Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Shades of Gray: Why we must learn to thrive in ambiguity

As humans we tend to strive for goals that are concrete, we plan, work, learn, produce all for outcomes that we've defined and have pre-determined. That works well, keeps us going and helps us feel productive and progressive in the process. But what happens when things go awry? When the job you've busted your ass at decides to do a mass layoff or the guy you've been sucking face with for 6 months decides he's just not into you. We panic. We leave ourselves in suspended shock for a time (length depending on your personhood) wondering what happens next. How to we adjust and bounce back after things don't go according to plan.

If this happens enough in your life, you begin to become risk averse. I've become this way and only noticed it in the context of my interest in a certain gentleman in my life. Worried about the surprise I might get if I coast in the gray area, I took extreme steps to be black or white to the detriment of this budding relationship. In my quest to define, I actually unravelled something that probably would've worked out on its own.

So what do we do? There's merit in definition. It is useful for making sure you're on the same page and helps you weed things out. In the professional space it guides us and helps us make the decisions necessary to reach our dreams. However - we must also learn to understand and encourage the merits of gray. The space of the unknown which governs our universe more than order. If you can find comfort in that space you've done a pretty good job, if you flourish in that space you've achieved constant peace in your life that is unaltered by the situations around you allowing you to draw in things without the complications and pressures of establishing certainty. As a person who is least comfy in this space, I get that this is a pretty high target for one's own being but as a person ready for the next level I understand that achieving this is probably the most laudable goal I can strive to attain.

Check out these shots from my recent travels in India, Turkey, and London. I've decided to appreciate their beauty here in gray;)