• Uncertainty

  • Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance
  • By: Jonathan Fields
  • Narrated by: Erik Synnestvedt
  • Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (114 ratings)

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Uncertainty

By: Jonathan Fields
Narrated by: Erik Synnestvedt
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Publisher's Summary

Jonathan Fields knows the risks - and potential power - of uncertainty. He gave up a six-figure income as a lawyer to make $12 an hour as a personal trainer. Then, married with a three-month old baby, he signed a lease to launch a yoga center in the heart of New York City... the day before 9/11. But he survived, and along the way he developed a fresh approach to transforming uncertainty, risk of loss, and exposure to judgment into catalysts for innovation, creation, and achievement.

Properly understood and harnessed, fear and uncertainty can become fuel for creative genius rather than sources of pain, anxiety, and suffering. In business, art, and life, creating on a world-class level demands bold action and leaps of faith in the face of great uncertainty. But that uncertainty can lead to fear, anxiety, paralysis, and destruction. It can gut creativity and stifle innovation. It can keep you from taking the risks necessary to do great work and craft a deeply-rewarding life. And it can bring companies that rely on innovation grinding to a halt. That is, unless you know how to use it to your advantage. Fields draws on leading-edge technology, cognitive-science and ancient awareness-focusing techniques in a fresh, practical, non-dogmatic way. His approach enables creativity and productivity on an entirely different level and can turn the once-tortuous journey into a more enjoyable quest. Fields will reveal how to:

  • Make changes to your workflow that unlock buried creative potential
  • Build "creation hives" - supportive groups that can supercharge and humanize the process
  • Tap social technology and user co-creation to add clarity, certainty, and sanity, even if you're an artist or solo-creator
  • Develop a set of personal practices and mindset shifts that let you not just tolerate, but invite and even amplify, uncertainty as a catalyst for genius

©2011 Jonathan Fields (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp

Critic Reviews

"Let's face it-the leap of faith required to follow a dream is usually accompanied by gut-wrenching, knee-quaking, soul-shaking fear. Jonathan Fields knows this-but instead of offering an empty pep talk, he delivers daily practices that can help you transform fear and uncertainty into confidence and creativity." (Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind)
"Uncertainty; risk; exposure to criticism. How do you conquer this fearsome triad, so it doesn't block your path-even better, how do you harness its power to help you achieve your goals? Jonathan Fields uses perceptive analysis, fascinating case studies, and a series of exercises to illuminate how uncertainty can be used as an engine to power both innovation and creation." (Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project)

What listeners say about Uncertainty

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Distracting Narration

Narrator had very unusual intonation. Difficult to ignore the reading style and truly listen to the content. Also, the book went into eastern religion and spirituality in the second half. Nothing against religion - but, that's not what I was expecting from this book.

14 people found this helpful

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Ahhh...the possibilities!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The book itself is wonderful and would definitely be a great recommendation to friends, especially those who may see their present spate of challenges as a bit daunting to overcome. The content is well organized and the testimonials to the author's ideas are modern and from searchable organisations and people.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Uncertainty?

Unfortunately, I did not finish the book and would not be adept at offering a most memorable moment. The experiences shared in the first 4 chapters were relevant and well reported.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I found the narrator's presentation distracting and tone grating though this may be a personal prejudice. He came across almost off-handed, even flippant in places that would have called for more gravity considering the experiences that were being related.

What did you take away from Uncertainty that you can apply to your work?

Thinking outside the box is now more than ever, more than a cute euphemism. But that will call for for risks, taking chances that on the onset may seem literally out of this world. Your gut is a great barometer of your endeavors. Believing in you is the key ingredient. Once the two are stirred up, the proverbial windows open.

2 people found this helpful

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A fantastic book to deal with 'sometimes' ugly you

Would you listen to Uncertainty again? Why?

Yes, actually listening to the book gave me most practically useful guidance in laying frame work for success.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting

I am a fan of Jonathan Fields and think he is a smart innovator. I’m not currently starting a business or writing a novel or doing something personally risky, and so the advice in this book didn’t seem quite so compelling for me, although there were still some useful tips. I liked thinking about startup culture and innovation and feel like I’m a little more informed about making smart business decisions (if I’m ever in the position to do so). I had a hard time listening to the narrator’s voice, so that was an unfortunate downside.

1 person found this helpful

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A must read for new ventures

Excellent book that provides advice and coping stratergies when stepping into the unknown. Reading this book will not change your life, but it might give you the courage to change it for yourself.

1 person found this helpful

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Voice narration distracts from content

This had some good ideas for me to reframe how to think about uncertainty. I would have liked more ideas for best practices and less restatements of concepts and tech name-dropping. Also the narrator’s style sounds pretentious with an emphasis on the last syllable of every word - hard to ignore for the hours of listening.

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It's ok

It's another run of the mill self improvement/business book.

I listened to it a week or two ago. I should have reviewed it more promptly because it's hard for me to remember anything that stood out, anything that stuck with me and that I can use going forward...

I think there was something in there about encouraging meditation. And perhaps some general encouragement to take risks and live your dreams.

It certainly wasn't bad. Add it to your queue for a little dash of inspiration to fuel your fire as you work on your passion. But it's certainly not life changing.

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Buy in print form

The material could be helpful and interesting, but the intonation of the narrator is extremely difficult to listen to.

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I adore Jonathan Fields & the messages

I have followed Jonathan Fields for many years. His messages always enlighten. Although I have lived long enough to deal with my creative demons (and I am not particularly success-driven, mostly creativity-driven), I still learned some new things from this book. The hints about routine and ritual may actually be my takeaways from this book in my own life.

Yet, I had a really hard time listening to this reader. I don't remember ever leaving a bad review. It's not my style. However, at least to this Michigan Midwestern person, this gentleman's voice had a snotty, almost bully-like lilt to the end of his sentences. It actually distracted me from the messages. I was willing to hear someone other than Jonathan's read his book. I can do that with Brené Brown, for instance. But this particular reader just didn't work with my dialect and ears. I felt like he was lecturing me on what I should already know. It really felt like a put down. Since kindness is my favorite watch word, I feel terrible that Erik might read this. Still, it needed to be said.

Jonathan, I'm very sorry that I had to say anything negative about your work, but this just needed to be said. I am not one who sits down to read a book. For those who do, by all means find yourself a Kindle or a paper copy.

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Too distracted by narrator

What disappointed you about Uncertainty?

The narrator drops his voice and slows the air passing through his vocal cords before almost every pause in the entire book. This somewhat constipated way of speaking was so distracting to me, I didn't hear the content of the book for long periods of time. Had to turn it off occasionally. Maybe I'm alone in this, because he has narrated a lot of books on Audible. I will be avoiding those books because I won't be able to focus on the content.

Who was your favorite character and why?

No characters. Good content in the book, though! My favorite info was about creating routines. And the best reminder for me was how much exercise is good for us, even supports the creative process.

How could the performance have been better?

Different narrator. Or narrator changes how he ends sentences & just before pauses - keep his voice up and the air flowing until the sentence is finished.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Hope! Hope that I can create something I have been working on, despite the doubt & uncertainty.

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  • livvy
  • 02-04-16

Perspective Changing

It has changed my perspective on my current work uncertainty & provided practical coping tools

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-02-16

Practical and useful

Amazing book if you are a creative of any type and your work's outcome is not clear or guaranteed. Full of useful and practical advice.
His Good life project also is worth watching ir listening to if you want to know how the most extradionary human beings if our generation made it to where they are.
Jonathan Fields is an amazing writer and his Conversation Provocative style leaves you always with lots of thoughts of your own ,which is ultimately the best legacy a book can have.