February 2014 Business Book: Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields

Jonathan Fields writes in last month’s business book, Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance, that creativity and the fear that develops as a result of uncertainty are intertwined.  We cannot have one without the other.  So his point is to try and learn how to live with the fear even though we have a neurologically driven primal resistance to it.  RM1_0233 copyI am going to practice this by recognizing when I start to feel fearful about something and then notice that it’s the way I’m hardwired to feel, but try my best to overcome it.  Easier.Said.Than.Done.
RM1_0217 copyOne of the studies mentioned in the book resonated with me.  It demonstrated the potentially negative result of “blind commitment” to something.  Two groups of people (one group who considered themselves lucky, the other extremely unlucky) were asked to count the number of photographs in a newspaper.  Overall, the unlucky people took a couple minutes to count the photos, the lucky people took just seconds because there was a half page message on the second page that said: STOP COUNTING.  THERE ARE 43 PHOTOGRAPHS IN THIS PAPER.  Luck apparently falls upon people who remain open to the possibilities around them “outside the rigid constructs of their immediate take, mission, or vision” (p. 129).  I love this study because it’s a lesson to keep an open mind.  Working hard and staying focused are important, but so is keeping an open mind.  Lesson learned!

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