There are many things I don’t know. Including what will happen tomorrow. Some things I do know. Including what happens after I die. Spoiler alert: my loved ones will grieve.
There are people who want to make me believe they know the future with certainty. Politicians who make grand plans. Religious zealots who preach heaven or hell. That’s all bullshit.
We can’t act with a limited imagination of the future. We need to base our actions in facts about right now and allow for multiple possible futures. Yes, that’s hard. Admitting you don’t know what’s going to happen is hard. But planning for exactly one possible future and being wrong—that’s much harder!
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about personal decisions, project management or even laws: they all benefit from a realistic understanding of the involved uncertainty. And everyone who preaches certainty is at least wrong about their own fallibility. We need to be much more skeptical with those people.
That places us in the difficult position of living with uncertainty. My mind doesn’t feel right in the presence of uncertainty, like there’s an open loop in my head. So I try to figure out the future as it happens and react accordingly. I make decisions, but will adjust them if and when the world changes.
Why don’t we make all decisions like this? For example in politics: we institute a law, but regularly check if it’s still compatible with reality. By admitting uncertainty, we can create something that better fits reality—because we’ll frequently check. And that’s something the preachers of certainty often forget to do.