Mona Lisa

Why We Should Embrace Uncertainty


da Vincian Life Series Part 4

Edward de Bono states that our minds tend to look for what’s familiar in any situation.  It is a safety mechanism we have. When we are in an unknown situation our mind works to quickly assess the situation. Leonardo da Vinci fought against this. He embraced the unknown, uncertainty and paradox.


Our country celebrated the anniversary of our Independence yesterday.  I love being an American.  But as an African-American,  the celebration also brings the greatest juxtaposition of feelings.  Our forefathers, chose to separate from Britain and create this great nation while leaving the abomination of slavery in place in the southern colonies.  If they attempted to force the southern colonies to end slavery and declare independence from Britain, the southern colonies would have separated from the northern colonies.  This would have given Britain a foothold in the soon to be United States.  Independence before emancipation. I get it.


Children think in terms of all good or all bad.  Maturity states we must understand the complexity of the human condition. Every person has strengths and weaknesses.  Great men we study in our history classes are often endued with weaknesses.  Life’s circumstances are the same. We must fight our natural tendency to judge a situation as good or bad.  It can be both.  This was da Vinci’s genius.  We are so fascinated with the Mona Lisa because of the ambiguity in the facial expression.

Embracing uncertainty:

  • prevents quick and erroneous judgements
  • opens your mind to learn new things.
  • unleashes your creative potential

Get comfortable with change and paradox. Leaders we have to be adept at change and adept at helping others through change.