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Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance Hardcover – September 29, 2011
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"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.
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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.Read more ›
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 [...]
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My review title said it all. The other reviews really made me wonder whether we read the same book. I am sure that the author had done a lot research for this, with the plenty of... Read morePublished 3 months ago by ServantofGod
I remember liking it when I read it, but one month later I legitimately can't remember a single thing from the book : /Published 10 months ago by Christopher Laub
It is one thing not wanting to be a brick in the wall, but it is entirely different to be self deluded and think succeeding at any enterprise depends only on drive. Read morePublished 13 months ago by R. PEREZGATELL
It is ok...A few good points...nothing big about it...read it if you have nothing read..
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 morePublished 19 months ago by Sebastian Scholl
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 morePublished 20 months ago by Karo56