Lately this commercial has been airing quite a bit and it’s got me percolating.
If you can’t view it on your screen, it’s a Ball Park Frank commercial with three guys standing around a BBQ, as one man says that he is 99.9% sure about a particular baseball statistic. Whereupon another man questions his certainty by asking, “Sure?”
Certain man: “I’m 99.9% positive.”
Other man: “So you don’t know.”
Certain man: “I’m 99.99999% sure.”
Other man: “If you don’t know, you don’t know. It’s fine.”
If you don’t know, you don’t know.
This commercial brings up some important points to ponder. That .00001% of uncertainty is important. Why? Because 99.99999% certainty holds significant space of uncertainty.
How much space? Well, if I am holding a bomb that is going to blow and someone advises me to clip the blue wire to stop the bomb from going off and I ask them, “Are you sure?” How comfortable do you think I would feel if they reply, “I am 99.99999% sure.” You can bet your bottom dollar that .00001% of uncertainty will hold a significant amount of space of wonder in my consciousness.
How often have you been certain about something, but are actually only almost certain?
Almost is not 100%.
Let’s examine 100% in our everyday lives through our conversations. How many times have we sat and listened to someone’s account of a circumstance, and in listening and absorbing their experience we accept it as truth? Have we actually gathered 100% of the story? Have we actually even gathered 50% of the story? If we turn around and share the details of that story how can we be certain that the story we are telling is…accurate?
Have you ever watched a news program on TV with a discerning ear and listened to how much information reported is fact-based with clear and accurate proof and how much is speculation and/or the interpretation of someone’s perception of an event? How often are we accepting information to be true only to find out later that the story we absorbed was a far reach from accurate?
Remember that old commercial for Sure deodorant, with the catchy jingle that got stuck in your head… Raise your hand, raise your hand, if you’re Sure.
I used to be sure. Not because I wore the deodorant, but because I subscribed to what I knew as the truth to be 100% true. I was certain of it.
I’m talking stake in the ground certainty.
I was intentional about spending time with others who affirmed my certainty and together our stakes in the ground created community—a community of certainty. I was comfortable. Looking deeper into even 1/1000th of something not being as I was sure it to be, was really uncomfortable.
I am certain of so little. I am so okay with that. Truly. Yes, I had to journey through seasons of growth and discomfort. Thankfully, uncertainty has actually become really peaceful for me. In the space of being uncertain about so many things I experience life in a more open way.
I experience untethered freedom!
My acceptance of uncertainty has opened up so much space in my awareness to experience life in a way that I did not give myself permission to do before. Actually, it never really had much space to exist before because I was too invested in holding onto my stake of certainty that was so firmly hammered in the ground.
Now, I frolic in wonder. I crave exploration. I thrive in untethered space.
I am free to fly.
I invite you to question. I invite you to wonder. I invite you to ponder.
What are you certain of?
And just because the jingle is now stuck in my head, I wanted to share it with you. Here is a vintage 1980’s Sure deodorant commercial for your viewing and listening pleasure. Peace.