WorldWide Drilling Resource

27 WorldWide Drilling Resource® JANUARY 2021 Uncertainty ~ Managing the Future Part 1 by Tim Connor Oswald Chambers once said, “The only thing that is certain is uncertainty.” Uncertainty definition: “The state of being uncertain - times of uncertainty and danger." Well, that was really helpful. Here’s mine: When we don’t know what the future, whether the next minute or the next year, has in store for us, will it challenge us, help us, support us, cause chaos for us, or is positive, neutral, or negative. A little better, but definitions can often be challenging since words can be interpreted differently by everyone. In times of uncertainty, we have three options: wait, quit, or act. Let’s first look at each from a short perspective. Waiting in some situations is stupid and in others, a wise choice - what’s the difference? If you are waiting to act for something you can’t control, want to improve, or disappear, it’s wise. If you are waiting for outcomes for something you can have influence or creative responses over - stupid. How about quitting? Quitting can be either wise or stupid. Quitting is stupid if you failed to evaluate, consider, or effectively interpret circumstances. It is wise if you have exhausted all your options, resources, approaches, and energy, and you just can’t change or improve the future outcomes no matter what. And finally, you can act. Acting when you have limited experience, resources, energy, time, skills, desire, clear direction, goals, etc. is stupid. If you have all of these and are filled with confidence and resilience, acting is wise. So regardless of whether a situation requires quitting, acting, or waiting, the common thread is wisdom’s ingredients. And these are: When in doubt, listen to your gut, inner voice, heart, and consciousness. There are five concepts to consider before we dig into the details of the three options, their benefits, and consequences. 1) The number one contributor to death is stress. The number one contributor to stress is impatience. The number one contributor to impatience is the need for control. And the number one contributor to the need for control is fear of the unknown. 2) Doing anything - driving, eating, exercising, working, etc. - faster does not give you one more minute of life. 3) Everything changes evolves, ends, grows, or dies - sooner or later. 4) Letting uncertainty of the future have a negative impact on your present will contribute to a lifetime negative impact on your past. 5) Everything in life has consequences; some are positive and some are negative. Some are short-term while others can take years or even a lifetime to materialize. Okay, let’s take a more detailed look at quitting, acting, and waiting. Quitting - Ever quit anything too soon - a relationship, project, hobby? Quitting is only easy when you have given up - emotionally, financially, physically, etc. The problem is most people don’t want to quit, they just want to want to quit. See the difference? We want the option to bail when we feel circumstances, results, or expectations don’t equal our goals or actions. To be honest, I have quit a few times. In hindsight years later, I looked back and realized I should have hung in there just a bit longer with more energy, patience, resolve, or more tolerance. Been there? Uncertainty can create a great deal of emotional tension that many feel the need to manage or fix with action now, decisions now, something now, anything now. Sometimes immediate action vs. quitting can be beneficial, but far too often quick or knee-jerk responses to challenges or unknowns can lead to disaster, unnecessary failure, or costs emotionally, financially, or physically which could have been avoided. So, how do we know when not quitting is the right or best option to uncertainty or unknowns? You are not going to like my answer, but here it is anyway - it depends. Depends on what, Tim? It depends on your degree of commitment, investment, patience, a willingness to let go or surrender, your ability to learn before you quit, and your desire to ensure whatever the outcome - it will be better than giving up or throwing in the towel. No one knows what lies around the next corner in life. Oh sure, you can try and predict, hope, dream, work like crazy, and pray, but in the end, life is uncertain every single day of your life. After over 40 years of speaking around the world, I have learned a great deal, but one thing stands out - if you can control it - do something; if you can’t control it - chill, relax, breathe, and use the time to learn, grow, and get wiser. Quitting is far too often premature and stupid without adequate evaluation, consideration, research, etc. I hope you notice the connection between these three options - quitting, waiting, and action. If not, you have missed the central message in this article. They are all connected in one way or another. The secret is to learn to make the best use of the combination of the three options. Keep reading next month, and it will come to you. Tim Tim Connor may be contacted via e-mail to