Certainly Meaningful

I am a lover of quotes. Inspirational, funny, philosophical, anything that just grabs my attention and makes me go hmm. . .I intend to share a quote a week with you here, and whatever my thoughts happen to be at the time.

“The quest for certainty blocks the quest for meaning.” ~Erich Fromm

This quote hits home for me because it sums up the conflict I experience all the time that is the source of so much stress and strife. I long for both certainty and meaning in my life, yet trying to have both is impossible.

Think about it. What experiences have caused you to grow the most? The ones where you knew exactly what was going to happen or the ones where you had no idea of the outcome?

I love to stretch and grow and learn about myself and the world, yet to do this I have to throw myself with abandon into the winds of uncertainty. It’s not always comfortable, but it is more satisfying.

Let’s have an example.

I am a theatre person, and I have pushed and blown through boundaries of comfort as a result. Doing live theatre means there is always a level of uncertainty, but there is a huge difference between doing scripted theatre and improvisation.

Performing a script that has been rehearsed and where the lines are always the same (hopefully), while challenging, is still fairly predictable.

Performing an improve piece, where there is a loose structure but no script and no idea of what’s happening next is completely unpredictable.

Which style leads to the most meaningful experience? While both can be meaningful and satisfying, I’ve found that doing improve is much scarier and thus more thrilling than doing scripted theatre. There is nothing like the feeling of taking the stage with no idea of what’s going to come out of your or the other actors’ mouths and creating something funny and witty that can never be duplicated.

Which style do I do more of now? Scripted theatre. It pushes me just enough out of my comfort zone, yet I know I’m still holding back. I could use the excuse that there just aren’t any opportunities to practice improve out there, but that wouldn’t be completely true. Anytime it’s been suggested I’ve quickly blown it off.

Why do we do this? Why do we so often avoid chances to really stretch ourselves? Yes, it may be scary for the short term but on the other side it is always worth it.

I’d love to hear your experiences with this!

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