“A warrior accepts that we can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not-knowing is part of the adventure. It’s also what makes us afraid.” – Pema Chodron
Words by Georgie Loxton, CFA, Founder, Liberty Wealth Partners
This quote struck me as poignant in today’s world. We live in an unpredictable and chaotic world. We operate in complex random systems. That has always been the case – but it can take a crisis to remind us. If we are able to accept, like the warrior, that we can never know what will happen next, the question becomes, what can we do about it?
Some may say there is nothing you can do about it. That’s the ‘walking around with your fingers crossed’ approach. The other approach is to plan whilst acknowledging that the plan is based on our best guess about the unpredictable and chaotic world that we live in. In the process of planning, we ask ourselves questions, we start to anticipate and we set a general direction. Then as we move through life we make decisions that propel us in that direction. We adjust and recalibrate as we go. We replace our guesses with real life.
Somewhere along the path, we find ourselves in an unexpected place. Whilst we didn’t know what it would be, we always knew something would blow us off course. We built that uncertainty into the plan. It becomes invaluable because despite the chaos we suddenly find ourselves in, we are able to see clearly that our general direction hasn’t changed and we have a sense of what we are trying to get back to.
It’s like an avalanche swept up behind us, rolled us down the mountain and we are buried deep in the snow. With no plan, you have no sense of which way is up. You don’t know which way to dig. You need that sense of direction. That sense of direction means your next action becomes clear and you find your way out, back to the light.
We build a plan based on the weighty evidence of history because like the warrior, we accept that we can never know what will happen next. We take a rationally optimistic stance because we acknowledge that whilst there will be set-backs, the collective ingenuity and resilience of the human race will see us through. It has, after all, never failed us yet, and data tells us it has been put to the test many times.
Whilst we live in uncertain times we have to accept that we can never know what will happen to us next. We can ‘keep our fingers crossed’ or we can plan for the unexpected, financially and emotionally. Then we can say ‘we have done all we can’, and we can move on through the adventure that is life. It doesn’t mean we won’t be afraid. All warriors are afraid. It means we will continue on despite the fear.
To learn more, contact: Georgie Loxton, Founder of Liberty Wealth Partners at:
Visit: Fort 51, Fort Street, George Town, Grand Cayman