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Tiny Wisdom: Certainty Is an Illusion

“More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity.” -Francois Gautier

Last week, I wrote a post about making difficult decisions, which incorporated 30 ideas from the Tiny Buddha Facebook community. The experience of writing it and reading the comments reminded me how certainty can sometimes silence our strongest instincts–when, ironically, certainty is always an illusion.

The secure job could become obsolete. The dependable friend could move away. The stable relationship could run its course.

None of the things that seem secure and safe are guaranteed to endure–not forever, or for any length of time, for that matter. The nature of life is that everything moves and changes, ebbs and flows, with beginnings, middles, and ends.

We don’t get to know what will end when. We don’t get to know how long things will last. We can play the odds, try to align ourselves with probability for maximum longevity, comfort, and ease. Or we can instead focus on the possibilities that excite us and enjoy the journey to and through them, one moment at a time.

We can either make what seems to be the best choice for minimal loss and change; or we can get clear about what we want to do with the short amount of time we have, and then embrace the unknown, with our passion as a compass, finding our way as we go.

The irony about choosing the path that seems the most certain is that it generally guarantees only one thing: that we go through life wondering how things could have been if only we weren’t so scared.

Today if you find yourself clinging to something that feels predictable and safe, ask yourself: Are these the moments I want to remember when I look back on my life some day?

Photo by kelp1966

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal and other books and co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. She recently launched a Mindfulness Kit to help reduce our stress and increase our peace and joy. For daily wisdom, join the Tiny Buddha list here. You can also follow Tiny Buddha on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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