To Live is to Navigate Uncertainty

As human beings, we are all naturally geared toward survival. We make decisions each day that will promote our own perpetuation in the world, to preserve our well-being, and find a comfortable existence that does not threaten our future. Unfortunately, this idea of survival grounded in comfort and safety is a fallacy, simply because the nature of living is the navigation of uncertainty. This uncertainty demands we break from assumptions, traditional norms, and comfortable paradigms. For some, the recognition of this uncertainty propels them into a state of fear that can become a controlling state of mind that robs individuals of the fullness of life and hope for a better future.

This is where the International Futures model comes into play. The IFs model is the recognition of uncertainty (Hughes, 2001). The IFs model does two things effectively: first, it shows with clarity that the future will be different than the present. It may not show with exact certainty what that future will look like, but it is convincing in its presentation of a different future. The second thing it does is give insight and understanding that time is not a roller coaster mankind is just along for the ride on. The IFs model provides insight that is valuable for mankind to make course corrections, to imagine a desired future and make the necessary decisions to arrive at that desired future.

Most of us believe our actions substantially shape our own futures and the futures of our descendants; we know that misguided actions could lead to catastrophe (Hughes, 2001). We know that the past can shed light on the future, the future does present uncertainty, but with tools such as the IFs model, we can develop certainty for the future in our decisions today (Hughes, 2001).


Hughes, B. (2001). Choices in the Face of Uncertainty: The International Futures Model. Futures, (iss.33), pp. 55–62.

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