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Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance [Kindle Edition]

Jonathan Fields
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $10.99
You Save: $5.01 (31%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Uncertainty will freeze you in place if you let it.
 
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 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 developed a fresh approach to transforming uncertainty into a catalyst for innovation and achievement.
 
Fields draws on leading-edge technology, cognitive science, and ancient awareness-focusing techniques in a fresh, practical, nondogmatic way. His approach enables creativity and productivity on an entirely different level and can turn the once-tortuous journey into a more enjoyable quest.



Editorial Reviews

Review

"Let's face it-the leap of faith required to follow a dream is usually accompanied by gut-wrenching, knee-quaking, soul-shaking fear. Jonathan Fields knows this-but instead of offering an empty pep talk, he delivers daily practices that can help you transform fear and uncertainty into confidence and creativity."
(-Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind )

"Uncertainty; risk; exposure to criticism. How do you conquer this fearsome triad, so it doesn't block your path-even better, how do you harness its power to help you achieve your goals? Jonathan Fields uses perceptive analysis, fascinating case studies, and a series of exercises to illuminate how uncertainty can be used as an engine to power both innovation and creation."
(-Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project )

"Keats called it Negative Capability-the skill 'of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts.' Tom Thibodeaux, coach of the Chicago Bulls, says, 'You gotta learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable.' But nobody has nailed this faculty like Jonathan Fields, showing us how to turn the fog of self- doubt, fear and internal paralysis into the clear sailing of focus, concentration and results."
(-Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art and Do The Work )

"Jonathan Fields' new book is brilliant and subversive. Through sharp insights and practical exercises, he reframes doubt, hesitation, and ambiguity as gateways to our own natural brilliance. It's a handbook for fearless creativity and its offshoots: meaning, authenticity, and true success."
(-Susan Piver, author of The Wisdom of a Broken Heart and How Not to )

"Fields is a breezy, engaging writer who demystifies creativity with a whole new bag of user friendly tricks and practices-crux moves, circuit breakers, certainty anchors and attentional training. Hugely practical. Lean into Uncertainty!"
(-Tony Schwartz, author of Be Excellent at Anything )

"With a blend of old and new wisdom, Uncertainty equips you with tools needed to take consistent action in the name of great work. Great read!"
(-Tony Hsieh, author of Delivering Happiness and CEO of Zappos.com, Inc. )

About the Author

Jonathan Fields is a lawyer-turned-serial entrepreneur, acclaimed blogger, business consultant, speaker, and author. His last book, Career Renegade, was named a Top 10 Small Biz Book by Small Business Trends. Fields writes about entrepreneurship, innovation, lifestyles, and marketing at JonathanFields.com and TribalAuthor.com and contributes to PsychologyToday.com and OPENForum.com.

Visit www.jonathanfields.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 432 KB
  • Print Length: 244 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1591845661
  • Publisher: Portfolio; Reprint edition (September 29, 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0052RHDY2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,094 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
97 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Stories, Useful Format November 11, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If we dare to create, fear and uncertainty become bedfellows. So how can we work through those emotions and thrive? In this book, Jonathan Fields' uses stories and research to chart an answer. His suggestions don't break new ground, but he assembles them in a useful and inspiring format. Here's the gist (headings correspond to chapters):

FIND YOUR CERTAINTY ANCHORS

"Certainty Anchor" is Jonathan's catch-phrase for a ritual or schedule. One example: Work (create, practice, write) in bursts and pauses. Go for no more than 45 to 90 minutes. Exercise, meditate, nap. Work again.

BUILD YOUR HIVE

They're not just cheerleaders, they give honest (but gentle) feedback. Specifically, your Hive can help you shift your focus to learning and away from traffic, sales or profits, and explore a minimum viable product (MVP) that you can release and gather feedback to fold into the next iteration.

The most important thing about a hive: "One person's success isn't necessarily another person's loss. There is no zero-sum game."

TRAIN YOUR BRAIN

Engage in what Fields' calls attentional training: exercise, meditation, visualization, specifically process visualization: "If you're a writer, visualize yourself putting your notebook or pad in your bag, walking to your favorite café, choosing your table, ordering your favorite beverage, spending a few minutes reviewing handwritten notes, then opening your current creation and writing X words or for X minutes or hours."

Not surprisingly, exercise mitigates uncertainty because it changes the brain, tamping down the amygdala's fear and anxiety signals.

OWN THE STORYLINE

To overcome fear and uncertainty about your path, ask yourself three questions:

1.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 Do's from "Uncertainty" by Jonathan Fields October 15, 2011
Format:Hardcover
Here are the 3 Do's from the book "Uncertainty: Turning fear and doubt into fuel for Brilliance" by Jonathan Fields.

1. Accept uncertainty. Whenever you start on a new path or venture or endeavor, accept the uncertainty. Looking for any guarantees before you start can only lead to mediocre work and not great work. Great work is possible by accepting "uncertainty and its trusted sidekicks: risk of loss and exposure to judgment". This is the mindset change needed to get started.
2. Develop a method. With any new venture there is a possibility of a worse case scenario. Depending on the venture, it could be losing everything that you have, going back to zero or worse. Draw out a detailed plan of how you will come out of this scenario if it comes true. You can then go to the next scenario of what if you did not start this venture. Will you be happier five, ten, or fifteen years from now if you did nothing now?. Then go to the final scenario of what if you succeeded. Again, visualize this scenario thoroughly. Hopefully, you will get your answer.
3. Create rituals. Rituals provide some certainty in uncertain times. Create rituals that are specific for your situation. Creating rituals that matter help in bringing the best out of you. There are many benefits from rituals from enhancing creativity to minimizing distraction to building momentum to gaining mastery.

I highly recommend this book because it provides you tips to change your mindset, methods to handle uncertainty and actions to succeed.

You can also find this review and similar ones at [...]
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61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good concept, bad delivery March 12, 2012
Format:Hardcover
I really wanted to like this book. The introduction was great, and the chapter summaries in the back were great too, because they were short and told me exactly what angle this author was taking with the always-fascinating concept of how creative people survive. I simply find myself at odds with the author's extremely uninteresting way of explaining things, which made me doubt what he was talking about even when I agreed with his general premise. I also wasn't too keen on the rehashing of old concepts with new names, although I understand Fields' desire to "own" a concept by giving it a new name.

It's not bad content, but I don't like the book. So why the three stars instead of two or just one? I like the concept of the book, I like that Fields put "skin in the game" and emerged with something that will help other people, although it wasn't as helpful to me as I'd hoped.

Other authors attack the same problem with greater personal fire and scientific rigor than Fields summoned in this book. He's onto something for sure, but he's not quite there yet.

Recommended substitutes:
It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be (Paul Arden)
How to Get Ideas (Jack Foster)
Philosophy for Polar Explorers (Erling Kagge)
Overachievement (John Eliot)
The 80/20 Principle (Richard Koch)

Running Lean by Ash Maurya is the best book on lean startup, customer development, and bootstrapping methods. Fields hinted at lean startup methods but barely grazed the surface, which is another problem I have with this book.

Robert Rodriguez's Ten Minute Film School (see Rebel Without a Crew, or watch El Mariachi with Director Commentary on) is possibly one of the most motivational tools I've found for creative development.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars very though provoking book that inspires self reflection
Fields did a great job of presenting key learnings a from a very large and diverse body of work, along with his own thoughts and experiences to knit everything together. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sebastian Scholl
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
5
Published 4 months ago by RDS
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I've needed.
This book is incredible. I've had a friend read it, and she was as blown away as I was, Her career is completely different from mine, Court Reporter vs. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Karen Foster
5.0 out of 5 stars Felt human, felt possible to evolve in the quest of becoming a fear...
Book is pleasant and an easy read, also a hard to apply concept. Advantage is that many common sense and familiar solutions are well-organized in the book, so application looks... Read more
Published 6 months ago by NameBR
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond great
I love this book and have read it about 2.5 times so far. Highly recommend it to anyone interested in the less self-helpy of the self-help books. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Valerie Urso
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, and written for a narrow demographic
Based on the very positive reviews here, and the likewise strong reviews on the back of the book, I was really expecting to like this book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jim Richmond
5.0 out of 5 stars Made Me Realize the Reality
Fear is real and often unconscious. this book showed the reality of fear and ways to overcome it. A great read.
Published 8 months ago by Robert W. McMillan
5.0 out of 5 stars Concrete steps to creativitity
Jonathan Fields gives steps for turning uncertainty into certain creativity. Just follow the instructions to creativity bursts and pivot on cue.
Published 8 months ago by Janet Mackie
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncertainty unveiled
Amazing book, in the way Fields explains what uncertainty springs from and how it's experienced - which creates a sense that this new and uncomfortable spot is just part of the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Julie A. Fleming
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh insight
Jonathan delivers fresh insight into what prevents us from doing more and reaching higher goals. Well written. Read more
Published 10 months ago by 4 horses
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