Certainty - Introduction

I'm sitting in my favourite "Coffice" called Vinyl in Reykjavik. Our internet at home has been off for a week now (the bandwidth bandit is still at large) and our landlord is taking his time sorting it out. We can only wait in hope that we will one day be able to browse freely in the comfort of our home again. Until our connectivity is restored our household has been making little pilgrimages to various long-sitting-on-small-purchase cafes around Reykjavik.
This short article will introduce a topic I plan on exploring very widely over the next little while. The idea of introducing it is to create a mental starting point for me, and hopefully invite others to observe and contribute to it as it unravels.

So here we go... 


Over the last few years I've noticed many of my friends (mid-twenty-somethings) changing their course in search of a non-descript higher happiness. More and more I have caught up with friends who has just quit/broken-up/moved/bought/started lessons in/studied something slightly left of field. In my work as a creative/brand consultant I have had countless coffees with people who "just want a quick logo" for their start-up. Usually 'start-up' means little more than a few sentences in the 'notes' app on their phone. They want a ticket out of the Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 cult that they have either just got a taste of, or see as an inevitable next step, having recently graduated from a twice-changed, travel-deferred uni degree. 

This un-certainty drives fellow Gen Y'ers to start searching for a golden ticket out. Out of the stability-focused path of their Baby-boomer parents.  

(I won't rant on the generational differences now.  I'll save this for a more thorough blanching later). 

THE CONTEXT: Last year I started spending more time with my Grandfather, Fred. He is 86, fit and busy and lives in his home with 'Bindi' the Fox Terrier in the Blue Mountains, a little bit over an hour from Sydney, Australia. His influence on my life has always been quite strong and he is my biggest role model. Our relationship is best described as mates with a hint of nurturing and authority when I need it. When his last living sibling, my great-uncle Herb passed away I was suddenly registering the fact that Fred's earthly presence would also have an end date. I have since prioritised learning about my Grandfather's life. Captivated already and excited to hear more of his lively recall.

I started to realise, Fred has lived his life with a great deal of certainty. He was certain that his responsibilites would multiply when his older brothers went to war. He was certain when he followed his fathers' advice and get "a government job" giving him a long and stable career. He was most certain of all when he spotted my Grandmother, Joan, in her appropriately long swimwear over 60 years ago. He has made many decisions in his life - big ones - with a degree of certainty I'm not sure I can relate to.

If we lived in a world driven by convention, necessity, and sensible thinking, would we be happier?

Would our lack of available 'options' offer a blissful simplicity?


I will be attempting to unravel this tangled-christmas-light-cord of concepts over the next little while so keep an eye out for posts starting with "certainty:"