I was talking with a friend this morning who was concerned about impending changes in his company’s organization. It reminded me of the times in my career when it was hard to do my best work because of uncertainty in the company’s strategy or next quarter’s financial outlook. Who wants to do great work in the present that may not matter in the near future?
It’s like the way the stock market hates uncertainty. It’s better for investors to just get bad news and start dealing with it than to wait around for the next big announcement or election. Some people will slow down and even stop progress in the face of uncertainty. It’s like a panic-induced productivity paralysis. I always appreciate it when the other shoe drops so I can make adjustments and move on.
So how do you create certainty for yourself in an uncertain world? Maybe waiting around is not the best strategy. If the higher ups are in the process of making decisions about you, it’s best to show them the best of you. Tackle what you have on your plate with gusto, and ask for more. Sort through the requests coming at you and prioritize the ones that help drive new business or save money through efficiency. Influence your destiny.
The same goes for finding purpose in your life. Waiting around for others to define what you should do is an uncertain proposition if you ask me. If you want your life to matter, pick a goal you believe in and tackle it with gusto. Then ask yourself for more.
If what happens next is not certain, you should certainly not sit around and wait for it.