Let go of the need for certainty (quotes)


Uncertainty in life is the only certainty


Certainty is the state of having no doubt


In a world of constant change …

  • In the past century, there were more changes than in the previous thousand years. The new century will see changes that will dwarf those of the last. H. G. Wells
  • There is nothing permanent except change. Heraclitus

… we can never be sure what’s going to happen next

  • Some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity. Gilda Radner
  • The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next. Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Life is not orderly. No matter how hard we try to make life so, right in the middle of it we die, lose a leg, fall in love, drop a jar of apple sauce.  Natalie Goldberg
  • The future is called “perhaps,” which is the only possible thing to call the future. And the only important thing is not to allow that to scare you.  Tennessee Williams
  • It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to. R.R. Tolkien
  • Life is a series of collisions with the future. José Ortega y Gasset
  • Life is so largely controlled by chance that its conduct can be but a perpetual improvisation. Somerset Maugham

The only certainty in life is uncertainty

  • The only thing certain is… nothing is certain. Michel de Montaigne
  • Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security. John Allen Paulos
  • Nothing is ever certain. Alice Sebold
  • Every creative journey is marked by patches and even long stretches of bewilderment as, disoriented and upset, you realize that you don’t know what to do next. These patches of not knowing just can’t be avoided, unless you refuse to create. Eric Maisel
  • We live in a rainbow of chaos. Cezanne
  • It’s a cruel and random world, but the chaos is all so beautiful. Hiromu Arakawa

We often fear uncertainty – and compensate by trying to control things

  • Security is an attempt to try to make the universe static so that we feel safe. Anne Wilson Schaef
  • The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear – fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H. L. Mencken
  • One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end. Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • Control is the the number one human addiction. Iyanla VanZantI’m
  • Is Control controlled by its need to control? Answer: yes.  William S. Burroughs
  • Control

Uncertainty brings with it some rich rewards:


1.  Uncertainty awakens possibility and potential

  • When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life. Eckhart Tolle
  • When nothing is sure, everything is possible. Margaret Drabble
  • We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen. Paulo Coelho
  • The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers. Erich Fromm
  • Security is when everything is settled, when nothing can happen to you; security is the denial of life. Germaine Greer
  • The future remains uncertain and so it should, for it is the canvas upon which we paint our desires. Thus always the human condition faces a beautifully empty canvas. We possess only this moment in which to dedicate ourselves continuously to the sacred presence which we share and create. Frank Herbert
  • As long as habit and routine dictate the pattern of living, new dimensions of the soul will not emerge. Henry Van Dyke
  • You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star. Friedrich Nietzsche
  • The truth emerges when you get stuck
  • All great changes are preceded by chaos. Deepak Chopra
  • Uncertainty is a quality to be cherished, therefore – if not for it, who would dare to undertake anything? Auguste de Villiers de L’Isle- Adam
  • No great deed is done by falterers who ask for certainty. George Eliot
  • When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life… Fear is no longer a dominant factor in what you do, and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change. Eckhart Tolle
  • PossibilityPotential

2.  Uncertainty is the fertile ground of pure creativity

  • Uncertainty, on the other hand, is the fertile ground of pure creativity and freedom. Uncertainty means stepping into the unknown in every moment of our existence. The unknown is the field of all possibilities, ever fresh, ever new, always open to the creation of new manifestations. Without uncertainty and the unknown, life is just the stale repetition of outworn memories. Deepak Chopra
  • Chaos is creativity, and creativity is chaos. Leo Babauta
  • Clear thinking at the wrong moment can stifle creativity. Karl Lagerfeld
  • Confusion is the welcome mat at the door of creativity. Michael J. Gelb
  • Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties. Gail Sheehy
  • Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties. Erich Fromm
  • Dive again and again into the river of uncertainty. Create in the dark, only then can you recognize the light. Jyrki Vainonen
  • Every creative journey is marked by patches and even long stretches of bewilderment as, disoriented and upset, you realize that you don’t know what to do next. These patches of not knowing just can’t be avoided, unless you refuse to create. Eric Maisel
  • Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos. Mary Shelley
  • Keeping your mind open in the face of uncertainty is the single most powerful secret of unleashing your creative potential. Michael J. Gelb
  • Mystery is at the heart of creativity. That, and surprise. Julia Cameron
  • One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. Friedrich Nietzsche
  • One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries. A. Milne
  • The creative process is a process of surrender, not control. Julia Cameron
  • The search for certainty and security is an attachment to the known. The known is the past. There is no evolution in that. Uncertainty on the other hand is the fertile ground of pure creativity and freedom. I relinquish my attachment to the known and step into the field of all possibilities. Deepak Chopra
  • Uncertainty and mystery are energies of life. Don’t let them scare you unduly, for they keep boredom at bay and spark creativity. R. I. Fitzhenry
  • Creativity

3.  Uncertainty energises and brings excitement

  • Nothing is exciting if you know what the outcome is going to be. Joseph Campbell
  • Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit. Henry B. Adams
  • To ignore the unexpected (even if it were possible) would be to live without opportunity, spontaneity, and the rich moments of which “life” is made. Stephen Covey
  • Without the element of uncertainty, the bringing off of even the greatest business triumph would be dull, routine, and eminently unsatisfying. J. Paul Getty
  • If you want guarantees in life, then you don’t want life. You want rehearsals for a script that’s already been written. Neale Donald Walsch
  • Life comes at us in waves. We can’t predict or control those waves, but we can learn to surf. Dan Millman
  • Surprises are the joy of living. Surprises directly touch the soul. Good surprises energize and bad surprises teach. Alev Oguz
  • Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing. William Congreve
  • Would you like to know your future? If your answer is yes, think again. Not knowing is the greatest life motivator.  So enjoy, endure, survive each moment as it comes to you in its proper sequence — a surprise. Vera Nazarian
  • The best things in life are unexpected, because there were no expectations. Eli Khamarov
  • Excitement

4.  Uncertainty paves the road to adventure

  • Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty. Jacob Bronowski
  • It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power. Alan Cohen
  • Learn to see uncertainty as an adventure. It’s an opportunity to experience freshness. Create an appetite for it. Behram
  • There is no certainty; there is only adventure. Roberto Assagioli
  • In your willingness to step into the unknown, you will have the wisdom of uncertainty factored in. This means that in every moment of your life, you will have excitement, adventure, mystery. You will experience the fun of life — the magic, the celebration, the exhilaration, and the exultation of your own spirit. Deepak Chopra
  • Change is not a threat but a challenge; the unknown is not frightening but fascinating. Tal Ben- Shahar
  • The true adventurer goes forth aimless and uncalculating to meet and greet unknown fate. O. Henry
  • Adventure

Embrace uncertainty


Therefore, embrace uncertainty …

  • Today I will factor in uncertainty as an essential ingredient of my experience. In my willingness to accept uncertainty, solutions will spontaneously emerge out of the problem, out of the confusion, disorder, and chaos. The more uncertain things seem to be, the more secure I will feel, because uncertainty is my path to freedom. Through the wisdom of uncertainty, I will find my security. Deepak Chopra
  • I am unattached to outcome. I am comfortable in the realm of uncertainty. I do not anticipate or resist, I allow. Deepak Chopra
  • Faith means living with uncertainty – feeling your way through life, letting your heart guide you like a lantern in the dark. Dan Millman
  • Embrace relational uncertainty. It’s called romance. Embrace spiritual uncertainty. It’s called mystery. Embrace occupational uncertainty. It’s called destiny. Embrace emotional uncertainty. It’s called joy. Embrace intellectual uncertainty. It’s called revelation. Mark Batterson
  • Instead of seeing the rug being pulled from under us, we can learn to dance on the shifting carpet. Thomas Crum
  • … there is a different kind of security that is worth pursuing, and this is the internal security of trusting yourself to handle anything that may come down the pike. This is the only lasting security, the only real security. Wayne Dyer
  • Uncertainty is a quality to be cherished, therefore – if not for it, who would dare to undertake anything? Auguste de Villiers
  • If a man will begin with certainties, he will end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he will end in certainties. Francis Bacon
  • Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow. Tony Schwartz
  • I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth – and truth rewarded me. Simone de Beauvoir
  • Dive again and again into the river of uncertainty. Create in the dark, only then can you recognize the light. Jyrki Vainonen
  • The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with. Tony Robbins

… and embrace change

  • Only the fairy tale equates changelessness with happiness… Permanence means paralysis and death. Only, in movement, with all its pain, is life. Jacob Burckhardt
  • We can change our view of change by viewing the uncomfortable moments as an opportunity for tremendous transformation. Ariane de Bonvoisin
  • The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. Alan Watts
  • Don’t fear change – Embrace it. Anthony J. D’Angelo
  • Once we’re thrown off our habitual paths, we think all is lost, but it’s only here that the new and the good begins. Leo Tolstoy
  • Two basic rules of life are: 1) Change is inevitable. 2) Everybody resists change.   Edwards Deming
  • Change is not merely necessary to life – it is life. Alvin Toffler
  • Change

Step into the unknown


Be courageous …

  • I used to be scared of uncertainty; now I get a high out of it. Jensen Ackles
  • It requires courage to let go of certainties. Erich Fromm
  • It is an act of courage to acknowledge our own uncertainty and sit with it for a while. Harriet Goldhor Lerner
  • Man cannot discover new oceans until he has courage to lose sight of the shore.
  • Courage is the power to let go of the familiar. Raymond Lindquist
  • Courage

… and step out into the unknown …

  • When you have come to the edge of all the light you have and step into the darkness of the unknown, believe that one of the two will happen to you. Either you’ll find something solid to stand on.  Or you’ll be taught how to fly!  Richard Bach
  • Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very very well. Do this is complete faith and confidence. Eileen Caddy
  • A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown. Denis Waitley
  • If we fear the unknown then surely we fear ourselves. Bryant H. McGill
  • Greatness is a road leading towards the unknown. Charles de Gaulle
  • It is good to love the unknown. Charles Lamb
  • I love being in the world of the unknown. Alison Krauss
  • If man had never charted a path into the unknown, he would never have discovered the known. Miriam R. G. Gould
  • Sooner or later you must move down an unknown road that leads beyond the range of the imagination, and the only certainty is that the trip has to be made. Bruce Catton
  • One of the most beneficial and valuable gifts we can give to ourselves in this life: is allowing ourselves to be surprised! It is okay if life surprises you. Its a good thing! JoyBell C.
  • One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight, for a very long time, of the shore. André Gide
  • The unknown

… for stepping into the unknown is needed to grow

  • All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous, unpremeditated act without benefit of experience.  Henry Miller
  • Man can learn nothing except by going from the known to the unknown. Claude Bernard
  • Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown.  George Shinn
  • Growth

Trust and have faith that whatever happens is meant to be

  • The unknown is scary the Unknown can also be exciting. Your life could change in an instant anytime. But sometimes, that change is the best thing that will ever happen to you. Maybe I don’t have to know what my fate is to know that everything will be okay. Maybe the not knowing is how we move forward. Wherever I’m headed, I know it’s exactly where I’m supposed to be.  Susane Colasanti
  • You may not be able to see what is ahead of you, but all you have to do is trust. There are miracles and magic waiting for you right now.  Joelene Setterfield
  • TrustFaithTrust in God

More important that certainty is clarity

  • More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity. Francois Gautier
  • Clarity

Final thoughts

  • Maturity of mind is the capacity to endure uncertainty. John Finley
  • Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. Voltaire
  • Be patient towards all that is unsolved in your heart and dreams, try to love the questions themselves. Rainer Maria Rilke
  • If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into increased aliveness, alertness, and creativity.  Eckhart Tolle
  • Once we meet our children, even for moments, in a place of “I don’t know,” of relinquished authority, we return to the realms of mystery and magic, where real connection becomes alive again. Arjuna Ardagh
  • Would anything but a madman complain of uncertainty? Uncertainty and expectation are joys of life; security is an insipid thing; and the overtaking and possessing of a wish discovers the folly of the chase. William Congreve

On a lighter note

  • At first I was uncertain but now I’m not so sure. Walter Heisenberg
  • Business Forecaster: A person who is uncertain about the future and hazy about the present.
  • Education: The path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.  Mark Twain
  • Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first. Ernestine Ulmer