Character Creates Opportunity® – The Upside in Uncertainty: Thursday, November 5, 2015

100% Certainty.  We all like a sense of stability and comfort in the very binary “yes or no” that comes with certainty.

If I work hard and build trust, I will succeed in building this business.

If I listen well and work hard on my marriage, my marriage will last.

If I study hard and listen well in class, I will get good grades in school.

If I save and invest wisely, I will have some money when I get too old to work productively.

If I eat well and exercise, I will avoid heart disease and diabetes.

The truth is that there are few things in life that happen with 100% certainty.  “Death and taxes” were the only ones that Ben Franklin could come up and I don’t think much has changed since wise old Ben wrote that truth.

With all this uncertainty, it turns out that we have a significant opportunity to build and strengthen our character as we effectively deal with the upside in uncertainty.character-creates-opportunity-2014-250-by-250px

Psychologists would tell us that the idea of uncertainty brings about a mix of fear, anxiety, and worry.  They would also tell us that 100% certainty in our expectations brings about a degree of comfort, but also opens a wide door towards complacency and taken things for granted.

Customers will always come back just like they did for the last two generations that ran this business

My spouse will always remain committed to our marriage

The company will always take care of its people

The greatest risk we have around things that we see as 100% certain is that we take them for granted and then wake up one day and customers are not coming back, our spouse’s bags are pack, and we are let go with a few week’s pay after giving years of service to a company.

The upside in uncertainty is that with a little anxiousness and concern about the future, we stand guard, we are honest about our weaknesses, we stay aware of our surroundings and we work on continual improvement…we take nothing for granted.

Life is full of change and uncertainty.  At each stage of life, whether school age years, early adulthood, young families, empty nesters, there is a fair amount of change and uncertainty.

When we begin to embrace the upside in uncertainty by trying to continually improve and taking few things for granted, we will continue to build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity® to reach our hopes and dreams.