I admit it. I am a member of the behemoth Costco Wholesale Club, which can be found everywhere around the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.
This month’s “Costco Connection” has a feature article on business guru Jim Collins newest book, Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos and Luck –Why Some Thrive Despite Them All. While I have not yet read the book, I was taken by the following statement by Collins in the magazine’s interview:
“I don’t have any more emotion about [uncertainty] than I do about gravity… Gravity just is. I don’t wake up in the morning afraid of gravity. You’ve got to learn how to live with gravity; you’ve got to learn to live with uncertainty. The beauty of it all is, you can. Successfully, and in very practical ways.”
Uncertainty is undoubtedly a part of the human experience. As much as we try and control and contain variables; seek “safe” investments (be it time, money or relationships); or count on transportation running on time, there is always going to be some level of uncertainty.
Victims and Creators have distinct ways of relating to uncertainly. Victims see uncertainly as a problem to react to or to try and solve, experiencing it as a type of Persecutor. Creators, on the other hand, factor uncertainly in as part of the creating process. They focus on the outcome they want to create, tap into their passion for that outcome, and take action to move forward even in the face of uncertainty.
One of the best modern era examples of two Creators moving forward in the face of uncertainty were the Wright Brothers with their passionately held vision of heavier-than-air powered flight.
(Those who know me well are aware that I grew up in Dayton, Ohio where the Wright Brothers conducted most of their experiments. I have been fascinated by them as examples of Creators not knowing if what they wanted to create was possible, while remaining committed to the vision’s possibility.)
When asked by a reporter if the brothers were after fame or fortune, Orville responded, “If we had been thing of making money, we would have tried to invent something where the chances of success were brighter.”
In other words, they would have placed more emphasis on certainty of success. Instead, they were driven by a passionately held dream which, to me, is the hallmark of living life as a Creator.
Creators “learn to live with uncertainly,” while moving forward in the process of creating outcomes.