Counterclockwise

The power of possibility.

Embracing the Unpredictable

Embracing the Unpredictable

Now that we are experiencing a recession that most of us never saw coming, we can at least take away a better idea of how unpredictable life is. It's hard to know what the market is doing, even when the economy is doing well. There are those betting for and those betting against any particular stock. Keep in mind, we can't buy a stock unless someone is selling it.

It's not just the stock market that is unpredictable. We need to recognize and accept that uncertainty is the rule in life, not the exception. When we're given information about our health we may have a tendency to accept it and think we can predict if and how our health will progress as a result. No medical fact, however, is necessarily true for all of us or any one of us in particular. If one medicine, for example, works for most people, it does not mean it will work for me. If we recognize and accept the inherent unpredictability in any situation, we can put ourselves in a better position to find ways to effect the outcome.

Any medical test that says that my condition is untreatable, that I may experience worsening symptoms, or that I will die soon, should not be accepted as simply true. If we look to the unpredictable, in this case, we might find a very good outcome.

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

Ellen Langer is a professor in the Psychology Department at Harvard University.

more...

Subscribe to Counterclockwise

Current Issue

Love & Lust

Who says marriage is where desire goes to die?