"What's the point?" I sometimes ask myself. It's such an uncertain world out there. I mean, "It all looks so bleak. Why should I even bother to try to move forward in life or my career? Why should I try to improve my circumstances when I don't think it will lead to anywhere? Why should I try anything in this crazy, uncertain, unpredictable and difficult environment?"
Over the last few years as I have worked through trying to deal with uncertainty of life, the unpredictability of a career, chaos at work and the complex nature of things, I have come to some realizations that have helped me to keep going and move forward in life.
For me, embrace the chaos means: to accept the uncertainty of life and move forward anyway! Take action despite not knowing how things will turn out. To stop over-thinking, stop over-analyzing, stop trying to predict. To go ahead, take action, move forward in life, move forward in a new career, take new action, start a new business, get into a new relationship and stop over thinking whether or not it will work.
But self-doubt arises in all of us. No matter how strong we might be, the question of WHY always comes up:
Why should I embrace the chaos? Here are my own reasons to get unstuck and move forward in life...
12 Reasons to Embrace the Chaos Next Year!
1. Accepting the chaos of life is better than trying to fight it
Life has always been in unpredictable and full of uncertainty. We just didn't realize it. Accept it. Don't fight it. Accepting the reality of our world today is the most important way to learn to live in it. Let go of your ego. Let go of trying to force order and perfection to an imperfect life full of ups and downs and uncertainty. Often, stress, anxiety and tension occurs when you fight hard to change something you cannot change. You can't control the chaos. You can only change you... your thoughts and your actions. And that's really good news... to focus on what you CAN control... you!
2. You cannot predict the future
Uncertainty about how things will turn out tomorrow holds a lot of us back from pursuing our life ambitions, relationships or business ideas. We waste so much time trying to make sure the path we take is the "right one," when the reality is that there is no right path... just the one you're on! No one knows what's going to happen tomorrow. That's a good thing in some respects because the walls around us are malleable and move constantly. You and I have just as good a shot as anyone at success and happiness. Stop trying to figure out the future and CREATE moments by working towards your purpose in the here and now. This moment right now is the only one you can be certain of.
3. You will feel better doing than not doing
Taking a step forward in any direction makes you feel like you have some level of control of your life. When you take action, you stop over thinking and get less anxious because in some sense, you are creating your own future in the here and now. You get a rush when you're consumed with activity geared towards pursuing a goal, irrespective of how tough the goal. You feel like you're in charge again because you are... of your thoughts and your actions. The positive energy generated by movement of hands and body in forward motion towards the pursuit of a higher purpose, a life-long trip, a business goal or to raise a child, is often what keeps us energetic, youthful and feel alive.
4. One thing always leads to another
Like a stone thrown into a pond of water, somehow one tiny little step forward puts in motion other pieces, rippling away, leading you to places, people and opportunities that you can never have imagined. You didn't get to where you are right now by your perfectly laid out plans years ago. So many of us arrived where we are through the zig zag motion of life, through stepping stones that were laid out all over the place. Some of the greatest things in your life right now, came to you by chance, randomness and luck.
5. You will become a better person... faster, stronger, leaner and sharper
The mind is a muscle and like any muscle sometimes the mind needs resistance and tension to grow and develop as much as it needs nourishment and positive energy. Use the chaos of life to learn and develop. Adversity forces you to dig down deep inside to make you rediscover your inner strength or to fire synapsis in your brain that create new learnings. Moving forward in uncertainty forces the potential energy that is already within you to come out.
6. You are resilient and know how to adapt
You don't know what real strength lies within unless you're put in a situation that forces you to bring it out. You have an innate ability deep within to adapt and improvise to our new environment. You can handle it because your DNA has gone through a history of difficult times and has progressed ever since. As human beings, we have this awesome ability to persevere in really difficult times with nothing more than what you've been given: an able body and a strong mind. The resiliency inside all of is dormant but kicks in when you move forward in life.
7. You are meant for bigger things
Within each of us lies a potential for great things. Think about the possibility of becoming who you really want to become... a better parent, a more successful business person who creates jobs for many, a better spouse or partner or simply contribute more to society. This great person will never be realized unless you take steps to move forward in life and do something different... to accept the chaos and move forward anyway. All of us are meant to create positive impact to all those around us, in our own unique way.
8. Chaos forces us to clarify what's really important... and what's not
When you embrace the chaos and move forward in life, you get crystal clear as to what makes you more fulfilled, more satisfied and ultimately, more happy. Self discovery and self realizations happen during moments of confusion, clutter and consistent complexity when you're feeling lost, headed for trouble. That's when your mind gets really clear as to what's the most important thing you want out of life. Because the mind cannot focus on all of those things, your mind suddenly awakens and hones in. For some of us, a big challenge or adversity that seems insurmountable at the time, jolts us to recognize what we really want. And for some people, it becomes less about the money... and more about the relationships, the family, the kids and good health.
9. It will make you grateful
Humility is a wonderful thing and for some of us, it only comes when you're forced to deal with something life changing. Life is so unpredictable, fast and really, really short. When you accept the ups and downs and the uncertainty of life, you begin to be grateful for what you have not on what you don't. The joy and happiness that comes from appreciating what you have adds fuel to the fire already burning inside to achieve your life long goals. You'll only realize how great of a life you have when your wake up and see the realities of our existence. Being grateful makes you so much happier in the smallest things.
10. Chaos can be transformative
Sometimes difficult, unpredictable and terrible experiences awaken us to the realities of our existence often encouraging us to get on with work we have been waiting to do. Whether we like it or not, it forces us to make difficult choices and take bold steps forward in life. And we might have to go through these difficult times in order to truly transform into the kind of person we want to become. Once you actually embrace uncertainty and go ahead with a life goal or a relationship, you begin to change, discovering new things about yourself. You begin to value different things in life... to have deeper, more richer conversations with friends, colleagues and family. To find real meaning and joy in the smallest things. Like a caterpillar, you transform into a butterfly.
11. Things have a way of working out in the end
People say, "things have a way of working out in the end" because it is often so true. Perhaps not always but there's a reason why it is a commonly used phrase. For me, in a strange way, you have to have some level of faith perhaps a belief that what accidents happen in life are there to teach us something. To shape our life, to shape our core beliefs, to make us who we are. When you're in the thick of uncertainty and chaos at work or in your personal life, it's hard to see but think of all the times in your past, when you thought it was really, really bad... and maybe it really was... but often it isn't as bad as we think and things work out.
12. Going with the flow is a lot of fun
I used to be this type A, order loving, always hyper-stressed guy. Still am... sort of. By learning to take action, let go and see what happens, I've had a lot less stress and a lot more fun. Life is good... sure it's hard... but it's still good and can be so much more fun if you go with the flow. Some of most fun I have ever had occurred when I was working hard on creating a new business with my wife, while performing at a high level in my corporate career. Moments came up where I realized that wow... this is so cool. It was a lot better than sitting around in anxiety and stress waiting for the shoe to drop. Ten years from now, you may remember the difficult times but you'll have more significant memories of the times where you joined in, moved forward, embraced spontaneity and said, why not!