Comfortable with Uncertainty
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Inspired by the Buddhist tradition of the 108-day retreat, a Tibetan Buddhist nun offers instruction and meditations for achieving compassion and awareness in everyday living.
Best-selling author and spiritual teacher Pema Chödrön shares life-changing practices for living with wisdom, confidence, and integrity amidst confusing situations and uncertain times. We live in difficult times. Life so often seems like a turbulent river threatening to drown us and destroy our world. Why, then, shouldn’t we cling to the certainty of the comfortable—to our deep-seated habits and familiar ways? Because, Pema Chödrön teaches, that kind of fear-based clinging keeps us from the infinitely more powerful experience of being fully alive. The teachings she presents here—known as the “Three Commitments”—provide a treasure trove of wisdom for learning to step right into the unknown, to completely and fearlessly embrace the groundlessness of being human. When we do, we begin to see not only how much better it feels to live an openhearted life, but we find that we begin to naturally and more effectively reach out to help and heal all those around us.
This book offers short, stand-alone readings designed to help us cultivate compassion and awareness amid the challenges of daily living. More than a collection of thoughts for the day, Comfortable with Uncertainty offers a progressive program of spiritual study, leading the reader through essential concepts, themes, and practices on the Buddhist path. Comfortable with Uncertainty does not assume prior knowledge of Buddhist thought or practice, making it a perfect introduction to Chödrön's teaching. It features the most essential and stirring passages from Chödrön's previous books, exploring topics such as lovingkindness, meditation, mindfulness, "nowness," letting go, and working with fear and other painful emotions. Through the course of this book, readers will learn practical methods for heightening awareness and overcoming habitual patterns that block compassion.
From the bestselling author of When Things Fall Apart, an open-hearted call for human connection, compassion, and learning to love the world just as it is during these most challenging times. In her first new book of spiritual teachings in over seven years, Pema Chödrön offers a combination of wisdom, heartfelt reflections, and the signature mix of humor and insight that have made her a beloved figure to turn to during times of change. In an increasingly polarized world, Pema shows us how to strengthen our abilities to find common ground, even when we disagree, and influence our environment in positive ways. Sharing never-before told personal stories from her remarkable life, simple and powerful everyday practices, and directly relatable advice, Pema encourages us all to become triumphant bodhisattvas--compassionate beings--in times of hardship. Welcoming the Unwelcome includes teachings on the true meaning of karma, recognizing the basic goodness in ourselves and the people we share our lives with--even the most challenging ones, transforming adversity into opportunities for growth, and freeing ourselves from the empty and illusory labels that separate us. Pema also provides step-by-step guides to a basic sitting meditation and a compassion meditation that anyone can use to bring light to the darkness we face, wherever and whatever it may be.
Jonathan Fields knows the risks-and potential power-of uncertainty. He gave up a six-figure income as a lawyer to make $12 an hour as a personal trainer. Then, married with a 3-month old baby, he signed a lease to launch a yoga center in the heart of New York City. . . the day before 9/11. But he survived, and along the way he developed a fresh approach to transforming uncertainty, risk of loss, and exposure to judgment into catalysts for innovation, creation, and achievement. Properly understood and harnessed, fear and uncertainty can become fuel for creative genius rather than sources of pain, anxiety, and suffering. In business, art, and life, creating on a world-class level demands bold action and leaps of faith in the face of great uncertainty. But that uncertainty can lead to fear, anxiety, paralysis, and destruction. It can gut creativity and stifle innovation. It can keep you from taking the risks necessary to do great work and craft a deeply-rewarding life. And it can bring companies that rely on innovation grinding to a halt. That is, unless you know how to use it to your advantage. Fields draws on leading-edge technology, cognitive-science and ancient awareness-focusing techniques in a fresh, practical, non-dogmatic way. His approach enables creativity and productivity on an entirely different level and can turn the once-tortuous journey into a more enjoyable quest. Fields will reveal how to: Make changes to your workflow that unlock buried creative potential. Build "creation hives" -- supportive groups that can supercharge and humanize the process. Tap social technology and user co-creation to add clarity, certainty, and sanity, even if you're an artist or solo-creator. Develop a set of personal practices and mindset shifts that let you not just tolerate, but invite and even amplify, uncertainty as a catalyst for genius. Drawing on extensive case studies and research, Fields shares a set of detailed personal practices and environmental changes that can not only humanize the creative process, but also allow individuals and teams to stay more open to opportunity and play a bigger creative game.
What if we could learn to accept I don't know and embrace the possibility that the future is full of mystery, excitement, and unlimited opportunity? The Art of Uncertainty is an invitation to the reader to consider its essential message: learning to love the unknown by staying present in the moment. If the difficulties of recent years have taught us anything-particularly those who "did everything right" and still saw it all fall apart-it's that none of us has as much control over our lives as we believe. The only thing we can control is our next thought. What if we could learn how to be at peace with uncertainty and embrace the possibility that the future is full of mystery, excitement, and unlimited opportunity? What if we discovered that a new paradigm can be more fulfilling, more rewarding, and more peaceful than what we have known? Living in the I don't know and loving it is an art form we can all master, and The Art of Uncertainty is the perfect guidebook.
Cut the organisational and operational dead weight to climb higher, faster The Light and Fast Organisation presents a blueprint for organisations looking to thrive in today's rapidly evolving business landscape. VUCA - Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity - has become the dominant mode of modern business, and leaders are overwhelmed. Competition and instability has increased while barriers to entry have fallen, chronic employee disengagement is on the rise and the global economic recovery is incredibly fragile; business leaders are uncomfortable, with threats to their business looming on all sides. This book proposes an alternative to the VUCA paradigm, one in which we learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, and a model for helping your organisation climb above the fray. Case studies from both business and mountaineering illustrate the benefits and practicalities of becoming light, fast, and agile and underscore the importance of self-awareness and self-reliance in minimising your exposure to risk. Business and mountaineering share many parallels, including frequent operation outside of the comfort zone. This book shows you the strong skills and effective strategies you need to reach the summit. Get comfortable with discomfort Adopt an 'Alpine Style' approach to business Operate outside of the VUCA paradigm Stretch outside your comfort zone to achieve more, faster Leaders must accept the current VUCA state and assess their preparedness, but it's possible to move beyond it by ingraining a 'light and fast' approach at the core of their organisations' values and operations. It's only through reaching beyond the 'safe' zone that we learn what we're made of, and build the foundations for successful leadership and teamwork. The Light and Fast Organisation is your practical coach for climbing the mountain, and your guide to the quickest route to the summit.
"An illuminating look at the surprising upside of ambiguity--and how, properly harnessed, it can inspire learning, creativity, even empathy Life today feels more overwhelming and chaotic than ever. We face constant political and economic upheaval, and we're bombarded with information, much of it contradictory. Managing uncertainty--in our jobs, our relationships, and our everyday lives--is fast becoming an essential skill. What should we do when we have no idea what to do? In Nonsense, Jamie Holmes shows how we react to ambiguous situations and how we can do it better. Being confused is unpleasant, so we tend to shutter our minds as we grasp for meaning and stability, especially in stressful circumstances. We're hard-wired to resolve contradictions quickly and extinguish anomalies. But in doing so, we lose a vital opportunity to learn something new, solve a hard problem, or see the world from another perspective. Over the last few years, new insights from social psychology and cognitive science have deepened our understanding of the role of ambiguity in our lives and Holmes brings this research together for the first time, showing how we can use uncertainty to our advantage. Whether we're dealing with an unclear medical diagnosis or launching a risky new product, Nonsense promises to transform the way we conduct business, educate our children, and make decisions. In an increasingly unpredictable, complex world, it turns out that what matters most isn't IQ, willpower, or confidence in what we know. It's how we deal with what we don't understand"--
Discusses the Buddhist concept of shenpa in order to describe how to become free from the destructive energy experienced during moments of conflict.
“Life is short, and the Art so long; the occasion fleeting; experience fallacious; and judgment difficult. The physician must not only be prepared to do what is right himself, but also to make the patient, the attendants, and the externals, cooperate.” –attributed to Hippocrates, c. 400 B.C.E. The award-winning author of How We Die and The Art of Aging, venerated physician Sherwin B. Nuland has now written his most thoughtful and engaging book. The Uncertain Art is a superb collection of essays about the vital mix of expertise, intuition, sound judgment, and pure chance that plays a part in a doctor’s practice and life. Drawing from history, the recent past, and his own life, Nuland weaves a tapestry of compelling stories in which doctors have had to make decisions in the face of uncertainty. Topics include the primitive (and sometimes illegal) procedures doctors once practiced with good intentions, such as grave robbing and prescribing cocaine as an anesthetic (which resulted in a physician becoming America’s first cocaine addict); the curious “cures” for irregularity touted by people from the ancient Egyptians to the cereal titan John Harvey Kellogg and bodybuilder Charles Atlas; and healers grappling with today’s complex moral and ethical quandaries, from cloning to gene therapy to the adoption of Eastern practices like acupuncture. Nuland also recounts his most dramatic experiences in a forty-year medical career: the time he was called out of the audience of a Broadway play to help a man having a heart attack (when no other doctor there would respond), and how he formed a profound friendship with an unforgettable–and doomed–heart patient. Behind these inspiring accounts always lie the mysteries of the human body and human nature, the manner in which the ill can will themselves back to health and the odd and essential interactions between a body’s own healing mechanisms and a doctor’s prescriptions. Riveting and wise, amusing and heartrending, The Uncertain Art is Sherwin Nuland’s best work, gems from a man who has spent his professional life acting in the face of ambiguity and sharing what he has learned. From the Hardcover edition.
A deeply affirming exploration of the challenges and possibilities of the unknown--with meditations and exercises that can help transform the fear and uncertainty of "not knowing" into a sense of openness, curiosity, and bravery. For most of us the unknown is both friend and foe. At times it can be a source of paralyzing fear and uncertainty, and at other times it can be a starting point for transformation, creativity, and growth. The unknown is a deep current that runs throughout all religions and mystical traditions, and it is also the nexus of contemporary psychotherapeutic thought and practice and a key element in all personal growth and healing. In The Wisdom of Not Knowing, psychotherapist Estelle Frankel shows us that our psychological, emotional, and spiritual health is radically influenced by how comfortable we are at navigating the unknown and uncertain dimensions of our lives. Drawing on insights from Kabbalah, depth psychology, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and ancient myth, Frankel explores how we can grow our souls by tapping into the wisdom of not knowing. She also includes case studies of individuals who have grappled with their fears of the unknown and, as a result, have come out wiser, stronger, and more resilient. Each chapter includes experiential exercises and/or meditations for befriending the unknown. These exercises help convey how we must be willing to "not know" in order to gain knowledge and be able to bear uncertainty so we can be free to enjoy a healthy sense of adventure and curiosity.
We must make judgments all the time when we can’t be certain of the risks. Should we have that elective surgery? Trust the advice of our financial adviser? Take that new job we’ve been offered? How worried should we be about terrorist attacks? In this lively and groundbreaking book, pioneering researcher Dylan Evans introduces a newly discovered kind of intelligence for assessing risks, demonstrating how vital this risk intelligence is in our lives and how we can all raise our RQs in order to make better decisions every day. Evans has spearheaded the study of risk intelligence, devising a simple test to measure a person’s RQ which when posted online sparked a storm of interest and was taken by tens of thousands of people. His research has revealed that risk intelligence is quite different from IQ, and that the vast majority of us have quite poor risk intelligence. However, he did find some people who have very high RQs. So what makes the difference? Introducing a wealth of fascinating research findings, Evans identifies a key set of common errors in our thinking that most of us fall victim to and that undermine our risk intelligence, such as “ambiguity aversion,” overconfidence in our knowledge, the fallacy of mind reading, and our attraction to worst-case scenarios. We are also regularly led astray by the ways in which information is provided to us. Citing a wide range of real-life examples— from the brilliant risk assessment skills of horse race handicappers to the tragically flawed evaluations of risk that caused the financial crisis—Evans illustrates that sometimes our most trusted advisers, including the experts and analysts at the top of their disciplines, don’t always give us the best advice when it comes to risk evaluation. Presenting his revolutionary test that allows readers to evaluate their own RQs, Evans introduces a number of simple techniques we can use to build our risk assessment powers and reports on the striking results he’s seen in training people to develop their RQs. Both highly engaging and truly mind-changing, Risk Intelligence will fascinate all of those who are interested in how we can improve our thinking in order to enhance our lives.
The author of the best-selling When Things Fall Apart offers insightful and compassionate advice on uncovering inner wisdom and opening one's heart while refusing to allow resentfulness and fear to block one's inner light. Reprint.
Nearly six million Americans suffer from the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, which can manifest itself in many ways: paralyzing fear of contamination; unmanageable “checking” rituals; excessive concern with order, symmetry, and counting; and others. Freedom from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder provides Dr. Jonathan Grayson’s revolutionary and compassionate program for finally breaking the cycle of overwhelming fear and endless rituals, including: Self-assessment tests that guide readers in identifying their specific type of OCD and help track their progress in treatment Case studies from Dr. Grayson’s revolutionary and profoundly successful treatment program Blueprints for programs tailored to particular manifestations of OCD Previously unexplored manifestations of OCD such as obsessive staring, Relationship OCD (R-OCD), obsessive intolerance of environmental sounds and chewing sounds Therapy scripts to help individuals develop their own therapeutic voice, to motivate themselves to succeed New therapies used in conjunction with exposure techniques “Trigger sheets” for identifying and planning for obstacles that arise in treatment Information on building a support group And much more Demystifying the process of OCD assessment and treatment, this indispensable book helps sufferers make sense of their own compulsions through frank, unflinching self-evaluation, and provides not only the knowledge of how to change—but the courage to do it.
"Here is a treasury of short selections from the best-selling books of Pema Ch dr n, the beloved Tibetan Buddhist nun. Sized to fit easily into a pocket or purse, this little book can be taken anywhere, providing on-the-go inspiration. Topics include opening the heart; becoming fearless; breaking free of destructive patterns; developing patience and joy; and discovering one s natural warmth, intelligence, and goodness."
Poker champion turned business consultant Annie Duke teaches you how to get comfortable with uncertainty and make better decisions as a result. In Super Bowl XLIX, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made one of the most controversial calls in football history: With 26 seconds remaining, and trailing by four at the Patriots' one-yard line, he called for a pass instead of a hand off to his star running back. The pass was intercepted and the Seahawks lost. Critics called it the dumbest play in history. But was the call really that bad? Or did Carroll actually make a great move that was ruined by bad luck? Even the best decision doesn't yield the best outcome every time. There's always an element of luck that you can't control, and there is always information that is hidden from view. So the key to long-term success (and avoiding worrying yourself to death) is to think in bets: How sure am I? What are the possible ways things could turn out? What decision has the highest odds of success? Did I land in the unlucky 10% on the strategy that works 90% of the time? Or is my success attributable to dumb luck rather than great decision making? Annie Duke, a former World Series of Poker champion turned business consultant, draws on examples from business, sports, politics, and (of course) poker to share tools anyone can use to embrace uncertainty and make better decisions. For most people, it's difficult to say "I'm not sure" in a world that values and, even, rewards the appearance of certainty. But professional poker players are comfortable with the fact that great decisions don't always lead to great outcomes and bad decisions don't always lead to bad outcomes. By shifting your thinking from a need for certainty to a goal of accurately assessing what you know and what you don't, you'll be less vulnerable to reactive emotions, knee-jerk biases, and destructive habits in your decision making. You'll become more confident, calm, compassionate and successful in the long run.
This work provides a thought-provoking account of how medical treatments can be tested with unbiased or 'fair' trials and explains how patients can work with doctors to achieve this vital goal. It spans the gamut of therapy from mastectomy to thalidomide and explores a vast range of case studies.
Accessible and practical teachings on both the life of Tilopa, who founded the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, and one of his most important texts on the practice of Mahamudra. Most traditions of Mahamudra meditation can be traced back to the mahasiddha Tilopa and his Ganges Mahamudra, a “song of realization” that he sang to his disciple Naropa on the banks of the Ganges River more than a thousand years ago. In this book, Khenchen Thrangu, a beloved Mahamudra teacher, tells the extraordinary story of Tilopa’s life and explains its profound lessons. He follows this story with a limpid and practical verse-by-verse commentary on the Ganges Mahamudra, explaining its precious instructions for realizing Mahamudra, the nature of one’s mind. Throughout, Thrangu Rinpoche speaks plainly and directly to Westerners eager to receive the essence of Mahamudra instructions from an accomplished teacher.
Rilke's timeless letters about poetry, sensitive observation, and the complicated workings of the human heart. Born in 1875, the great German lyric poet Rainer Maria Rilke published his first collection of poems in 1898 and went on to become renowned for his delicate depiction of the workings of the human heart. Drawn by some sympathetic note in his poems, young people often wrote to Rilke with their problems and hopes. From 1903 to 1908 Rilke wrote a series of remarkable responses to a young, would-be poet on poetry and on surviving as a sensitive observer in a harsh world. Those letters, still a fresh source of inspiration and insight, are accompanied here by a chronicle of Rilke's life that shows what he was experiencing in his own relationship to life and work when he wrote them.
Tama Kieves--inspirational coach, career transition expert and author of Inspired & Unstoppable--guides you through life's uncertain times, helping you discover the blessings within difficulties. Tama Kieves knows a thing or two about dramatic changes. After graduating from Harvard Law School with honors, Tama left an unfulfilling life at a prestigious corporate law firm to pursue her passion and make a name for herself as a writer and inspirational speaker. Now, she dedicates her time to helping people face their fears, tackle uncertainty, and shift their mindset to achieve the extraordinary in their own lives. This book isn't just about getting through life changes, it'll teach you to use that change and uncertainty as a launching pad for joy. Thriving Through Uncertainty proves that the moment your plans fall apart is precisely when your true destiny begins. With Tama's guidance, you can take hold of the blessings and opportunities hidden within uncertain transitional periods and begin to move forward. Weaving together practical exercises and techniques along with anecdotes from Tama's own experiences, you'll master key lessons like: -How to control your mindset and mood to stay focused and happy -Having faith in yourself and your journey -Allowing yourself to feel pain and discomfort -Continuing to thrive through future obstacles, and much more. Packed with heartfelt and dynamic guidance, this supportive, inspiring book will make you feel as if you've attended several sessions with Tama herself.