100 Ways To Live A Better Life – 95. Expect The Unexpected

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If there’s something unusual that happens to you, go for it. The unexpected is a signal of an opportunity. It will not always be nice, this unexpected stuff, but every time it creeps in, magical things are happening. Wait for it. Praise for it.

Life is not safe. It’s not predictable either. It’s a roller coaster. A giant, unpredictable, beautiful roller coaster. You don’t know when you’ll go up and you never know when you’ll go down.

All you know is that you’re having lots and lots of fun. Every time you change course something interesting will happen. It may be good or bad, that unexpected thing, this is not what it really matters. What really matters is how you experienced it.

In the end, you’re alive because you beat the unexpected, not because you prevented it. 

How To Expect The Unexpected

It may seem counterintuitive to exercise how to be spontaneous. To learn how to unlearn. To expect the unexpected.

Yet, it’s possible. If you think at it not from the perspective of a fixed, manageable process, but from the perspective of a new lifestyle, of a new attitude, it’s definitely possible. Expecting the unexpected is a way of living. It’s about being prepared. About being ready. About enjoying the twists. It’s not a process, you cannot formalize life, but you can enjoy it.

First, you gotta lose those expectations. In the beginning, it helps lowering those expectations, but in the end it would be much easier to drop them altogether. Expectations are poisonous. They’re surrounding us with the cosy blanket of some future comfort, but, when hit by the unforgivable randomness of life, when hit by the unexpected turn of events, they’re teared to tatters. Expectations are taking energy from the current moment and transfer it into the randomness of future. They’re energy thieves.

Second, you gotta lose the “good” or “bad” concepts. “Good” or “bad” are mental constructs, and like any other mental constructs they can be deconstructed. Furthermore, they’re tied to a certain context, to a specific culture. In some cultures it’s good to eat pork, for instance, in others it isn’t. And when we’re chasing the “good” and avoiding the “bad” we’re often forgetting the context to which they’re tied. Getting ill can be good for you, for instance, if there’s a war going on and, as a consequence of getting moderately ill, you won’t be recruited. It may literally save your life. So, the unexpected is not “good” or “bad” per se, it’s just unexpected. It’s surprising. It’s refreshing.

And third, you gotta practice your flexibility. Your degree of suffering is directly proportional with your degree of rigidity. The more you’re resisting this unexpected stuff, the more pressure you’re creating. And if you’re not finding ways to loosen up, that pressure will eventually break you into pieces. Flexibility is like the first tool to have in your survival kit. Everything else depends on it. Your ability to cope with unexpected turns of events, in an healthy way, will eventually lead you to the simple discovery that life is not good or bad.

Life simply is.

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