Playing With Uncertainty: Discover Happiness Instead of Assuming Where it Will Be

Almost any time we think we “know” the truth we do so at the expense of our happiness.

Almost any time we think we “know” the truth we do so at the expense of our happiness.

Therefore a nice happiness trick is to let go of assuming we know and adopt an attitude of uncertainty instead.

This can be scary, because the nature of uncertainty is that we have no idea what will come next and therefore feels insecure or unsafe, but with practice we can learn that getting our ideas—in this case ideas about what makes us happy—out of the way clears the space for us to actually be happy.

Being happy and uncertain does not mean accepting everything just the way it is and becoming a victim of circumstances. In fact, by holding an attitude of not knowing we are more free to ask for what we want and set stronger boundaries.

Here are some examples of how it works in practice.

Scenario 1: An encounter with a co-worker.

You “know” that your co-worker is disrespectful, so you when they snap at you for taking the last bit of coffee you instantly get angry and snap back.

What if you didn’t know? What if you didn’t assume? You might ask, “hey co-worker, are you okay?” discovering that their dog died the night before—discovering new intimacy and a chance to care for them instead of being angry with them.

You might also be more free to set a boundary, because you don’t assume that they’ll always be this way. “Hey co-worker, I don’t want to be snapped at. It’s hard for me not be defensive, and I’d like to treat you better too. Can you help me out? Even when you’re angry with me, I’d prefer if you could communicate your feelings with a gentler tone.”

Scenario 2: A Christmas present.

You “know” the only thing you want is a remote controlled helicopter for christmas, so when your kids give you something different you feel only disappointment.

What if you didn’t know what would bring you happiness? You might discover that you find joy in being with your kids; their style of wrapping presents; the laughter and smiles of being together. You might still be disappointed by the gift, but by “not knowing” what will make you happy you find you have it by other means.

Give it a shot. Allow yourself to discover the truth of each moment instead of going around assuming you know. Allow yourself to discover happiness instead of seek it. Allow yourself to be surprised by little things, and find joy in the surprise of a new perspectives, even if it contradicts your own.

One more question that might help when you realize that you are holding on very tightly to a particular point of view—how do you KNOW this is true?

Image: some rights reserved by GPS

Category: Belief

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