In life, if we have not gone far, we have very limited perspectives. I know this for a fact and I know this drives us towards the fear of uncertainty. But if we’re willing to view life as the guru, even in the midst of uncertainty, a beautiful journey begins.
It’s a lie if I tell people I have all the confidence in the world to brave just about anything. I have my fears, I have my doubts, I have my insecurities. And here’s a tiny bit about me – the last decade, I’ve purposefully designed my external life for security. I left home, graduated with a teaching degree and having the cushy job I might as well just call a career, at least.
I have that, while everybody else around me has quite a high-paying job, some have additional streams of income to insulate the extra-super-comfy-security, some already have a decent home for a future family, and yes – most of them have a solid marriage.
Yup, I’m 29 and single. And I’m not proud of my flings.
Anyways, what I have is not as amazing as many. But, I am deeply grateful for everything. And on most days, I find pride that my goals and plans had at least created a surrounding of comforts – or so – for me.
So, something genius Robert Frost wrote – “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.”
I doubt anyone in school that time actually know what Mr Frost mean there.
I’m a very stubborn person. I’m driven by my dream and my goals and in certain areas, I’m a risk taker.
Parents have their fears, their worries and their concerns here and there – basically in almost anything related to their children. But the stubborn person that I was born as, I have always known that the path less travelled is often the wisest path to take.
While most people in society take the typical paths in life, I do the opposite. About 80% of the time. 20% of my parents’ opinions always get to me. I’m guilty of falling into the parent trap. But really, parents are right – at least half the time.
So, based on my unconscious observation, I noticed that not many people stop to think about the paths they take. And I’m disappointed that thinking outside of the box is dead and gone.
I mean, sure, the unknown is scary. It signifies weakness, it sure is not secure and more than gazillion miles away from safe.
As a rule, humans prefer certainty to uncertainty. Turning right instead of left, to lead instead of following a path so alien to you is one hell of a scary attempt. Or so they say. And that’s why people prefer to live a miserable and boring life.
People who fear uncertainty generally have rather a number of neurotic tendencies. When thinking of a neurotic person, I personally see a mentally perturbed person. Ofter very fainthearted and ridiculously obsessive. In short, paranoid scaredy cat. And really, there are many of those in my life, I just rather not acknowledge them as – no offence – it’s quite sickening to know how ‘dead’ they are in life.
The Gen X – at least a big chunk of them – have very limited experience in certain life areas. With that, there is limited perspective. Undoubtedly, they would jump to conclusions and make assumptions. And also generalise how life is or should be. And this, of course, would make them become scared of the uncertain aftereffect if they or their children, the Gen Y, take action in the opposite direction.
And that is what Asian parents tend to do to their children – scare them with the assumptions they have. They would simply envision what it would look like if their worst nightmare happened. And guess what, this leads to depression, or maybe just anxiety.
Yes, uncertainty fuels up anxiety. But to be in such condition set by people who would have the biggest and mostly positive influence in your life even when you’re old enough to raise your own children does the same too. You don’t need a doctor or a psychologist to tell you that.
Us human has the unbelievable ability to worry too much about the future. To be honest, I know that uncertainty feels like death and it can cripple our efforts to do anything. Nobody will ever be comfortable with uncertainty. We know the future exists, but we don’t know what’s going to happen in it.
Not knowing what to do, what’s going to happen, what the people around you are thinking and feeling, breeds anxiety – even in an 8-months-old baby.
The only way to truly experience life’s richness is to surrender to the unknown. I’m a firm believer of that. It is a process. But living with uncertainty can keep you on the edge. You will constantly grow and develop yourself as you encounter new experiences that you’re unfamiliar with.
Planning is important, of course. But really, nobody is ever always able to get through all the intricacies of planning. Eventually, they will get emotionally drained. Trust me, I know. And a bombardment of non-stop thoughts rarely gets us anywhere.
The future is unpredictable but one should never surrender to fear. Uncertainty is often full of surprises. We shouldn’t fight uncertainty. It is something we cannot escape from. Life is constantly shifting and changing. It’s not a threat, it’s life. And we don’t get to cherry-pick the parts of our path we want to experience.
I’m writing a new chapter. The future is inviting me to its many surprises. Go far and don’t limit your perspectives. Fear is just another psychological allergy.