There are a few very specific ideas that we, collectively, accept as being "good," and fewer that we use to define successful people — but one of them is decisiveness. We're very uncomfortable, and even less sympathetic, to those who don't seem to be definitive about what they want in their lives. This is probably (definitely) rooted in the fact that we all sense a deep and lingering (even when subtle) feeling of uncertainty, because then again, we are in this precise and magical and mysterious universe, hurtling through time and space on a rock for reasons we're not 100 percent clear on. So, you know, there's that.
But all that existential crap aside, the truth is that the people who are most successful accept, embrace, and use this feeling of uncertainty, rather than hide from it. What makes these two traits (uncertainty and success) so beautifully married to one another is that people who are consistently open to possibility capitalize on it more often than people who aren't. We fear little more than we fear the unknown, but the human condition was never meant to be avoided, but rather, utilized. Here are all the reasons why the most successful people in the world are never completely sure of what they want:
They Don't Extrapolate
They don't pretend to know that what they want in the moment is what they'll want for the rest of their lives. They don't try to take a snapshot of one experience and apply it to themselves as a whole. Because they can accept that everything is transitory and that one moment, or project, or idea, does not and will not define them, they keep themselves open to the one thing that is true of everything: change.
They Keep Themselves Open To Possibility
They aren't rigid. The Tao Te Ching teaches that to be alive is to be fluid and "soft," as dead bodies and easily broken branches are hard, but the things that last (like moving water or willow tree branches) simply adapt to their environments rather than trying to fight them. This is what genuinely successful people know how to do: stay focused on the purpose at hand, and be open to possibilities that are better than they'd come up with, but that they'd never consider.
It's Their Indecision That Drives Them
People who feel comfortable and certain all the time are very rarely probed or pushed to create something new. The worst thing you can be in this world is comfortable and certain too often, because it means you'll always stay where you are, and never completely experience everything that exists outside of what you've known.
There's No "One Thing" That Anybody Really Wants
There are general things we all, generally, desire: purpose, meaning, love, community, and so on. But particularly, there is no one thing that you will ever completely, wholeheartedly want. There are a lot of things people want at any given moment in time, and a lot of different pros and cons that lead them to act on one desire over another.
What They Want — Even Generally Speaking — Is Something That Doesn't Exist Yet, Because They Haven't Created It
It's something they have to make or find for themselves. It's an experience that they haven't yet had, but at the same time, can somehow sense they want. This is an extraordinary blessing and ability, because it means they have this almost extrasensory foresight: they're not going to settle for "less than they deserve" even though they don't know what the alternative would be.
Images: NBC; Giphy(4)