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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Grade (So Far): Spontaneity

spontaneity: in a person, the quality of acting upon sudden impulses.

Given the dictionary definition, how would you grade yourself (so far) on spontaneity? Although I've always tried to keep a degree of spontaneity in my life, that definition gave me a little pause at first glance. Even though impulsive didn't turn up as a synonym for spontaneous, I wasn't ready to grade myself until I was sure the coast was clear. Listed synonyms for impulsive: rash, quick, hasty, impetuous but no spontaneous. Whew!

Spontaneity is a challenge for a goal-oriented planner like me. For those reasons, it's an attribute I've taken purposeful actions to cultivate. I try to emulate people who appear to live in the moment, ready to indulge their whimsy. I have conversations with myself about letting go, especially when I find habit or routine deadening my edges. I make sure to spend time with children, the masters of spontaneity.

Like many of the attributes covered previously, there's room to grow with this one. I'll give myself a "B" so far and keep looking for new strategies. Ideas for me?


  1. Start simple- perhaps a day trip with no particular goal in mind. Creating an environment which lends itself to spontaneous decisions can be very helpful. I always remember my dad's story about learning to swim. He spent quite a bit of time as a kid trying to learn about swimming(without entering the water), how to float in the water, slowly gathering up the courage to make an attempt. Then one day he and his friends were crossing a bridge over the Passaic River and they literally threw him over the bridge. Needless to say he was very in the moment and learned to swim. I’m certainly not recommending that if you can’t swim, but a foreign environment can do wonders to increase our spontaneity.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion Peter - something I've used in the past but a reminder is always welcome.

  2. I was just thinking about this last night while watching some young men timing an elaborate street fiountain, waiting for the right moment and running through. It was stifling hot band I wanted to run through too, but something held me back. Then watched a great you tube video of a couple surprised with a "candid" camera - they broke into a joyful karaoke version of livin on a prayer, followed by sweet dreams are made of this.

  3. Comment continued....watching that couple you just had to laugh and you knew they were living completely in that moment and would create a lifetime memory. Then another woman walked in, had a chance to be part of it, declined and made a run for it. And I realized that I need to sing more impromptu karaoke and run through more fountains.