered a next-two-hours era. The pace of change in our economy and our culture is accelerating — fueled by global adoption of social, mobile, and other new technologies–and our visibility about the future is declining.

Any business that ignores these transformations does so at its own peril. Despite recession, currency crises, and tremors of financial instability, the pace of disruption is roaring ahead. The frictionless spread of information and the expansion of personal, corporate, and global networks have plenty of room to run. And here’s the conundrum: When businesspeople search for the right forecast–the road map and model that will define the next era–no credible long-term picture emerges. There is one certainty, however. The next decade or two will be defined more by fluidity than by any new, settled paradigm; if there is a pattern to all this, it is that there is no pattern. The most valuable insight is that we are, in a critical sense, in a time of chaos[1].”

We try to create certainty of this chaos by labeling them with theories like the Chaos Theory or the Evolution Theory. This really helps me a lot. I like it when I can put a name to something. At the same time, it does nothing for the experience of chaos that is constantly there. Of course we can deny it and belief in preconditioned reality, but is this authentic (and save) enough to live in?

I understand that I am part of this chaotic system. My challenge is to engage with this chaos, taste it, feel it (not my fear) and excel in it.

But I must be honest – I still hold on to the edge with one hand.

With a spinning head.


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