Book Review: Uncertainty

The old saying quipped that the only thing we knew for certain was death and taxes. Now, I think we can add uncertainty to that list. All we know about the future is that it’s going to be different.

And yet, there was very little training available to prepare us for that. Until Jonathan Fields literally wrote the book on it.

The subtitle captures it well for me: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance. I don’t just want to learn to endure; I want to thrive.

I read the book within days of its arrival and felt like I’d just received the instruction manual to my own brain. I thought it could be that powerful, but wanted to apply the principles for a few weeks to see for sure.

I’m convinced.

If you make a living with your mind (or want to), this book and its principles should be a required course of study. As the first chapter boldly proclaims, “The ability to not only endure but to invite, amplify, and exalt uncertainty, then reframe it as fuel is paramount to your ability to succeed as a creator.”

To begin, we must understand that “without intervention, a blend of nature and nurture conspire to make us experience [uncertainty] as suffering.” Study after study demonstrates that most people avoid uncertainty like the plague, even when there’s no reason to prefer a known option. Now science can tell us why.

When the subjects in the Ellsberg Paradox trials underwent magnetic resonance imaging, it became clear that this aversion is hardwired into most people. “When exposed to the [unknown], a part of the brain known as the amygdala, which is the core instigator of fear and anxiety, lights up, triggering a cascade of physiological and psychological events, sending impulses and chemicals rushing through our bodies that induce a state of hyperalertness and, for many, anywhere from mild to severe fear and anxiety.” [Click here to watch a video explanation of this paradox.] Hardly a recipe for embracing the unknown.

But the antidote does exist, and Fields outlines the step-by-step process of becoming a fear alchemist in simple language that we can all apply.

In the book, you’ll learn how to:

- Make changes to your workflow to unlock buried creative potential.

- Build your “hive,” a supportive group that can supercharge this process together.

- Develop a set of personal practices and mindset shifts that let you tolerate, and then amplify, uncertainty as a catalyst for genius.

You really can train your brain, and Uncertainty will show you how.

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[Note, if you'd like to purchase this book through an Amazon Affiliate link (which pays me a small commission), please click here.]

 

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