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Certainty is just an illusion.

The Wisdom Of Insecurity is a book by Alan W Watts I read when I was just starting out in advertising. The message is that certainty is an illusion and change is constant.

So, becoming comfortable with change and not knowing can teach you many things. It shows you there is no end point or pattern. Which, of course, works really well in a business full of deadlines.

Being comfortable with uncertainty in an industry that demands certainty is a strange place for a creative to be. The truth is nobody really knowsanything absolutely. And, even if they do, it isn't necessarily interesting or inspiring.

Inspiration. There it is. The world's most overused word. It is used constantly and there is so little of it.

Recently, Bob Hoffman - The Ad Contrarian - spoke about our industry drowning in its own bulls**t. The jargon, the context all used by so-called experts in this ridiculous quest to create certainty. Do yourself a favour - watch his speech. You might not agree with everything, but it shows how experts don't really know much more than the rest of us.

In fact, when I think about people in my career who have been absolutely certain, they have always been trouble. The problem is our industry gravitates towards them. They make you feel like it's all going to be okay. If they are right, it is normally in a well-trodden, boring way wrapped in a slick presentation. And if they are wrong, they are gone.

And then you get those special people who are not so sure. But they believe. Often, they are ignored or not listened to. However, in my experience, I have found they are often correct in the most interesting of ways. The problem is that interesting is not measurable.

What many people forget is that, in our business, neither is perfection nor certainty. Voltaire said doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. I would venture most creatives couldn't agree more.

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Publication:Campaign Middle East
Date:Jun 1, 2014
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