Life is a Complex Problem
Living with Complexity and Uncertainty
BY: T. Franklin Murphy | January 2019 (edited December 29, 2021)
We need more than a simple, definable solution to well-being; life is complex. We can find joy and flourish, but this problem requires more than a five-step program.
We seek simple, concrete answers to the pressing problems. Some questions respond well to simplicity—many don’t. Some lofty achievements have exact requirements. However, many problems demand a different kind of answer. Flourishing is a complex problem, without an algorithmic answer. We have opportunity to thrive, experiencing more than survival. The world is full of richness, experiences that develop and nourish our souls. We need peace of mind and openness to find a rewarding path through the many corridors of complexity.
We need a more open and flexible approach. We must experiment with many different possibilities and devise our own novel solution. This approach begins at birth and ends with death. The joys are not the gift of an ultimate discovery, but a fascination with life. We curiously tinker and adjust, feeling the flow of emotions as we embrace and experience life.
"The world is full of richness, experiences that develop and nourish our souls."
We must vigilantly stand guard against false claims, advertising simplicity—three-steps to happiness. Many present life in a “black and white” way, proudly announcing they discovered the secrets. We are attracted to these unwavering dogmas serving exactness, relieving our burden to work through existence, grappling with uncertainties. The strictness attracts and soothes our senses.
We want something better out of life and we want it easy. Peddlers separate us from our cash and time, luring us with promises over-simplified rules.
I’m not suggesting there are no proven facts. There are many. Modern-day well-being influencers often show little care about facts, relying mostly on emotions. They create the very fears that they campaign to resolve. Scientific journals are flooded with research that benefit our conscientious work to improve. Knowing the facts helps refine our task. However, research obtains clarity by eliminating contributing factors so they can measure a single influencing factor.
Our life is composed of millions of influencers. We don’t have the luxury of living in the confines of a well-defined experiment. We must make associations, test hypothesis, and experience life in our unique environment of past and present.
"Human nature is complex. Even if we do have inclinations toward violence, we also have inclination to empathy, to cooperation, to self-control."
A book, a course, or a belief system that simplifies human behavior to an algorithmic solution must be examined with skepticism. We must dig through the dogma and find the hidden morsels of wisdom. Join with me in this heuristic journey to fulfillment. I do not present my thoughts as the final truth. There is always more to learn. Bounce my ideas around in your minds. Skeptically evaluate and tinker with them, adapting and adjusting before incorporating them into your own individual puzzle of life.
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