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How to Gain Certainty In an Uncertain World

How to Gain Certainty in an Uncertain World

How to Gain Certainty in an Uncertain World

Science has two opposing views on the question of certainty:

  • Certainty is possible.
  • Certainty is NOT possible.

The "Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle" states that there are limits to what the human mind can know, and that you are powerless to achieve certainty.

You are therefore condemned to live in a fog of uncertainty.

For example, you can never be sure what the weather will be like, this time next week, ie certainty is impossible.

On the other hand, "Newtonian Mechanics" states that certainty is possible because the universe is governed by a set of immutable Natural Laws: A specific cause will ALWAYS be followed by a specific effect.

For example, you can be certain that if you put a lighted match into a bucket of petrol, in an oxygen atmosphere, there will be an explosion.

And this will happen every time. Without exception. It is true today, tomorrow and forever.

Which means that you are NOT condemned to live with uncertainty, ie certainty is possible.

Strangely, science concludes that "certainty" is both possible and impossible.

What a conundrum!

How do we resolve it?

The trick is to know which things are certain, and which things are not.

You cannot be certain of any of the following:

  • You cannot be certain that other people will treat you as well as you would like.
  • You cannot be certain that "the system" will support you as well as you expect.
  • You cannot be certain that "Lady Luck" will work in your favour.
  • You cannot be certain that Mother Nature will be kind to you.

Take a look at the above list and resolve to live with this level of uncertainty. (You have no choice in this matter, anyway!)

Now let us turn to the list of the things upon which you should become certain:

  1. You are always working towards the achievement of a series of worthwhile goals.
  2. You will always operate according to well-thought-out plans, designed to achieve your goals.
  3. When you are implementing your plans, you always give it your best efforts.
  4. You always strive to learn from any criticism, setback or defeat.
  5. You will take what knowledge you have learned from any painful defeat and use it to reformulate an improved plan that you'll use tomorrow.
  6. You will always look after your health.
  7. You will always spend less than you earn and invest the difference in things that gain value.
  8. Then you will always be able to look after your loved ones.

If you are certain that the eight factors above are true, then you can be certain that you are doing all you can to live successfully, and having fun doing so.

And that is all that is required of you.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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