Uncertainty. Complete, purified uncertainty – that’s what I was living for now. I didn’t know what lay beyond these hills. There was no place certain to go, no camp that we knew of tonight. What did pushing mules up this sandy hell of hills mean? Beck had been a shying maniac all day and now she was pulling through the sand clouds like a dream girl…Our path west carried us toward another thunderstorm. But I didn’t want certainty now. I loved living this way and I just wanted three mules, Nick and the trail. All I could do was continue moving west, west, west, a fanatic for miles. My reward for that was learning to embrace uncertainty.

The rest of the hills were lower and the wind began to abate. Over them, we were driving blind for only a minute or less. But I had my mantra now. Uncertainty was a sacrament and the quest for miles meant that we’d never know where or how we’d end the day.”

– excerpt from The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck

DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world. Connect with him on Twitter at @berrydavid.

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