Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields


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 3-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 innovat...

Details Uncertainty

Release DateSep 29th, 2011
GenreNonfiction, Business, Self Help, Psychology, Personal Development

Reviews Uncertainty

  • Emma Sea
    I wish I'd read Erica's review before I started this, or I wouldn't have wasted my time. I read the whole thing, hoping it would become the book I expected. And what I expected was something far more about uncertainty on a philosophical level. Instead, this is a generic "own your life" self-help book, aimed specifically at creative entrepreneurs. If you're at all interested in this genre you're read this exact book a dozen times before i.e. foste...
  • Erica
    I couldn't even make it to chapter two. I was originally intrigued by this book because there's so much uncertainty in everyone's lives and I thought, "I'd like to find a way to turn something so stressful into something positive." The first thing I noticed was there were no bibliographical resources, no references. When I see that, I often assume the writer is just sharing an opinion, something he's thought long and hard about and put to paper. ...
  • Kara
    When I pick up a new business book, the first thing I do is flip to the back to check out the notes. I have a strong preference for books with lots of notes. It shows the author did his or her research, that the book is based on something other than just one person's ideas. Ideas from just one person, however grounded in experience, just aren't a big enough sample size for me. If there are no or very few notes, I assume the author's more of a mot...
  • Thomas
    I won this book through First Reads, woo! Now I am obligated to review it, though I would have anyway.Jonathan Fields has felt uncertain before. As a lawyer-turned personal trainer who launched a yoga center in NYC the day before 9/11, he must have faced fears and falls. They haven't stopped him from writing Uncertainty, though. In this book he delves into the damaging effects of doubt and what we can do to defeat it. He draws from many fields, r...
  • Mark
    A good enough read on how to not let uncertainty, doubt, and the fear of judgement paralyze you. Best bit of advice for me: pay attention to my work habits throughout the day and notice when I start to fade and not be keenly engaged in my work. Jot those times down and at the end of a week I have a pretty good pattern to guide me in structuring my day. For me, my best work is done between 7:00 and 9:00 am. After that I'm really only good for abou...
  • Ron
    As a general business book, it falls flat after a few chapters. However, if you are a bootstrapping entrepreneur, creative type, or someone who has been in the kind of high-pressure situation solo targeted in this book, without of course the benefits of support systems, corporate training or the benefits of a support network and your family, this book is a gem. I found myself nodding my head constantly, and although I found that I had already dis...
  • Angela Kidd Shinozaki
    I listened to this as an audio. I have to admit that the voice on this one threw me just a bit b/c of the constant intonations. But the book itself was wonderful. I think everyone starting a business or artistic project should read it. This concept is the key to making it as a creator. Leaning into fear and judgment. Conducting seemingly wild experiments freely. We must let the uncertainty fuel us b/c it is a necessary evil. Otherwise, what we do...
  • Mark Rosemaker
    What is the book about?The book is about dealing with uncertainty, doubt and fear.It explores techniques of benefiting from theses emotions (states) or at least overcoming their paralyzing aspects.What problem was the author trying to solve?He was trying answer the questions: * How can I make uncertainty, doubt and fear work for me? * How much uncertainty is good for me? * How do I decide when to keep doing what I do or change course?What are the...
  • Ken Montville
    (note: I was sent a copy of this book, signed by the author - thanks, Jonathan! - in exchange for an honest review. It was also the January selection for 12 Books - a reading group here on Goodreads)I first ran across Jonathan Fields on his blog and was impressed by his giving heart and generous spirit. So I was interested to read his take on overcoming the fear we all have when beginning something new.To his credit, the book is not just a collec...
  • Dawn Lennon
    I picked up Uncertainty because I was inspired by an excerpt from it in a wonderful compilation of expert advice on expanding one's creativity regimen called Manage Your Day-to-Day by Jocelyn Glei.Jonathan Fields has walked the walk, coming from a career that includes both business, the arts, law, and yoga practice. He has dealt with the effects of uncertainty, intellectually and physically. The book starts strong with why uncertainty matters and...
  • Debra Eve
    If we dare to create, fear and uncertainty become bedfellows. So how can we work through those emotions and thrive? Jonathan Fields' uses stories and research to chart an answer. His suggestions don't break new ground, but he assembles them in a useful and inspiring format. He stresses the use of ritual, finding a "hive" (a benevolent feedback network), and training your mind through exercise, meditation and visualization (not "The Secret" gimme ...
  • Lori Tatar
    "Uncertainty" is a great companion to help one find a little bit of reassurance when making decisions that may lead to uncertain places. It seems only appropriate at this time to mention Steve Jobs and to ask, where would we be if he had always taken the sure route to where he was going? He revolutionized how we communicate, how we make and watch movies, how we listen to music, just to name a few marks he made on the world. If he had always place...
  • Jacob
    This was such a unique topic. I've never read anything else about this topic. I've never thought of myself as a person who is slowed or debilitated by fear or uncertainty. This reading helped me better identify the parts of my creation process that slow me down and gave me clear steps to take to remove those barriers. We are all creators in one sense or another. Security in life is one of the great myths that we are wired to believe in. True secu...
  • Joseph
    A wonderful book on the topic 'uncertainty'(1) a very structured, systematic book on the topic(2) it began by comparing uncertainty to rock climbing where we need to make certain 'crux moves' that will determine the entire route. (3) uncertainty is unavoidable in all instances but we can learn from Ellsberg paradox/ social judgement, certainty anchor, rituals and routines, environment (hives) and access to certain individuals to make the experien...
  • Kelly Phillips
    I recommend this book to anyone I meet who wants something better in their life. Every one of them who followed through and read it thanked me for the recommendation before they were even halfway through the book. If you are someone who has "potential" but has never quite been able to make a go of it, READ THIS BOOK. Jonathan Field explains that those people we admire who take the big risks and go it on their own, in art, business, music, whateve...
  • Jennifer Willis
    This book had been recommended highly on the UPOD (Under Promise, Over Deliver) freelance group, and I finally got around to reading it myself. I was pleasantly surprised by this book's encouraging take on smart approaches to "living in the question." I especially appreciated the "summation of chapters" at the end of the book to reinforce the important points made along the way.I'm not an entrepreneur (in the traditional sense), but I am a freela...
  • Christy
    I'm a HUGE fan of this book. I read it shortly after quitting my job and taking off on an adventure to South America and it really helped to fuel my confidence (and re-assure me when I started to think I might be crazy). I'd highly recommend giving this one a read - Jonathan has such a positive way at looking at situations that others might shy away from. He gives some great suggestions for getting more comfortable with uncertainty, and points ou...
  • Lisa Kavanaugh
    I wish I'd written this book! It brought together so many lessons/tools I've learned the hard way dealing with the discomfort of uncertainty and introduced me to some new techniques I am eager to try. If you're an entrepreneur, artist or someone constantly finding themselves in the deep end of the pool without a floaty- read this book. Not only does it give you tools for helping your body and mind deal with the unknown but it makes you see the st...
  • Cara
    I have a lot more to say about this, but for now, let me just say this book is exactly what I needed to read. I thought it was going to be about fear, but actually, it's about creativity and how to harness your fear and uncertainty to do better creative work. Notably, he talks about how to be creative in a healthy way that's sustainable over the long haul. Needed that!!
  • Evan Lynch
    Fantastic book. Highly recommended to artists and business people everywhere.
  • Sherilyn Smith
    I picked up the audio version of this book from my local library because the title and tag line seemed to speak directly to me... just to discover it was the same book I’d checked out a while back and couldn’t get through then either >.< I hate that I can’t write a review without applying a star rating, because really this is about the audio version’s narrator - his cadence/intonation is incredibly distracting, and dare I say, irritating,...
  • Mela
    This book is a perfect business and life 101 guide to conquering the unknown. However, if you are looking to read a book for fun, this may not be helpful. It is a bit of a dense read, though Fields offers amazing examples, and crucial lessons that everyone should learn, I wouldn't recommend reading this book as a vacation read. More like you need a life-changing experience type of reading. I will admit, I had trouble finishing the book, and am sa...
  • Jerry Smith
    2ishI almost quit the book but it was so easy and fast to read, I stuck it out. ((With some skimming involved..))The first 100 pages were garbage, just random anecdotes that were probably blog posts or tweets he found somewhere.The final 125 or so redeemed themselves a bit to just *bad*I can't remember how I came to this book, I just know I bought on Amazon so likely a podcast or a blog. Whoever it is owes me $12.
  • Carol Miltersteiner
    Very good, inspiring and useful content for who is pursuing a creative path and has to face the anxieties from the natural uncertainty of their work. Jonathan shows that our response to the unevitable uncertainty is what differentiates an idea that never becomes action or a success that gets you stuck in fear and shares some useful tools to tame it. Quick read and good reference, you can find some inspiring things and get good insights with this ...
  • Zuri Hann
    The main idea of this book is to embrace uncertainty and initiate something that you have desired for a long time. Some ways to minimize the uncertainty that was introduced in this book were 1) co-creation with customers from feedback 2) set up daily routines so that you don't have to think about what you should do every time. This book is a merge of different case studies and academic research that showed proof of taking action regardless of unc...
  • Scott Bywater
    Is This the x-factor which sets the best entrepreneurs apart?Excellent book for entrepreneurs as leaning into uncertainty may just be the x-factor which sets the best apart from those who slide sideways. Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson has one thing in common - they embraced uncertainty. This book breaks down exactly how to do it too.
  • Paul Sizemore
    "Rituals and routines can function as certainty anchors by offering a sense of connection" and they can "counter the pull of fear, anxiety, and resistance." In order to take risks, push boundaries, and choose less-certain options the judgment, criticism, and potential for rejection must come from a place of trust, respect, and vulnerability was a key message.
  • Sofia
    I picked up this book thinking it was something else and so this affected my experience of it. I breezed through it once I realised this so it’s not an in depth rating. I think his target audience will appreciate it but it wasn’t what I was hoping for!
  • Brad Krautwurst
    This book... hmmm. It has a lot of, shall we say, general concepts. It in some ways was exactly what I needed right now for some inspiration, and in other ways is lacking some specifics. In most ways it's just a list of inspiring people, which while helpful, wasn't quite what I was hoping for.
  • Elaine
    Good messages about how to manage fearful thoughts in uncertain situations. Builds resilience.