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Getting to Maybe and Thriving in Uncertainty

Getting to Maybe

Everyone likes yes. Yes means you want my services, you want to buy my widget, you love me. For every yes we also accept that no is just around the corner. We relish the certitude, but it strangles our creativity.

Yes and No are very low on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Yes I need a place to live. Yes I need to eat. We get stuck there because the fear of losing the certitude anchors us to regularity and sameness; life is a bowl of bran.

If we’re going to jump a level personally or professionally, we’ve got to embrace the maybe and do the same with others. Qbert got harder and scarier as you jumped higher but it was also more thrilling (I never saw anyone throw quarter into a Qbert machine and then just hang around at the bottom of the pyramid).

Ask yourself how many times in a day you force yourself into a binary conversation: Will you buy my ‘x’?, Do you like my idea? Do you agree with me? Ask yourself how many times you’ve done that and you felt bad about the fact that someone treated you like a zero-sum proposition. The very best we have to offer, the most freedom we can enjoy, the thing that fuels our passion in the first place, is in that creative pocket between yes and no.

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Written by
Mark Stolow