In a world that has so much structure, it would seem as if the element of spontaneity is far outfield. We rarely hear these days where people are willing to take a chance to do something that is going to change their lives forever. We are bamboozled into thinking that we must sit and work out logically how it’s going to happen. We are caught up in a world of calendars and time schedules. It is hard to even imagine doing something outside of our comfort zone. Therefore, we settle. We settle for the next best thing. I want to encourage you that the spirit of spontaneity is still alive today. We just need to tap into it. We can break the monotony and diversify how life should be. When did we get stuck in this bubble? Was it the dawn of the first or second industrial revolution? Who was it that told us we cannot be spontaneous in life? I don’t know! Contrary to not knowing, if we were to search history there is no one or nothing to suggest that spontaneity is wrong or ineffective. Becoming more spontaneous is something that we should get comfortable doing in our life or develop the craft we desire. This is something that we practice regularly in my Toastmasters club. We get the chance to practice in Table Topics. It is a way for us to develop the skills of speaking extemporaneously and leaving a memorable nugget with your audience. Therefore, mastering spontaneity is an art of itself.
How can we apply this in our daily lives and live more spontaneous?
Let me tell you. We must develop a different mindset that allows us to explore the possibilities. We become afraid when there is uncertainty. Everything is saying, “you can do this some other time.” Or, “someone else can do it. Why should I get involved?” The reality is, whenever we get that state of mind we have lost out on the beauty of living life to the fullest. Although I am not in your situation, this is what I have come to know; you are your own enemy when you decide not to win. The universe might be sending you messages to act now but because of how we have been socially engineered it becomes difficult to identify the true meaning of happiness. I tell you this, it begins with a spontaneous move. However, don’t be fooled, being spontaneous is not easy -but possible. Let us not get absorbed by our plans and schedules, because when the structure is removed, we fall hard.
As we move into our own spontaneity there are things that you and I can do to get some skin in the game. I read an interesting post by Scott H. Young – written in 2008 – that gave some amazing tips about how to become more spontaneous in life as he discovered the skill of improv comedy. Let these ideas fill your thoughts today as you live in spontaneity:
Don’t Reject an Offer [to do something that will change your worldview]. There’s some intrinsic rule that you should never reject an offer to do improv comedy. [I take this a little further to apply it to life in general. When we see an opportunity that will change things and challenge us – take it!] Scott H. Young points out that, “an offer is any action that helps set the direction of the performance.” [This statement is relevant to improv comedy but applicable to life].
Be Disciplined. Recognize the difference between an opportunity to try something new and an opportunity to be lazy. “Spontaneously” deciding to watch reruns instead of finishing your to-do list shows a lack of discipline. Have the discipline to ignore familiar temptations and the courage to pursue the unknown.
Are You Lateral or Vertical Today? I see life as a cycle of vertical and lateral growth. Vertical growth requires more focus and planning. Lateral growth requires spontaneity. Knowing which phase of the cycle you’re in can make it easier to choose between focusing on work or pursuing new opportunities.
Seed Your Future. Most opportunities for spontaneity don’t start out big. It could be as simple as saying “Hello” or signing up for a class you know nothing about. Improvising requires planting many seeds, even if only a few decide to sprout.
Eliminate the Unfun. Get rid of boring activities that don’t add value to your life. TV isn’t just eating away at your productivity, it’s draining away the motivation to do something fun. Clearing out the boring activities from your life creates the urge to explore.
Don’t Crowd the Stage. [As a life lesson, this means we should give an opportunity to others to display their skills and add value as well. Life is about us, not about me.] “Spontaneity requires cooperation.”
Motivation Conquers Fear. If you can get yourself incredibly curious about an idea, that can be enough to break out of your comfort zone. Ignore the voices of doubt when you first get an idea. New ideas take time to mature, so if you kill them immediately with the first objection, they can never be realized.
Create an environment where you can be spontaneous.
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
#Keep Doing Your Best Work!