Living with ambiguity

Ask yourself this question:

"Is your life out of control?"

Well, if it isn’t, it ought to be…

Social scientist have done extensive research on the human response to ambiguity and uncertainty in our lives.  They have discovered that one our defense mechanisms for protecting against the fear of chaos is the illusion of control.

Control is merely an illusion.  But we persist in living by it everyday.

Think of the simple act of activating an elevator.  We pushed the button and wait for its arrival.  But what we do if it doesn’t arrive in our perceived time frame? We press the button again.  The illusion of control.

We often attempt to control traffic jams.  If you’re like me, I play traffic jams like chess matches.  I strategize moves and counter moves in an attempt to beat the jam and foil it’s traps.
But alas, I find myself usually more irritated and late as usual.  The illusion of control.

But we persist in guiding our lives by its illusion.

We can’t help ourselves.  We are good modern, Western, scientific people and we prefer to be in control – but it is in reality a mirage that fails to provide the needed resources for our journey.  Particularly in crunch time.

A characteristic of the crunch time change we find ourselves in at the moment is Ambiguity.  It is uncertain and disconcerting.  We don’t know precisely where we are headed and we have no control as to how to get there.

So we need to relax during crunch time.  Let go of control.  Embrace uncertainty.  Gather some dear friends, drink some good wine, and laugh at your predicaments.  As the great American philosopher Jimmy Buffett once intoned:

“If we all couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane”

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Posted in adaptation, Attitude, Change, resilience, tough times

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Jeff Vankooten is a speaker and author focusing on the power of resilience to effectively engage the challenges of change. He helps leaders, businesses, and organizations develop the skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable business environment.
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