The ability not only to endure but to invite, amplify, and exalt uncertainty, then reframe it as fuel is paramount to your ability to succeed as a creator. Visionary innovation and creativity cannot happen when every variable, every outcome, every permutation is known and has been tested and validated in advance.
You cannot see the world differently if it’s already been seen in every possible way. You cannot solve a problem better if every solution has already been defined. You cannot create great art if every way to stroke a canvas, connect a note, or grace a stage has already been inventoried, categorized, and laid bare for all to see.
If everything is known and certain, that means it’s all been done before. And creation isn’t about repetition.
Genius always starts with a question, not an answer.
Eliminate the question and you eliminate the possibility of genius. However, that’s where things get really sticky.
For all but a rare few, “living in the question” hurts. It causes anxiety, fear, suffering, and pain. And people don’t like pain. Rather than lean into it, we do everything possible to snuff it out. Not because we have to, but because we can’t handle the discomfort that we assume “has to” go along with the quest.
Snuffing out uncertainty leads to a sea of prematurely terminated mediocre output, when “sweet mother of God” was just over the hump if only we’d had the will to embrace uncertainty, risk, and judgment and hang on a bit longer. If only we’d learned how to harness and ride rather than hunt and kill the butterflies that live in the gut of every person who strives to create something extraordinary from nothing.
The above was excerpted from Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel for Brilliance.
Curious, how do you deal with the butterflies?
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