How to Live with Uncertainty

Humans crave certainty — in science and politics, in our lives and our leaders, in our decisions and our futures. We find comfort in knowing the facts, and we fear the murky unknown. In the age of information, we’ve grown increasingly unnerved by uncertainty and do everything we can to mitigate that anxiety. We do research online, play out scenarios in our heads, make plans A, B, and C — imagining that if we can just prepare well enough, everything will be OK.

But in her latest book, “Uncertain: The Wisdom and Wonder of Being Unsure,” author and journalist Maggie Jackson makes the case for an opposite way of being — embracing the unknown as an invitation to pause, an opportunity for growth and innovation.

On this episode, we talk with Jackson about her book, and what science teaches us about living — and even thriving — amid uncertainty. We also hear stories about one reporter’s quest to make a life-changing decision while filled with doubt, and how saying “yes” to the unknown changed an introvert’s life.

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  • January 12, 2024
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