“Go on, stay the night!” urged my girlfriend. I’d popped over for an early dinner but three hours later we were still chatting and enjoying a bottle of wine.
“I can’t! I haven’t got a tooth brush, no fresh clothes, no skin care and I’ve got work to do tomorrow!”
“Doesn’t matter, I’ve got all that stuff and we can go for a walk through the National Park in the morning – go ooonnnnnnnn!!”
It sounds insane because I’m up on the Sunshine Coast without any formal work commitments so there was absolutely no logical reason why I couldn’t stay and enjoy myself. Yet the routine-oriented part of me that always calls the shots wanted to be up early and writing so I could reassure myself that I was ‘doing the right thing’ and maximising this period of solitude by doing lots of writing.
I took a firm grip of myself and instead of and going back to my apartment on my own, I gave myself permission to be spontaneous and really enjoy the company of my friends. Admittedly I felt a bit uncomfortable for the first half hour after the decision but then I surrendered to the moment, and the child within me, and had a wonderful 24 hours of absolute joy.
My initial reluctance to be spontaneous got me thinking about how much we miss out on if we refuse to get out of our comfort zone so I did some research into the benefits of spontaneity:
- It keeps us fresh and open to new experiences that enrich our lives;
- It fosters flexibility, an ability to slip into the ‘flow’ of life which is where we find satisfaction;
- We’re more creative because we’re not bound by pre-conceived limits. We’re more able to be in the moment and go with whatever opportunity arises;
- We’re less stressed because we’re more adaptable to the curve balls life throws at us;
- It keeps our minds sharp because we’re constantly re-adjusting to new situations.
Spontaneity is definitely not my forte but I’m committed to working on it. If you’re the same, try carving out an hour or two a week to do something that is completely out of your routine.
Try working from a café for half a day instead of the office, cook something entirely different for dinner, go for a bike ride instead of a run, try a different restaurant, read a book from a brand new genre, invite someone new over for dinner, go somewhere new on the weekend – anything that shakes your routine up a little bit.
It only needs to be small steps to open the door to brand new opportunities.
See Start Being Happy for more.
Love to you all, Jx