Positive Uncertainty

 It may have happened, it may not have happened but it could have happened.                 Mark Twain     

Life is full of possibilities; so is my writing. This blog is the result of my reading the recent book, The Possibility Principle by Mel Swartz. I have adopted his title and made it personal. Because possibility is about something that is possible, but not certain, it is about uncertainty. My writing has been about “Positive Uncertainty” since 1989.

 Think of uncertainty as the wind in our sails.                                                                   Uncertainty is where new possibilities lies. Mel Schwartz

 Possibility and uncertainty are two sides of the same coin. Together they represent the prerequisite and the product of an open mind. Possibility and uncertainty open the mind to decision making questions like: “What else could I do?”  What else could happen”?

 You and I know that possibilities exist. But do we pay attention when making decisions? “Don’t confuse me with possibilities, my mind is already made up.” Possibilities are not facts, but they are possible actions and possible outcomes. Today it is well accepted that we cannot possibly know all the possibilities when making decisions. But we need to realize they exist. This is why it is difficult, sometimes impossible, to make totally rational decisions.

By definition, possibility is a thing that may be chosen or done, out of several possible alternative choices. That sounds like a definition of decision making. Adding a possibility principle to my decision making repertoire seems very appropriate.  Of course, I am encouraging others to adopt the possibility principle and a positive uncertainty strategy.

Possibility invites and requires our participation. To envision and actualize the future         we long for, we must view uncertainty as our ally.   Mel Swartz

To view uncertainty is an ally is crucial; but most people prefer certainty. Certainty and dogma don’t give you many decision making options. Since beliefs become behavior and can be self-fulfilling prophecies, beliefs may well determine possibilities. Do you know what you believe about uncertainty and possibilities?  What you believe will determine how you decide what to do.

I am neither an optimist nor pessimist, but a possibilist. – Max Lerner





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  1. Ursula K Gobets says:

    H B,

    I can really relate to your blog. It validates much of my thinking. I forwarded to 3 of my granddaughters. Ursula


  2. Eugene Unger says:

    You will get your drivers license. Choose this outcome! I will be praying for this outcome! God is good to those who seek His help! He knows how much this means to you. Is it possible you could use His help?



  3. Marianne says:

    As always–good thoughts on which to reflect
    My first thinking is that I can become paralyzed in my decisions because the possibilities are too overwhelming or I see the negative possibilities. Then I become afraid to make a final decision. At this time of life, I become hesitant to make a wrong choice. That is because there isn’t time to correct a mistake.
    Thanks for opening the door to thinking about how appropriate this negativity in my decision making.
    Happy New year.

  4. betsy collard says:

    Got me thinking. Not exactly on your topic but the last paragraph about viewing uncertainty as an ally. That’s what I think I try and do because it gives you more flexibility to create your future. As a student, I always hated multiple choice tests because they reaked of certainty – there was a correct answer for certain. I always liked the essay or open ended question because it left open possibilities that were interesting.

    Happy New Year!

    B >

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