Living in a “not-knowing-what-will-happen” mode

The very uncertainty that we fear can make Life magical and beautiful.
When I reconnected with a friend recently, after several months, I asked him how his work was. He replied that he was feeling very insecure in his current job. “A new CEO has taken over and he’s driving a lot of change in our organization. He’s demanding that every member of the team must contribute to either the top-line or the bottom-line. I am in a Sales support function. The new CEO feels all Support functions must go. So, I believe I will be laid off. There’s so much uncertainty. I live and work in fear daily – not knowing when I will be given a pink slip and asked to leave,” said my friend. At close to 50 years of age, my friend feels his chances of getting another well-paying job are low. Around this time of their lives, employees, like my friend, have a lot of limitations in pursuing career options. Their children are often in final years of school or college, or their parents are old and need support – so not many are ready, even if they are willing, to immediately move to a new city to enhance their employment prospects!
While I can relate to my friend’s anxiety – having gone through similar experiences myself – I am not quite sure that fearing uncertainty is necessarily the appropriate response.

Why are we running scared of uncertainty when the very nature of Life is impermanent, fragile, uncertain? In fact, there’s a certainty about death – if you are alive, you will die for sure some day. But just because you are born – and alive – does not mean you will go on living. There’s no certainty about Life! From the time you came out of your mother’s womb your entire Life has been a journey through the uncertain. It’s your upbringing, your education and your reference to economic parameters that makes you believe that you are secure and can be certain about the way your Life will pan out. Because you have been raised in a protected environment by your parents and family, because you have been progressing through your academic career in a linear fashion – moving from class to class in a predictable manner – because you got employed soon after you graduated from college, for all these reasons and more, you have come to believe that Life’s happening the way you envisioned it for yourself. You have almost concluded that Life is a straight line! That’s when Life socks you with a pink slip or with a heart attack or a break-up or a death! That’s when you wake up, shocked and dazed, and begin to “fear an uncertain future”.
When you live out of fear, resisting the uncertainty that surrounds you, you will not grow. You may grow older. But you will not grow up. Because fear debilitates. It limits. Every aspect of Life is uncertain, unsafe, dangerous – there are so many diseases you can contract and die or your house can be burgled and you can be murdered or you may meet with an accident on the road or your plane may crash mid-air or someone could hack your bank account and siphon off all your hard-earned money…Anything can happen if you actually consider what all can go wrong with your Life. But if you start letting the fear of uncertainty rule you, you can be sure to have ruined your Life.
There’s hope though! You can let go of all your fear and embrace uncertainty. Since uncertainty is the essence of Life, when you embrace it, you are actually uniting with the Universal Energy. That Energy empowers you and gives you the true sense of security – which no insurance scheme, no amount of money and no amount of physical protection ever can. Then a pink slip will not torment you. Then not-knowing-what-will-happen will be part of the game, of the adventure called Life. Uncertainty can be scary. But if you drop the fear, the same uncertainty becomes beautiful. This is the magical quality of Life. To experience this magic you must learn to live in the moment, soaking in whatever the moment has to offer, in a “not-knowing-what-will-happen” mode!

Author: AVIS Viswanathan

the happynesswala - Inspired Speaker, Life Coach and Author of "Fall Like A Rose Petal"; Inspiring 'Happyness'!

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