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Creative quotes and quotations
On Certainty...


Certainty in creativity is a paradox, where the certainty in one’s vision drives the creator onwards, whilst the uncertainty of future and the creative act point in the other direction. Being creative means embracing this dichotomy, feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

See also

consistency, doubt*, experimenting, exploration, leaping, letting go, impossibility*, risk, understanding*


‘If a Man will begin with certainties, he will end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he will end in certainties.’

Francis Bacon

‘There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.’

Robert Burns

‘There is one thing certain, namely, that we can have nothing certain; therefore it is not certain that we can have nothing certain.’

Samuel Butler

‘The more I produce, the less I am certain. On the road along which the artist walks, night falls ever more densely. Finally, he dies blind.’

Albert Camus

‘No one travels so high as he who knows not where he is going.’

Oliver Cromwell

‘Only two things are certain: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not certain about the universe.’

Albert Einstein

‘As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.’

Albert Einstein

‘If we will only allow that, as we progress, we remain unsure, we will leave opportunities for alternatives.’

Richard P. Feynman

‘Confusion is the welcome mat at the door of creativity.’

Michael J. Gelb

‘When people are least sure, they are often most dogmatic.’

John Kenneth Galbraith

‘Our firmest convictions are apt to be the most suspect, they mark our limitations and our bounds. Life is a petty thing unless it is moved by the indomitable urge to extend its boundaries.’

Josť Ortega Y Gasset

‘We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand.’

Eric Hoffer

‘I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections and the truth of imagination.’

John Keats

‘There is nothing more certain and unchanging than uncertainty and change.’

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

‘To be absolutely certain about something, one must know everything or nothing about it.’

Olin Miller

‘Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.’

Friedrich Nietzsche

‘The only certainty is that nothing is certain.’

Pliny the Elder

‘What men really want is not knowledge but certainty.’

Bertrand Russell

‘Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties.’

Gail Sheehy

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one.’




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