Can you predict the future? Of course not, unless you happen to have a burning bush in your living room that allows you to communicate directly with God.
When we pause for a moment and think rationally about it, we all know neither we nor anyone else can predict the future. Yet, we repeatedly get caught up in making prognostications about what will happen regarding the economy, the likelihood of war in the Middle East, or America’s chances of defaulting on its debt.
Why do we continue to take part in this nonsense? Some of us do it because we are anxious. Making a prediction about the unpredictable future gives us a sense of control, something we badly crave, and relieves our anxiety. It is comforting to imagine that we know what is going to happen so we can take steps today to protect ourselves against potential dangers.
The problem with this game of make-believe is that we don’t know what the future holds, and the actions we take today can end up backfiring on us when the future turns out to be different than we predicted.
So, if we cannot predict the future, what can we do to protect ourselves and manage our anxieties?
- From an investment perspective, we can build diversified portfolio’s to protect ourselves against a wide variety of risks, including inflation, deflation, global instability and sovereign debt defaults.
- From an emotional perspective, we can find ways to live with uncertainty. We can acknowledge we are always on the edge of the unknown. To keep our fears about plunging off this cliff from leading us back to self-delusion, we must become better acquainted with and learn to rely upon our faith – the people and things that give us comfort as we face an unpredictable future.
In scary times, my faith in God sustains my confidence in a bright future. I also derive comfort and strength from good relationships with my family and friends; being blessed with such good relationships allows my worries to subside so I can accept that the future is unknown and uncontrollable, but not something to fear.
Why not take an hour to Identify what you have faith in as you face an uncertain future? That, or keep pretending you have a burning bush in your living room.