Spoiler: this is not a traditional market prediction.
There’s a distinct difference between believing in something and having faith in something. This is an age-old topic, but I think it’s particularly relevant now.
Belief is where we grasp during times of uncertainty. Belief is what we hold onto to bridge the gap between something we know and something we don’t know.
People go to war over their beliefs. This sounds crazy, but to maintain our sanity – to ease our anxieties – fighting people over different beliefs is actually easier than questioning the shaky ground our beliefs stand on. Nobody wants to acknowledge the fragility of their own house of cards, so establishing a disbelief is easier (even if that means violence).
Faith, on the other hand, leans on experience (as I define it, anyways). It doesn’t ‘bridge the gap’. It ‘is the gap’. Faith stands alone. There’s nothing to defend. It doesn’t matter if someone has had the shared or same experience. There’s nothing to be insecure over – we know it to be true because we’ve experienced it.
Truth be told, I suspect most of us would be shaken by how much we claim to be true is simply belief. I also suspect it’s the root of much conflict – internal and external.
We’d be far better off with a cycle of fewer beliefs and patiently waiting on faith or experience. I hope this doesn’t sound too crazy, but with less belief, there’s less angst. We become more of a society of explorers and collaborators and less of a society of sides, labels, and insecure know-it-alls.
It’s worth noting that during times of uncertainty, our tendency will always be to cling to belief. As the ground seems unstable beneath us, we’ll always seek stability in whatever vertical we can. This is applicable during market volatility, relationship uncertainty, health scares, and certainly, our political landscape. No matter how baseless it is (and this applies to all of us), we’d rather grasp to false certainty than step into the unknown.
‘Tis the season of stock market outlooks for the upcoming year. Enjoy them as entertainment. But, they are merely beliefs. Watch the story closely, and people will even argue over what ‘will’ happen. Again, we cling to whatever bridges the gap – no matter how wobbly.
The only thing I have ‘faith’ in for 2021 is that it’s unknowable. Because, this, I have experienced. And, that’s ok – this is actually beautiful if we allow it to be. The unknowable is sacred space. It’s where our greatest learning and growth takes place. It stands alone and requires no defense – full of both wonder and angst.
The rest of the noise is cover up for not knowing. Our time is invested much more wisely preparing ourselves for (and stepping into) the unknown. The unknown of our health, our family’s health, our retirement portfolio performance, our politics.
Sorry to bore you with market predictions that don’t sound hot off the Wall Street press. But, this much I know is true.
Thanks for reading,