“Being spontaneous” is a phrase generally used to describe behaviour that is natural, unconstrained and unplanned. As a part of my whole “turn-my-life around” plan that I grandly embarked upon last year, I had picked up a few things about my life that I wanted to change. One such thing that had been bothering me for a while was the relative lack of spontaneity in my life. Growing into an adult had unfortunately slowly transformed life into a carefully controlled series of plans, schedules and appointments. Even my vacations seemed pretty much planned and scripted because that’s all I seemed to know. I’d forgotten how to be spontaneous.
Perhaps I had not entirely forgotten the value of spontaneity though, because the idea came to me on its own accord. Maybe it was hidden somewhere in my subconscious as a mild dissatisfaction with life, waiting for an opportunity. In any case, like the good list-maker that I am, I decided to make a list of reasons for being spontaneous in life. Here are the reasons, in case you would like to know them too:
Reasons to be spontaneous
- Spontaneity gives you freedom. It sets you free from having to plan for every little thing in the future.
- Being spontaneous is far less stressful than being a planner. You can just go with the flow, and tweak your day according to circumstances, which your less-than-spontaneous former self would have freaked out at. No wonder spontaneous people also tend to be more cheerful and in general happier looking! Maybe that’s a big enough benefit of spontaneity to be sold on it?
- When did life ever take your 3, 5 or 10-year plans into consideration before doing its own thing? Never, right? So what’s the point of stressing over the little details! In the end, plan or no plan, all we can do is deal with whatever life throws at us, to the best of our abilities.
- Unplanned experiences can often be much more enjoyable than something you’ve been planning for a long time, simply because your expectations haven’t even had a chance to get built up yet. I’m hoping to put this idea to test on my upcoming vacation, where I’ll be going without a clearly structured day to day plan for the first time ever. People who know me well will understand how big a deal this is!
- Being spontaneous is about getting outside the comfort zone, overcoming the planner’s anxiety, and just letting things be the way they are. In a way, it’s another path to personal growth.
So am I saying that one should live a completely free life with no plans and no controls? No, definitely not. That would just lead to an anarchic state of affairs. We should still have plans, but temper them with flexibility. Plans have their place in life, and so does spontaneity. Similarly, a little bit of impulsiveness is cool, but then we combine it with some amount of control.
How to be spontaneous
If you have never been spontaneous in life and don’t know where to start, here are some small ways you could make a beginning. Baby steps, so to speak.
- Get a friend to help you by challenging a routine that you are very inflexible with.
- Book a weekend getaway on a last-minute whim and without any planning. See how it feels. See how your partner or family feel about it.
- Eat or drink something you don’t usually have. If you are at a restaurant, let the waiter or chef suggest something. See where it takes you.
- Get a new haircut, or try a new style of dress. Be a little adventurous.
- Say yes to new opportunities that come your way, if in your heart you know they are good for you.
I now firmly believe in the value of spontaneity, and that we should work out a balance in our lives between spontaneous and planned moments. Being spontaneous adds a spark to life and is also a way to lighten the mood. Saying yes to joining the AtoZ Blogging Challenge was the biggest act of spontaneity I could have thought of, and well, here I am!
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