How long is the movie?
What’s the weather going to be tomorrow?
Will this book be good?
Will this program work for me?
What’s the best app for X?
How long will this last?
We have an almost insatiable appetite for knowing things. We want answers and guidance, especially when it comes to knowing how long we’ll be in our current situation and what’s going to happen in the future.
Consider the question most of us have been asking for months about the coronavirus:
How long is this going to last?
We want to know, so we can plan for what comes next, so we can “move on.”
Generally speaking, we don’t embrace being in the mystery.
What is “Being in the Mystery”?
“Being in the mystery” refers to being in that place of the unknown; the place where there are no answers. The mystery is the place of not knowing.
“Not knowing” refers to either
- what will happen;
- when it will happen; or
- information about something — an event, a situation, a condition.
Modern technology has given us immediate access to an abundance of information with a few taps, from anywhere at any time. We’ve become accustomed to finding answers easily.
In fact, the ease with which we can obtain information has caused us to forget a crucial fact:
Not all information is available through a Google search.
There are questions we have — about life, relationships, human motivation and behavior, events, whatever — whose answers elude even the wisest sages.
These things that are not known are “the mystery.”
It’s human nature to want to know what will happen and when.
Consider for yourself:
What is your relationship with being in the mystery?
What is your relationship with not knowing?
The Intelligence of the Mystery
I like to believe that I have a good relationship with the mystery; helping others embrace not knowing is part of my work.
Sometimes when I pull the Mystery Card from Pamela Eakins’ Tarot of the Spirit deck, I notice a twinge of disappointment. I want a card that will give me more transparent guidance on how to approach whatever issue is arising.
Of course, the Mystery Card does provide clear guidance. The guidance is to be in the mystery. Not everything needs to be known at this time.
That twinge of disappointment I feel is also guidance. It tells me that I don’t embrace the mystery as well as I might have believed I do. It’s a message that I have more work to do to cultivate deeper trust and faith.
Embracing the mystery means we accept that what we know in this moment is all we need to know for now.
Embracing the Mystery is a Productivity Strategy
This may sound esoteric, but it has a practical impact on our productivity. When we embrace the mystery, we trust that what we have and what we know right know is enough.
We stop searching for answers and information that aren’t yet available to us.
This frees up our energy, allowing us to focus on what we can do with whatever knowledge and information we have.