Get out of the fire first and try to understand it later

When we find ourselves in the middle of circumstances that we didn’t want, didn’t ask for, or didn’t expect, our natural response is to scramble for clarity. 

Especially when we have no context for these experiences that have left us so devastated. 

We try and put everything that’s happening into a tidy little box that helps us understand the world a little better. Hunting down the one big prize of clarity that will finally free us. 

Our only wish is that a simple, incontrovertible answer will magically appear and make us whole again. As if to tell ourselves:

No, no, this is going to be the big one. This next meeting, phone call, email this will connect all of the dots for me and everything will finally make sense. 

But what happens when that gift of clarity doesn’t arrive? What happens when our unanswered prayers prove that our understanding of the world is imperfect? 

Mostly frustration, anger and laughter at the absurdity of existence. 

Because the fact that we never get to understand everything, the fact that our search for clarity is never over, it just bothers the hell out of us. 

What the serious fuck everybody? Can’t the universe just go back to conducting itself in order to please, entertain and fulfill our individual needs? Good god. 

It reminds me of one of the pioneers of computer animated film. Pixar’s founder has a zenlike response to this experience of uncertainty:

There is no clean answer. It is true of most of the things in our lives. They’re all mixed together is inherently messy, confusing, and there aren’t clear boundaries. The desire for complete clarity actually leads one away from addressing the mess that’s in the middle. 

And so, instead of hoping for the certainty and clarity that is just not going to exist, let us be wiser to enter the confusion of the world with no hope of ever finding clarity. 

Let us stop demanding that the universe be clear in expressing its intentions. 

Let us not hold out waiting for the correct answer. 

And let us frame our frustration in a way that converts turbulence into creation. 

If anything, it’s a smarter way to invest our energy. 


If clarity is not available to you today, can you trust that it will come later, or possible not at all?* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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