Searching for certainty - help from Seth Godin

Searching for certainty - help from Seth Godin

Our journey back to Estonia hasn’t been the smoothest one. It has been a really dramatic lifestyle change from backpacking in a tropical climate to shivering in my mom’s apartment.

Before starting our journey, we thought that travelling in Asia is uncertain and frightening as we go into somewhere unknown. But no, now I can tell that the hardest part of a long time travelling is coming back home.

There are just many decisions we have to make. How are we planning to earn money? What job should I take? Where are we going to live? Will I start playing football again? These are the commitments we need to do. And outcomes of our decisions are going to last for a while. Not like in Asia where we had the freedom to change our location, accommodation, or activities all the time.

Possibility to re-design our lives

When we left, we gave away most things that defined us – jobs, memberships, apartment, stuff. It means that we don’t have, except friends and families, a lot waiting for us here now. It’s a unique situation for us to be. We can theoretically re-design our lives here totally. Nothing is holding us back.

But nothing is showing us the right way either. There is no certain path laid in front of us, we have to start building it again. There are so many what-ifs, constraints, opportunities, and opinions to consider. Plus, there are many things we don’t control over, like if I get chosen for a job position or when exactly is oatmeal ready to be eaten.

A situation like this makes me wish that there would be someone else to make these hard decisions for me.

Seth Godin to rescue

While things were, and still are, slowly figuring themselves out, I happened to listen to a podcast episode that gave me a huge motivational lift.

It was by Seth Godin. From all self-help gurus and motivational speakers, there is a one who I read like no one else. Almost everything he writes connects with me. He is down to earth, gives incredible advice, and makes me feel like he doesn’t write it to sell something to me.

His past is unbelievable, as he wrote himself – 30 years of projects. Besides all his great work, he has committed himself to write a blog post every day. On 11th November 2017, he announced his 7000th blog post. It’s mind-blowing. How does he find time to write every single day? Where does he get all his ideas? How to be so consistent over decades? He is like a super creative machine.

Not too long ago I discovered his podcast Akimbo, and I have to say that I am even more impressed. The way how fascinatingly he tells his stories makes me listen to his podcasts with my full attention. Not like other’s that I usually listen to while I am in the gym or moving somewhere. It’s pure gold coming from his mouth.

Here is the episode that helped me gain my confidence:

Favourite parts from the episode

It’s your turn, and it’s always your turn.

Why trade away certainty for something else? People who are open for uncertainty are pathfinders for everyone else. They are the ones who walk on the moon, who open important non-profits, who create painting worth falling in love with. We stare at them with admiration and shower them with opportunities and gratitude. Not because they take big risks, but because they are willing to live with not knowing.

Everyone who takes their turn gets scared. Why everyone always talking about doing important work without fear? Of course, you are going to feel fear. A question is where do you put the fear?

Sometimes we have to find a situation where there is nowhere to hide. I made this. It’s my fault. It was my idea. I decided to do it. How often are we unwilling to face the void? Hoping that we won’t get blamed. But no place to hide is the only place to be. If it matters, we have to remove every single cubbyhole where we can escape. It’s only when we are this naked that we are able to fully take our turn and understand what it is to make something. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing this naked. This alone. This responsibly.

It will all be okay. This oft-repeated phrase might mean everything will turn out the way you want to, but it doesn’t. It never turns out that way. It actually means something will happen, and whatever happens, you can figure out what to do with that. Because by defining “whatever happens is okay” we open the door to accepting our work and our world and our quest to make things better.

It will be okay

This amazing episode gave me a decent confidence boost.

I know that whatever job position I accept, it will be okay. I will figure it out.

And it’s normal to feel fear about starting a side hustle or be nervous before publishing naked honest blog posts.

That’s the thing about living with uncertainty. There are so many fears, but even more opportunities. The only question is, where to put the fear?

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