Saturday, November 03, 2018

Treat certainty as a public health crisis.

If the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist, then the greatest trick the ego ever pulled was convincing us that we actually needed it. 

Of course, we completely bought into it. And now everyone has developed an allergy to being wrong. Now everyone makes a conscious effort to kick doubt’s ass right out of their minds. Now everyone is distracted by the sparkling but false lures of certainty. Now everyone is surviving on a steady diet of happy hunches and lucky guesses. 

In fact, our thirst for certainty is so strong, that we believe we’re idiots anytime things surprise us. 

But the thing about everyone is, they’re wrong all the time. Nobody knows anything. 

People who say they know what’s going to happen are either lying or trying to sell you something. 

This reminds me of a great research paper about the prevalence of worrying and coping mechanisms. The psychologists reported that because the future is intrinsically uncontrollable, searching for certainty not only doesn’t work, but ironically, heightens the likelihood that we’ll suffer. 

Being right, after all, is an attempt to prevent pain. 

And so, our major challenge is to let go of the ego’s stranglehold. To lean into the thrill of not knowing what is going to happen next. Maybe even to treat certainty as a public health crisis. 

Here’s a simple first step. 

Get together with a few friends or coworkers. Have everyone in the room answer one question. 

What did you believe five years ago that now makes you wonder, what was I thinking? 

A similar exercise is to have everyone remember a time in their life when they sad, I would never do that, and then spend the next few minutes telling the story when they did that thing. 

Think of these exercises as a method for sneaking up on people whose beliefs have stabilized and have dozens of years to look back on. 

It’s a perfect starting point for using humility to free you from the bondage of ego. 

That’s the challenge before you. Lessening your stake in being right. 

Transforming the lead of the ego into the gold of surrender. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How will you guard against your ego begging to run the show?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com

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