Creating a Life of Certainty
When we look at human needs psychology, we find the concept of “certainty” at the top of the list. Humans have a basic need for stability, even those who crave constant variety (which is another human need). The point here being that as we move towards a world that has increasing rapid change and disruption, this gives rise to an erosion of certainty in our culture. So how do we handle this?
Basic logic would guide us to conclude that if you are observing an environment of constant and rapid change, you need a baseline or reference point from which to compare the change to. In one’s personal life, that baseline would be achieved by looking within at your innermost core existence activities; such as breathing and your heartbeat. These activities make up that basis of life itself and are autonomic and constant, even while unconscious.
For example, if your feeling overwhelmed with rapid change, a flurry of unknowns and incomplete cycles, you will most likely find a stable baseline of your breathing and heartbeat across all of those events. The state of the art in Navy seal and other special forces training now includes a specific breathing technique to get a soldier present and focused in “high stress” environments.
In our daily lives, when we get overwhelmed from too many changes in a short time, our “stress levels” increase, which is a physiological response to uncertainty. This physical state begins with a mental assessment of danger that switches the brain into “fight or flight mode” which then triggers a series of chemical releases into the body such as adrenalin and cortisol. The result of all this is your body and mind are acting on a primordial program to get away from the danger as fast as possible. Critical decisions made in this state are not logical and usually not sustainable.
Think of your life as a movie happening in real time with a beginning, middle and end that has already been written (a script written by you of how things are supposed to happen). In one instance, You as the director are attempting to execute a scene where your character lands a contract that will pay you large sums of money so you can have, do and be something so that the rest of the story of your life is consistent with the script. However, on your way to the meeting (in the middle of the “scene”), the car won’t start, there’s an accident on the freeway and you miss the meeting which causes the client to pass on your offer which now sets off a chain of events that were never in the original script!
Now, you as the director will experience one of two outcomes that are based on how you interpret the events. One is a reaction, stressing over the change and then stacking all the imagined future perils that are in store from this event not going the way is was written. The other is a conscious decision to keep breathing deeply and process the change logically. This could be something as simple as re-connecting with the client and charming him to give the deal another shot or rationally evaluating that someone so inflexible and impulsive may not be a good person to do business with and the “unexpected change” was a gift of reveal for you to open up a different opportunity that is far better than the original “script”.
Which one would you chose? In order to choose, you must be present and resourceful because once you allow your body to switch modes, your whole system is on autopilot and making “fight or flight” decisions, all based in fear.
Creating a life of certainty begins with a baseline decision to stay resourceful, take pause on life events that cause your mind to want to switch modes and keep yourself in the “movie director” role. Learn to improvise and re-frame the meaning of life events so they serve you. Learn to unpack fear into manageable pieces so you can see what’s real and imagined and handle each piece one at a time. Once we achieve our goals and dreams, our lives will still contain lots of uncertainty. Mastering the skill of staying present and re-framing meaning will keep the uncertainty as fun instead of frightening!
James DeCicco, founder and CEO of El Segundo based BeachCoders.com web coding academy is an american Entrepreneur, Speaker & Author in new technology, web & finance. He is an expert on personal success psychology with training from Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Deepak Chopra, Neuro Linguistic Programming and several successful company exits to his credit.