Uncertainty Book Summary - Uncertainty Book explained in key points
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Uncertainty summary

Jonathan Fields

Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance

4.3 (123 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields is a book that explores how to thrive in a world of constant change. It offers actionable strategies, tools, and principles for handling uncertainty and risk, inspiring readers to embrace the unknown and open themselves up to new opportunities.

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    Uncertainty
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 8

    Risk is always connected to anxiety, fear and criticism.

    Think about the last time you had to make a decision which involved taking a gamble. How did you feel? Nervous and anxious, right?

    Risk is always associated with the possibility of loss, which is what makes us so scared. When we create something, we need to give it some kind of input, such as effort or money. But if we fail, we run the risk of losing some or even all of this input.

    If the possibility of loss – of money or our reputation, for example – is too high, we shy away from investing in new ideas and shut off our options in order to maintain the security and stability that already exists in our lives.

    It follows, then, that those of us who have the most to lose, maybe because we have a mortgage to pay or a family to look after, are often the ones who are most wary of taking risks.

    But why else do we curtail risk? Well, taking risks and thinking outside the box sometimes invites judgment, and we hate being criticized for our actions.

    When we try something new, others are likely to observe us and judge us if we go against norms and traditions. This is often because others believe that following an unknown path with an unknown consequence could leave us unnecessarily exposed. This judgment may come from the people who support us, our investors or even from ourselves.

    But judgment and fear of criticism can be toxic to our confidence and inhibit our creativity.

    Take one experiment from Harvard, which found that painters are less creative when working on commission. This is because they are forced to deliver something that matches the purchaser’s expectations rather than experiment with new things.

    The reality is that uncertainty makes us uncomfortable because we don’t want to fail in front of others. But you can take action to fight this fear.

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    What is Uncertainty about?

    Uncertainty (2011) offers us the chance to tackle our fear of failure and the unknown, and discover the steps we can take to be focused, productive, confident and successful.

    Uncertainty Review

    Uncertainty (2011) by Jonathan Fields is a thought-provoking exploration into how embracing uncertainty can lead to personal growth and success. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers practical strategies to navigate uncertainty and thrive in an ever-changing world.
    • Through compelling case studies and personal stories, the book provides inspiration and guidance to overcome fear and take bold action.
    • Fields' holistic approach to uncertainty addresses its impact on various aspects of life, including relationships, work, and personal well-being.

    Best quote from Uncertainty

    Anything certain has already been done.

    —Jonathan Fields
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    Who should read Uncertainty?

    • Creatives who want to make the most of their potential
    • Anyone who has to deal with uncertainty and stress in their profession
    • Anyone who wants to understand the secret of people who seem to have no fear

    About the Author

    Jonathan Fields is an entrepreneur, author and business strategist. He is the author of Career Renegade and has been featured in the New York Times, Businessweek and the Wall Street Journal. Field blogs on his site JonathanFields.com and for GoodLifeProject.com, covering entrepreneurship and lifestyle.

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    Uncertainty FAQs 

    What is the main message of Uncertainty?

    Embrace uncertainty to grow and thrive.

    How long does it take to read Uncertainty?

    Reading time for Uncertainty varies. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Uncertainty a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Uncertainty is worth reading. It offers valuable insights to navigate uncertain times.

    Who is the author of Uncertainty?

    The author of Uncertainty is Jonathan Fields.

    What to read after Uncertainty?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Uncertainty, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Adaptability by Max McKeown
    • Fail Fast, Fail Often by Ryan Babineaux and John Krumboltz
    • Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
    • Mastering Leadership by Robert J. Anderson and William A. Adams
    • Stop Self-Sabotage by Dr. Judy Ho
    • Simple Habits for Complex Times by Jennifer Garvey Berger and Keith Johnston
    • Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
    • Brave by Margie Warrell
    • Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace
    • Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsunetomo & Alexander Bennett