“I have devoted my life to uncertainty. Certainty is the death of wisdom, thought, creativity.”
– Shekhar Kapur
Both life and death are journeys into the unknown. We put faith in all-knowing gods and gurus, attempting to fully eliminate uncertainty, creating rigid rules that kill wisdom, thought, and creativity.
Throughout history, civilizations have built seemingly impenetrable walls, fortresses, and great armies to gain a sense of certain security. Religions have developed seemingly perfect rules, rituals, and deities to gain a sense of certain salvation.
No matter how seemingly impenetrable or perfect, history teaches us that the greatest civilizations have fallen and the greatest religious have been involved in some of the most abhorrent practices. Being human, we are stuck in this liminal space between birth and death, without answers.
Living with purpose in an uncertain world means accepting that we don’t have answers to life’s most fundamental questions. It means acting in ways meaningful to us, despite the risk of failure; it means taking action toward meaningful goals despite the ever-present feeling of unpreparedness; it means trusting you will figure things out along the way rather than needing to know everything beforehand.
Analysis paralysis stimulates thought but stifles creativity and blocks wisdom. Passion is an art, not a science. It is discovered through vital engagement with the world, amidst life’s uncertainties. Art is a form of expression, uncovered through the artist’s engagement with the work.
More than ever, we are called to become artists of our lives. We can use templates, learn from convention, or replicate the classics, but when this becomes unfulfilling, we need to develop our own voice, despite fear. As Steven Pressfield tells us in The War of Art, “Fear doesn’t go away. The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.”
Uncertainty reminds us to never take a day for granted. Never knowing which day might be our last ignites a sense of urgency, spurring us along our paths to become what we are capable of becoming. Passions are built when you persevere, kindle the spark of your potential, shed light onto your own journey into the unknown. It is through our passion and perseverance that we will find our way.
If you are interested in reading more on this topic, my kindle book is available here: The Art of Fulfillment: Living with Passion in an Uncertain World
If you don’t have a kindle reader, click here to get a free reader for your laptop of tablet, in order to access the book.
To receive email updates when new articles are published, insert your email address below.