New Beginnings - Embracing the Unknown
What are some of your reading rituals?
As an avid reader, I put a lot of weight on the first sentence. I pay attention to the words, the structure and the framing.
Why, you ask?
Well, as a trained writer I understand that beginnings, while often unconsciously bypassed, are still attributed to the role of psychological anchor. However the storyline unfolds, beginnings serve as the point of reference that inform the impressions and judgments made, as you read through the pages.
Once the story comes to an end, you’ll either feel smug, because you’ve anticipated the ending and it unfolds according to what was expected, or you’ll be consumed with rage at the unexpected turn of events…
Or, maybe, you’re that elusive “other” — the soul who finishes a book feeling nothing. If you’re that person, we need to be introduced.
How does that have anything to do with embracing the unknown?
Well, because it portrays a common behaviour in all of us. A behaviour which is actually the opposite of embracing the unknown.
We tend to approach all novelty with predictions and assumptions on how it will end. Always in a state of expectation and anticipation.
Which takes away the fun of not knowing. Or maybe, for some of you, the stress and anxiety in not knowing.
The funny truth is, no matter how often our predictions prove true, the unfolding of events have never had anything to do with our having predicted it.
Any alignment is purely based on chance, even if that chance is repeated. I mean, we even put weighted distributions on chance, get sophisticated and call it statistics. Formalizing our interpretations of chance makes us feel really good about our sense of control of future events.
All to say - the future, until realized, is unknown.
Are you really trying to discount the power of predictive analytics in the age of artificial intelligence and machine learning?
There’s a powerful principle at play here, not my own, but one I stand by. The principle of induction. The past is not a predictor of future events.
While we use the past to inform our sense of how future events might unfold, it’s important to retain the baseline understanding that there’s always room for deviation. So long as that potential for deviation exists, it demonstrates that the past really had nothing to do with the future. Not in and of itself.
Maybe, sometimes, we anchor so much on the past, that we inform our own thoughts, beliefs and desires to then manifest behaviours that align with our predictions, that then create realities that feel predictable.
At what point are we going to embrace the fact that, in truth, we have no idea how things are going to unfold?
Rather than delude ourselves, why not just lean in to not knowing what or how things will come into play?
Why should I?
Because it is the case that you really don’t know. You truly, have no idea.
Embracing the unknown, is a key to peace that I’ve unlocked, and it’s quite profound.
I make plans, I love planning, yet I do not know how things will go.
That’s the beauty of life, and also happens to be my personal mantra for this upcoming year.
So, I invite you to begin 2021 with this clarity.
Resting on the knowledge that whatever the case may be, however the story unfolds, it’s the not knowing, and responding just in time, that makes the adventure worth sharing.
Embrace the unknown.
Recognize that whatever takes place on your personal journey, it will either align or disrupt your plans, it will represent a beautiful or devastating chapter in your life, and it will always contribute to your growth - even if it feels, otherwise.
Stay present - 2021 is a new beginning, let’s embrace whatever comes next.