Avoid certainty

Seth Godin
2 min readFeb 2, 2021
Happy Groundhog’s Day

What a bizarre holiday. Every year in Pennsylvania, they wait for a furry animal to come out, look around and decide on whether or not he can see his shadow. And then we know if our hemisphere is due for more winter or not.

Predicting the weather is important for some. If you’re a farmer or live in extreme circumstances, it’s a matter of life or death. But for the rest of us, tracking the weather is mostly about seeking certainty in a world where it is in short supply.

Knowing somehow feels like controlling.

But of course, that’s an illusion. We can’t know what the future will bring — politics, the economy, even the weather, it’s regularly in chaos.

Our effort to get it all under control is actually the way we end up undermining not just our peace of mind but the work itself.

If you want certainty and control, the best way to get there is by sticking to what’s been done before. If you want to be sure of the outputs, don’t change any of the inputs.

But, changing the inputs is what we do.

Changing the inputs is how we create value.

If all we need is what we already have, we can get it from someone cheaper and more reliable than you. This is the race to the bottom, a race that will bring you little in the way of reward or dignity.

The alternative is to begin by not only acknowledging but embracing the idea that we can’t control what happens.

Yes, it pays to act with intention. To be clear about the change we seek to make.

We ship the work, and then, whatever happens next is out of our hands.

Exactly as it has always been.



Seth Godin

Founder of altMBA and Akimbo. Daily blogger, teacher, speaker, 20 bestsellers as well...