The Pursuit of Certainty is Hell

Like a drug addict searching for more of his narcotic of choice, the pursuit of certainty is my vice and the source of nearly every anxious moment I have…

As an entrepreneur and someone who routinely takes on sizeable risks, I crave certainty. And I have to face the fact that I’m addicted to the pursuit of it. 

I grind away and take on more risk, heavier workloads and invest more into my business, all in an attempt to ‘guarantee’ a result. But the laws of life and business don’t necessarily work that way. We must grind, and we need to routinely reinvest, of course, but we shouldn’t view this as a way to guarantee anything. Certainty must be recognized as the mirage it is, or life will be unpleasant. 

Why Work Hard if Results Can’t Be Guaranteed?

Why sacrifice if there are no guarantees? Because sacrifice (or ‘suffering’) is the quickest path to personal and professional growth. And sacrifice most certainly increases your odds of success — just don’t get caught in the trap of believing there is a path to certainty. Pursuing it is hell. 

I know because I’ve been there. And I see it in so many entrepreneurs…

If all you’re pursuing, day in and day out, is the guarantee of a specific outcome, do you think you’re enjoying the work? Is there really any passion left in the process? Will you be grateful? Unlikely. Will you be happy? Doubtful. 

An intense focus on ‘guaranteeing’ an end result makes it virtually impossible to be present and appreciative. Not only that, but you will miss so many opportunities that spring up during your day which can make your business better. Miss too many of those opportunities and inevitably your business will become unsustainable. Goals and targets always need recalibration. If all you want is a specific guaranteed outcome (tunnel vision), you leave little opening for tweaking.

 

You Broke Through and Achieved that ‘Certainty’ — Now What?

Let’s say you obsessed and achieved that thing you wanted to be a certainty in life. Good for you. After reaching the peak of accomplishment, you now wake up from the hypnotic state you were in while pursuing certainty, and what? Seeking certainty is addictive, remember. It’s a learned behavior. 

So now you’ll crave certainty that you’ll never lose what you just gained… can you imagine a life of routinely worrying about losing what you’ve gained? 

Most people are this way, especially entrepreneurs. Constant stress of losing what they’ve built because they’ve programmed themselves to crave certainty… it’s a vicious cycle that takes the joy out of entrepreneurship and life.

 

What Pursuing Certainty Creates:

  • Anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Missed Opportunities
  • Disconnection with those close to you
  • Fatigue
  • Slower long-term growth
  • Disappointment
  • Loss of love for entrepreneurship
  • Fear

 

Realizing Nothing is Certain Creates:

  • Presence in your day-to-day
  • Approachability
  • Confidence
  • A more flexible schedule
  • Open-mindedness
  • Better sleeps
  • Resiliency
  • Creativity
  • Appreciation

 

Stop Pursuing Certainty

Pursuing certainty is a scarcity mindset, 100%. This mindset will blind you to most of what you have accomplished along your entrepreneurial journey. It creates a life of dissatisfaction. 

I’m not saying that one shouldn’t work their tail off in pursuit of a grand vision. Not at all. From personal experience, I’m saying that we must embrace the uncertainty of entrepreneurship to appreciate our journey and become BETTER entrepreneurs. 

Stay hungry,

 

 

 

Aaron 

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