I am out of control! Every day I am humbled by all the things out of my control…from family issues to work challenges to health complications or even the wake-up time of my cat; not to mention the whole world around me. I used to believe I had much more control than I do now. What I know now is the sense of control I thought I had was an illusion.
There was a day when I believed that there were singular answers to most political, social and cultural challenges and I just needed to find “the answer”. I was even convinced that no one played guitar better than Jimi Hendrix or Pele was the greatest soccer player of all time. Maybe…maybe not.
What changed? Well…everything of course! I have learned that there is much more ambiguity to anything that has any complexity to it. Out of necessity I have had to learn about and embrace emergence and the uncertainty that surrounds new patterns, behaviors, structures and knowledge. The more intricacy the more uncertainty.
Recently, I was in a conversation about how we can know “truth” or “fact”. Was science wrong when most believed the earth was the center of the universe or that ether was the substance that allowed light waves to travel? The truth is: science is right until it is proven to be wrong. New data and research fueled by computers and Artificial Intelligence are creating many opportunities for all of us to have access to more knowledge, perspective and truth.
What is the difference between truth and fact? Facts are mostly thought to be ideas that can be seen and tested by anyone and found to be “true”. The scientific method in which theories are tested and verified has served humanity well since the enlightenment. Scientists or anyone can develop or test a hypothesis and discover what is a fact and from there we can draw our conclusions about what is true or how much truth is in the fact. Some things are truer than others. Is crunchy pizza the best or running the best form of exercise? It depends.
Truth is a hotly contested topic but nearly everything people thought they knew as true over the years and decades has changed over and over. Fact is- both fact and truth are provisional and the more the complexity the more likely it will change.
Don’t panic! All this change should not give you anxiety, if we don’t resist verifiable changes in facts and truth and we become comfortable learning, unlearning and then re-learning we are showing our ability to transform and grow as human beings.
So…what can we do to withstand the sometimes-shocking experience of change? First, shift your mindset out of one of control to influence. Become comfortable working with probabilities and guesses, understand how to have a conversation with a future’s perspective and stay positive and focus on what you can actually influence which is more than you may think initially.
There is no control but we CAN influence how we can adapt and ultimately accept new truths.