I cant’ remember a time when there was such uncertainty. Uncertainty is a condition brought on by not knowing what to trust. We can see this uncertainty everywhere. The banks didn’t trust each other so they stopped loaning money. Companies did’t trust the future of their business so they reduced jobs. People did’t trust their personal financial security so they reduced spending.
All this uncertainty seems to come from not knowing where to look for the answer to the question, “What now?”. In the past, I have looked to numerous places for the answer to that question. As a child, I looked to my parents. As a student, I looked to my teachers. As a writer, I looked to other writers who I felt were successful.
As you can see, all my references points were other people. This list continues when I want to know what is happening in the world. I may look to news sources or Bloggers. I might listen to people I think should know. Again, I am looking outside myself for the answer to “What now?”.
What I have found is that this approach is unreliable. Why, a few simple truths. Each moment is unique. It is different from every other moment. So if moment is unique then the future can never be a replication of the past. Yet, we have this desire to want a guide. We simply don’t like the unknown. It just makes us crazy.
Another thing. No one can be certain what is right for me, except me. I can’t find my answers somewhere else. If I want to know, “What now?”, why not find that answer inside. I know I have been afraid of trusting myself. Trusting that I will know the answer to “What now?”.
What is the fear? It is the fear of, “what if I am wrong.” Then I will be responsible for what happens to me. Wouldn’t it be nice to just let those I look to for the answer hold the accountability for the outcome of my life? We all know that the only real answer to that question is, “No”.
So what do I do? I make believe that I am certain when I are not. I let this notion of certainty guide me and then I am surprised when things don’t turn out like I expected. Yet, I seldom stop long enough to understand what’s going on.
Well, I spend some time over the past few days pondering this. Taking some time out to understand why I didn’t trust myself and what I choose to do now. In a past Blog, titled, Ring or Clunk, I talked about this simple approach that my wife showed me to find out whether something feels right or not.
Here’s how this applies to the question, “What now?” I ask that question and then sit quietly and listen. There are two things that I might hear. I might hear “the voice”. “The voice” are those familiar words that I hear in times of uncertainty. You all know what I am talking about. In my case, it has two faces. One is a soothing conversation that all is well and I need not worry about a thing. The only problem with this “voice” is that it is filled with arrogance. It is that part of my personality that wants to be “right”. Feeling that if I am right then I will be thought of by others as important. The other voice is pretty much the opposite. It is full of worry. It says things like, “you can’t do that” or “you know, you might be making a mistake”.
Both of these “voices” can be very persuasive. So how do I know that they are false? I remember that I can feel the “truth” of the “voice”. How do I do that? I consult that ability we all have that is often called intuition (or the knowing). It is intuition that confirms whether what I am hearing is ringing or clunking. When the “voice” is talking, its always clunking.
If I ask the question, “is this ringing or clunking” and I am unclear of the answer, the best thing is to not act on the voice. I wait until I have a clear sense.
If what I am hearing is coming from “the knowing” it will ring and then I am clear of the answer to the question, “What now?” Pretty simple and I promise you it is a more reliable approach to the road ahead than anything else I have experienced.Let me know if you give this a try what happens.
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