Positive Thursday: Why Relative Uncertainty is OK

Why Uncertainty is OK

Good morning dreamers!

How is your positive Thursday going?

Do you ever like to look back on your life from exactly one year back? I do – and one year ago today I was moving from my parents house back to college to start my senior year of college. Beyond weirdness because I am in a much, much different place and life situation now.

Along those lines, happy September!

The first day of the month always is a time for resolutions, goals and kicking off dreams. It’s like a fresh brand new start. Who says you need December 31/January 1 to start over?

While I was thinking and looking back on the past year, I was rereading some of my favorite articles I’ve posted and found an oldie but goodie that I originally wrote for GenJuice.

I wrote this in March – and as most of you know –

If you’re anything like me, you like to know where you’re going to be tomorrow, next week and in the next year.

I’m a planner, and it’s hard for me to approach a day without organization, structure and set ideas.

I recently graduated from college and have come to terms with the fact that planning and structure will only get you so far. As a young 20-something moving across the country for a new job in San Francisco, I’ve been frantically unpacking and packing my belongings before the trip.

I’ve found some pretty insane reminders that reinforce to me that even the best-organized plans sometimes fall to pieces. I’ve found old notebooks full of my “10-year life plans” from junior high and random notes and ideas for how I want my life to go in order each given year.

Seems a little ridiculous, but isn’t there something in us that likes the step-by-step playbook of our lives? There’s comfort in it. But there comes a point where you need to stop over-analyzing and just embrace uncertainty.

Most of you can probably say that you didn’t think you’d be where you are at this given moment five years ago, or even last year. I know I couldn’t!

Don’t Fear the Unknown

It’s OK to have plans for the future, but I don’t think we should base our entire lives around sticking to these plans. It’s more than OK to have goals for the future, but we also need to remember there are things we will never be able to predict. There will always be some sort of uncertainty in life, but rather than fear the unknown, it’s time to embrace it and enjoy it!

One of my favorite books, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson, explains uncertainty perfectly:

We have a love/hate relationship with uncertainty. We hate negative uncertainties– the bad things that happen that we didn’t expect to happen. We don’t like pink slips, IRS audits or flat tires. But we love positive uncertainties – the good things that happen that we didn’t expect. Flowers for no reason. A surprise birthday party. But here’s the thing: You can’t have it both ways.

Although many things happen out of our plans or in contrast to our goals, it’s OK!

Uncertainty Makes Life Interesting and Exciting

I’ve found that living a life full of uncertainty sure as hell beats living life without any surprises and unpredictability. We can’t have both positive uncertainty and negative uncertainty.

I’m choosing to take the good with the bad and look forward to the twists and turns in life! Rather than write out where I want to be or what I want to be doing in the next few years, I’m going to focus on soaking up life right where I’m at now.

I’d rather live my life to the fullest right now, ups and downs and bumps in the road included.

Some of Our Best Moments and Best Decisions Come out of Uncertainty

We often grow the most from unplanned or unstructured experiences. You can map your life out any which way you might, but I’m sure when you look back, the times you will remember will be the random an unrehearsed moments. Without uncertainty, our lives would feel mundane and boring.

Uncertainty Brings Us Mystery, Revelation, Joy and Growth

Unplanned moments and experiences are often the ones that prepare us for greater experiences, that cause us to appreciate, that force us to challenge ourselves and grow.

Embrace uncertainty – embrace life!

xoxo Andi

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  • Catherine Hughes, Editor & Chief

    I love this, “I’ve found that living a life full of uncertainty sure as hell beats living life without any surprises and unpredictability.” I think this is why I loved traveling for work. The constant newness was a joy to my senses.

    That being said, children abhor uncertainty. They want sameness and stability. In some ways they are very much like cats. So as a parent you try to mitigate surprises and unpredictability and turn your life into a calm sea of tranquility.

    Ever see that crying child in the grocery store? Mom or dad didn’t let them know EXACTLY what to expect from their day and that store, so the child falls apart, not understanding the expectations and knowing when they can be home.

    If I had to chose between travel and my son, then I chose my son. Wait! I already did that :)

    Change still comes in many forms, but not like they did before I was a mom.

    And I am okay with that.

    Great post, as always.

    Cath