Recently, I’ve shared some vague pieces of information about some problems that have been occurring in my personal life. The issues are creating some difficulty and uncertainty. Sorry, but that’s about all I can share at this time. In the future, I may have another book or two that will come from these current problems. For now I just want to elaborate on the power that we can tap into when we accept uncertainty.
Whether in art or life, accepting uncertainty is a key element in staying healthy and productive. Years ago I saw a psychiatrist, Dr. Fred, when I was going through a divorce and custody battle. I was anxious, depressed, and borderline crazy. The psychiatrist prescribed three things: sleep, food, and fun. That’s right, no anti-depressants or anxiety medication, just the practice of a healthy lifestyle. He said it was no wonder I was experiencing anxiety because I had half a dozen situations in my life that were outside of my control. I had an overwhelming sense of uncertainty.
Dr. Fred’s advice fit me well then and it still does today. I’ll never forget it. Uncertainty is an element of life we all have to deal with, some more than others. I’ve had my share. But not only can accepting uncertainty help us in life, it can help us become better artists and creators.
I’ve been writing music, books, and songs for much of my life. As a novice, I was always concerned about getting things just right, following the rules, and creating the exact content I intended to create. I wanted to be certain that my work was exactly what I set out to do. However, the longer I live and work as a creator, the more I discover that knowing less about my end results has allowed me the freedom to create as I will. I stopped fighting uncertainty in my artistic endeavors. I just make stuff. If it works it works. If it doesn’t, it might work at a later date. It doesn’t really matter.
I know uncertainty can suck. I’ve dealt with a lot of it. But fighting uncertainty only brings more stress and anxiety. Accepting uncertainty helps us to overcome the fear that is often associated with it. In fact, uncertainty can be mysterious, adventurous, and fun, even when the situation seems dire. No one gets any guarantees in life. Don’t fret. Live each moment for now. Accept uncertainty and you’ll find that both your life and your art will be a little more interesting, spontaneous, and enjoyable.
And just like the photo at the top of this essay suggests, sometimes there might be something beautiful at the end of a long, hard journey. – dse