Does the horse wearing blinders know their vision is restricted? Preparing for possible outcomes, anticipating circumstances, having contingencies requires a clear awareness and unobstructed vision. While hindsight offers textbook acuity, it’s unobtainable. They say you can’t see the forest for the trees. This classic adage doesn’t mean we shouldn’t attempt to visualize the forest. If you’ve traipsed through enough woodlands, recreating and visualizing the forest from above is easier. You learn the lay of the land, the craggy outcroppings, the undulating hillside. The low lying areas with their boggy soil change the kind of trees and the view from above.
Similarly, life’s topography provides our bird’s eye view. Walk through your life aware and you develop your senses. They’re the one thing you can trust. They may be the only thing you can trust. But how do you discern the notion of fear from a genuine mastery of the forest?
I’ve been down this path before. It looks familiar. Did I break that twig? Am I alone in this wood? Are those animal tracks? Am I the hunter or the hunted? There are certainties on which I can be assured. This isn’t Lost Island. No polar bears will pad across my path, no smokey demons will slither about me and devour me. This is not some fantastical, parallel universe into which I tripped on a crease in the fabric of time. What I have known and what is real are still what I know and still what is real.
Trust your database. Except, my database leaves no room for speculation. Databases are 100% retrospective data. The logical conclusion is that how things have been will be how they are again. Only a magical thinker looks at the data and expects a different outcome. I am a scientist. I trust my data. And within that data is the chaos loop that brings a barrage of things beyond my control. These events happen. They are common enough to be predictable but 100% beyond my control. Lightening strikes. How do you anticipate for them?
What I’ve learned is that you pause for a few moments and watch the storm front. You know it’s coming. You don’t stand on the roots of trees. There is no real protection from the lightening other than to not get struck. And you get indoors as soon as you can. But, you don’t cease existence. You pause the practice and clear the field…..for an hour….not forever. Lightening shouldn’t hijack living. The risk of getting struck increases if you go outside…..but confined living indoors is prison. It isn’t a life.
I can’t predict the unpredictable but I accept that the unpredictable is predictable simply because I know it happens. I can’t stop it, divert it, redirect it or even escape it. But I am done hiding from it, finished cowering and thinking I am responsible. If I’m gonna get struck, so be it. But to live a life trying to avoid ever getting struck means a life of banality and abandoned dreams. I can’t change the lightening. But the fear of lightening changes me, hijacks my life and detours my travels. And life slips away while I worry about lightening.
I am no fool, no daredevil. But the best data is MORE data. The chance of a different outcome is changing the variables, adding variables or deleting them. Run the experiment again with different variables. Collect more data and eureka may be just about the corner. Theoretical living is a classic experiment. You postulate an outcome, an expected return. When do you abandon the proof? After one try, a hundred tries………like the scientist or the inventor….if you believe in your theory, you keep tweaking and adjusting. You record your findings, you accurately measure everything and contemplate what caused the failure. And they you set up the experiment again.
If you believe in the light bulb…you keep trying.