Overwhelming Uncertainty


On a completely different track from my thoughts on Insufficient Uncertainty, today I'm fighting off Overwhelming Uncertainty. Michael Lopp, a.k.a. Rands, introduced me to the concept of "entropy surfing" through his Trickle Theory post. The post is worth a full read, but here's the ending from this well-written analysis of software development:

Fact is, your world is changing faster than you’ll ever be able to keep up with and you can view that fact from two different perspectives:

1) I believe I can control my world and through an aggressive campaign of task management, personal goals, and a CAN DO attitude, I will succeed in doing the impossible. Go me!


2) I know there is no controlling the world, but I will fluidly surf the entropy by constantly changing myself.

Surfing entropy takes confidence. This isn’t Tony Robbins confidence, this is a personal confidence you earn by constantly adapting yourself to the impossible.

How different is that feeling from dealing with a serious illness? Granted, a trip to the ER ending in a prescription and a generic diagnosis are nothing compared to, say, cancer. That said, both of those people and more suffer from the same, shared, additional problem: Overwhelming Uncertainty.

More troublesome, perhaps, than the diagnosis or treatments themselves is the intimate understanding that we know very little about how well our body is doing at any given time. Only once sufficient data and observation takes place do we learn anything about it, and when we do - our world changes. Fast.

We're left with those same two options: foolishly attempt to control the chaos, or confidently surf the entropy.

Personally, if only for a lack of fortitude on my own, my confidence comes from faith. And there are days when I'm securely on my feet, on the board, surfing with the best. Then there's today, and I'm tossed in the waves. I'll get back on the board, though, and I pray that when your world changes, you'll have the confidence to join me on the surf.

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