Tracking Wonder

How to cultivate this elusive emotion

Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields: A Quick Book Review

Fear and doubt can fuel creative brilliance.

As a guy whose advice for creatives to flourish often goes something like "Find yourself in getting lost" and "Move toward the difficult," and as a guy who shucked a comfy sure-thing academic job twelve years ago to pursue something as nebulous as my writing life mixed with a then-non-existent field of "yoga & creativity," I find a kindred spirit in Jonathan Fields and his latest endeavor Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance. And you might, too.

About Jonathan: He's a New Yorker, a happy dad, a yogi, a smart serial entrepreneur in the wellness industry, a savvy marketer, and just a genuine good guy - all reasons enough for me to like him. (Check out The Uncertainty Trailer, and you can form your own impression of "the guy behind the book"). But those things don't necessarily add up to a good writer and a book worth my $25 and a few hours of my precious time.

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So, why did I drop $75 for his special offer of three copies plus a poster and a whole lot of other goodies that I may or may not take advantage of?

I'm obviously engaged in the topic (See the recent posts on fear and creative mastery). Because I got to read the galley, Uncertainty stands out among the slew of books on creativity I've read and reviewed as a must-read for anyone interested in the question it poses and smoothly builds: Are some successful people innately or genetically disposed to "lean into uncertainty" and its three hobgoblins of fear, doubt, and anxiety?

To pursue that question, Fields assimilated some of the most definitive research and interviewed a slew of flourishing creatives and CEOs who repeatedly face risk.

The result? Uncertainty provides a deft mix of stories & research, plus genuine & generous advice.

So, what's the answer to that question? One of his most revealing findings was this: Several of the people he interviewed thought they were innately disposed to befriend uncertainty. Yet, when he penetrated further into their mindsets and habits mixed with the research, he discovered those flourishing creatives had also developed frameworks that let themselves repeatedly fly with fear instead of crash and burn from it.

As a result, Fields offers sound advice about crafting rituals, developing "certainty anchors," and finding your creative "hives" (the bee kind, not the skin kind) - all spot-on with what we advocate and practice at Tracking Wonder. Plus, he tells good stories along the way. I can't ask for much more from such a book.

Jonathan Fields doesn't offer empty platitudes for creatives. He offers grounded, workable "interventions" and frameworks that will let creatives convert fear and doubt into confidence and mastery.

I don't say this lightly: If the above question and subject matter could possibly help you or someone who care about, buy UNCERTAINTY. It's a smart $25 investment.

DROP IN
What questions do you have about uncertainty, fear, doubt, and creativity? I'd love to hear them. And if you're familiar with Fields' work, I'm interested in your take.

See you in the woods,
Jeffrey

 

Jeffrey Davis is a creativity consultant and author of The Journey from the Center to the Page: Yoga Philosophies and Practices as Muse for Authentic Writing.

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