My wife calls me a baby orangutan, maybe you can see why? 😄
My last hair cut was February 13th: 142 days ago, or approximately 20 weeks.
Today I’m going to get it cut.
I normally get it cut every 5 weeks. After the last cut I was certain I would get it cut again within 5 weeks.
It didn’t happen. Hardly a disaster of course but it got me thinking about certainty, and the uncertainty I feel about getting it cut today.
In science certainty and uncertainty are probabilistic, statistical and measurable.
In our human experience it’s a feeling we cultivate.
Us humans really do need some sense of certainty - a feeling that tomorrow will be broadly the same as today, that our friends and family will stand by us, that we’re not in immediate physical danger, that we won’t starve, and that the sun will come up in the morning. Without it our basic need to feel safe is at risk.
If we take this too far though, we box ourselves in. When we play it too safe we create another risk. In the words of Earl Nightingale, we tiptoe through life hoping to make it safely to death.
By fighting for certainty we close off to opportunity. We neither create the conditions for exciting new possibilities, nor notice the the opportunities that are always all around us. Our life becomes unnecessarily constrained.
In a business sense, this is the difference between the market fruit and veg seller who has battened down the hatches and is waiting for this Covid-19 thing to “all blow over”, and the one who has switched to home delivery and is thriving (a real world example I’ve seen in Cambridge!)
I’m feeling a little uncertain about getting my hair cut. I’m wondering about the risks of being in a public space, what I should wear and what procedures I should follow. And I’m uncertain about what to do with my hair!
I could bring back a feeling of certainty by having the same hair cut I have been having for years.
I’m going to play though. Let’s see what happens when I ask for a baby orangutan cut!
This article is part of 100 Days of Creation, my challenge to myself to write 100 articles in 140 days, each taking no longer than 30 minutes to write and publish.