SURPRISE is an expression or feeling associated with the element of uncertainty. From the French surprendre, meaning “to overtake”, this week’s word carries the connotation of “unexpectedly”.
We may not like all surprises, but imagine the alternative — life in perfect certainty? Yawn. With perfect certainty, we’d never go for anything. If the 2017 Cleveland Cavaliers knew in advance they were going to lose the championship title, would they suit up for Game 1? Would you?!
Life without surprises, life with perfect certainty would be far from perfect – it would be perfectly boring and perfectly pointless. There’d be no excitement, no dreams, no anticipation.
SURPRISE is the promise of creativity. The unknown harnesses our willPower. What if this blind date turns out to be the beginning of a beautiful relationship? What if this start-up venture becomes the next Amazon? What if this time your pregnancy “takes”?
With a willPowerful perspective on SURPRISE, disappointments past, present, or future have less charge to them. We can move forward gracefully and regret-less-ly. We understand there will always be surprises. Surprises give meaning to our life and consequences to our thoughts, beliefs, decisions, and actions. From a willPower standpoint, we seek to roll with them, harness them, bless them, and, occasionally, simply survive them!
This week’s Seven Steps are designed to keep you in the flow of life and uncertainty. To bring new eyes to the element of SURPRISE:
1. SURPRISE yourself with a brave act or novel break in the routine. Try a new class, attend a community event, check out a new restaurant. Get yourself out of the groove of your everyday (or every weekend) rituals.
2. Notice SURPRISES in your life this week with an air of neutrality instead of judgement. Flat tire? Assess your options without the sting of annoyance. Situation at work? Keep your cool and ask questions with sincerity and without jumping to conclusions.
3. Learn from your SURPRISES. Thinking of a recent SURPRISE, assess your prior assumptions that maybe blinded you to the eventual outcome.
4. Invite more SURPRISE in your life by evaluating your beliefs. Beliefs about yourself, beliefs about others, beliefs about how the world is, how things “work” (or don’t work…)
5. Cultivate your SURPRISE muscle by reading a book, watching a movie, or simply letting your imagination wander. The summer is the perfect time for this type of imaginative work (play).
6. SURPRISE your palette with some new tastes. With temperatures soaring, you may notice you’re craving more fruits and veggies. Or, perhaps summertime makes you nostalgic for summers past — like corn on the cob, watermelon, and…s’mores! Let food be a source of memory and reflection.
7. SURPRISE someone with a gift, words of heartfelt gratitude, a deed of kindness. See what happens! Let their response SURPRISE you, too!