My assumption is that life will always be ambiguous. There will always be risky situations. There will always be uncertainty. There will always be things I do not know. There will always be things I do not know that I do not know. But that is life! It is supposed to be ambiguous.
I think, from a young age, we are hypnotized into believing there are absolutist, right answers. We believe that our parents know everything. They hold the keys – impress them and our lives will be clear. And then our parents give their magic keys to our teachers. Our teachers are the ring-bearers. They, in turn, pass the keys on to our employers. And this cycle continues until, eventually, we realize this “silver bullet” set of keys does not really exist. It is a mirage. There are no keys. In fact, there are no answers. Even the holy “key-bearers” are just making things up as they go along.
Accepting the assumption that life is chaotic is a freeing feeling.
The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and the enemies.Napoleon
There are certain ways that we can mitigate chaos. The first and easiest way is entirely internal. Often we think about trying to move external factors in various directions. This sometimes works. What is far more effective, I find, is to focus on internal adaptations and control. Focus on what I think about. Focus on what I dream about. Focus on what I think about in the shower.
These are tangible things that I can make progress on throughout my day. These are not macro shifts that would need to happen to quell my distractions.
I get to control how I feel. Even though the world is a mess, and you hear bad news literally all of the time, we get to be in control. It is our lives. We get to pick the scores. We get to pick the metrics and the controls and the patterns.
Dealing with chaos is as much about the chaos as it is about you – controlling you is hard! That is your challenge.