To be certain is one of the most false types of thinking that we can have.
Often we are certain about:
- The end of the world
- How health works
- The roundness or flatness of the earth
- And everything else we think we know.
The problem is that being certain is a naivety built upon by our ego. It’s a certainty that allows some solidification of identity which culminates in us becoming who we think we are.
That’s the problem.
Certainty implies comfort.
Comfort isn’t inherently wrong, but it is what gets wars fought and change prolonged.
That’s why, in this short article, I want to explore how to become certain in uncertainty and seek truth.
Where It All Goes Wrong – Authority
Authority is an interesting term.
When we think of authority we think of teachers, doctors, cops, politicians, and the like.
But examine the word closer and you see that authority contains the word “author.”
An author is someone who creates a narrative or story and then becomes the foremost expert on it.
That’s where this starts and goes wrong.
An “Authority’ on a subject is simply an expert at the narrative one has created.
We often then give these authorities praise, vehemently fight people who think an opposing theory and create our identity around the authorities words.
The Bible, the Torah, the Koran, and even Star Wars create these types of true believers (which is also a phenomenal book by the way).
The True Believer – A Certain Fool
True Believers are the most certain of us all.
They parade around wearing a badge of honor on their sleeve.
Whether that be followers of the Carnivore diet, Vegans, Flat Earthers, Satanism or anything of the like.
These are people who followed a thought process by an authority and then developed an identity around what they thought might be.
I often talk about Intellectual Honesty and the ability to change beliefs at an instance based on new evidence.
True believers don’t do that.
It becomes a part of you, and if any of you have known what it feels like fighting for a relationship to stay together because you like how you feel (not how the relationship feels) well it’s a lot worse than that to lose a piece of your identity.
It puts you into a tailspin of uncertainty.
Which is precisely what is needed to become self-realized to be able to begin practicing intellectual honesty.
Uncertainty… A Gateway To Freedom
I’m almost never certain about anything.
Some would say that is counterproductive, but I like to use it as a gauge of the comfortability I have with who I am.
For instance, on most prospective client calls for ATTN Labs, I often can’t give direct numbers of growth. I can give ranges, but I’m never certain about what a business really can do.
Heck, I almost always preface this with if someone IS certain, they likely are lying to you.
The salesman who oversells often makes the sale but doesn’t fulfill the need.
It happens quite a lot.
Now, in uncertainty, we can start to finally weed out the thoughts of our identity and become an honest version of ourselves.
How To Relentlessly Pursue Uncertainty
All journeys begin with a single step.
Reading this is bringing you closer to the pursuit of uncertainty.
Diving Into The Unknown
Start by doing things with an outcome you don’t know. This doesn’t simply mean playing a slot machine or using Facebook but instead, do things where you really don’t know what will happen.
Try to build an app, travel to a foreign country alone, create an experiment and test it.
This is how you start to understand the malleable nature of all information.
More often than not, when I try things that in my history had been shunned or passed off as nonsense, I find out something completely different than that old consensus.
It becomes a break to the mind, something that will create a generative process of thinking the unthinkable and breaking out of the certainty that keeps you in a limited state.
Use Journaling To Your Benefit
I’ll be posting an article shortly on journaling, but in the meantime start exploring the very concepts that you are sure of with journaling.
Whatever that may be.
I often like to write about specific scenarios figuring out what my idealized version of reality would be, or in Tim Ferriss’s case, he likes to fear set and really break out of his conception of what is scaring him.
You have the ultimate freedom, so start by exploring the very things you are certain of.
And that’s it, just begin, that is all you have to do.