I realized that the people I coach and teach are just like me: we feel shaky, scared, anxious, and uncomfortable when we are faced with massive uncertainty, like when the ground is pulled out from under our feet.
This shakiness is the cause of our procrastinating and hiding from overwhelming projects. We run from discomfort, and put off exercise, healthy eating, meditation, writing, reading and all the other things we want in our lives.
And so, if we can train in uncertainty, we can get good at life. We no longer need to fear groundlessness.
What does it mean to train in uncertainty?
It means to constantly yank the rug out from under your feet.
When you get comfortable with something, you have to give it up. When you think you know something, you have to toss it out. When you walk through life with concepts, you have to let those concepts go and see things with fresh eyes.
Most of us walk around thinking we know things—think about how often we think we know how everyone else should act. Training in uncertainty is letting go of the certainty that we know how everyone else should behave, and having no concepts.
Most of us walk around thinking we know what things around us are. We barely glance at the things we pass by. Training in uncertainty is tossing all that out, and seeing things for the first time, full of curiosity.
Training in uncertainty is pushing into discomfort when you want to run to comfort. It’s going to an event that scares the crap out of you. It’s setting aside time to write every day even when you want to run like crazy from the writing.
And then when you think you know something about training in uncertainty … you throw that out too. You keep throwing everything away and know nothing.
What you’re left with is just impermanence—constant flux. Groundlessness. A deeply interconnected world, without separation.
Train with me in 2019, in my Fearless Training Program. We’ll have the ground pulled out from under us together.
Leo Babauta is the author of six books, the writer of “Zen Habits,” a blog with over 2 million subscribers, and the creator of several online programs to help you master your habits. Visit ZenHabits.net