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Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Surprising Discovery

Reflecting on my last full time job and the bulk of my study after completing graduate school, I suppose it could have been easy to lose some capacity for being surprised by people. Indeed, using psychometric assessments, being educated to the impact of variables like birth order and culture, evaluating how others learn best via neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), all helped me occasionally make some reasonable predictions about behavior.

But a few weeks ago, following an innocent encounter, something dawned on me. The person who surprises me most infrequently is me. That is, despite my work experience and education, I'm still surprised by others quite often and happy this is so. However, surprising myself is far less common. Habit and routine are insidious and narcotizing. Fear hovers nearby, sometimes moving me away from surprise and toward comfort or worse, complacency.

Though sobering, I view my recognition of this as a clear positive. I'm now on a mission to surprise myself at least as often as others continue to surprise me. What strategies do you use to help ensure you surprise yourself?

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