Why should we never expect the unexpected

Happiness means leaving room for the unexpected

Last update: 16 February, 2018

Euripides once said that what we expect would not happen since it was Only really change our lives when something unforeseen happens. However, it does a receptive heart and an open mindsetto leave room for the unexpected. Because only then can we seize the wonderful opportunities that open up to us.

Sociologists and even economists, including the well-known essayist Nassim Nicholas Taleb, regularly point out to us that we are acting like we can predict tomorrow's events, and indeed all of next week. Our ignorance, or rather said our excessive need to keep everything under control then leads to a situation where we no longer know how to react when something unforeseen happens.

"Expecting the unexpected reveals a thoroughly modern intellect."

Oscar Wilde

This basic need is explained by a very simple principle: Our brains have to believe that everything is under control. It does not matter whether we are unhappy, it just wants to ensure our "survival". Accordingly, whatever seems remotely unexpected will be classified as a threat by the brain. And then it raises the flag of possible danger.

In fact, those people who try to hide their fears, insecurities and inner emptiness often develop the greatest need for control over themselves and others. But each control addict is inevitably lost in the abyss of dissatisfaction and unhappiness. That inevitably happens when you tries to control the uncontrollable and leaves no room for the unexpected.

Learn from children to love the unexpected

If you want to get a baby's attention, show them something unexpected. His gaze is always drawn to the unusual. It loves bright colors and amazing things. Babies have an innate ability to accept the unforeseen and great happenings around them. However, we have since lost this ability because we view the world rationally. It's a shame because we could learn so much from it.

A study by psychologist Aimée Stahl of Johns Hopkins University (Maryland, USA) showed that Babies between the ages of nine and eleven months tend to respond to stimuli that are beyond their logic. To demonstrate this, an experiment was carried out on a group of babies: the children could choose between two toys: one seemed to move through the wall and another ricocheted off it. Interestingly, the babies were more intrigued by the toy, which did the impossible, namely going through walls. Experts concluded from these tests that small children are programmed to fixate on the unexpected.

However, as we grow up, the unexpected is often experienced as something beyond our control and therefore dangerous.

When we find ourselves in a new situation that we have no experience with, we often experience uncertainty and stress. Instead of clinging to the barbed wire of fear, we should let ourselves be children every now and then. Embrace all of the positive things the unexpected can bring.

Give the unexpected in your life a chance

Do it - leave the door to your heart open so that every now and then a fresh, happy and untamed breeze can come. It won't hurt you. Make space in your life for the unexpected. Those things that aren't on your calendar and have nothing to do with your goals could be good for you. Because the effects of the unexpected could be better than we ever thought.

At a conference for graduates from Stanford University (California, USA) Steve Jobs once said that life is nothing more than learning to "Connecting points". Many of these unexpected things that happen to us in our lives can only be given meaning in retrospect. Indeed, great conquerors unexpectedly discovered new continents. Lucky coincidence brought us some of the greatest moments in history.

You may not like your job, but at work you made a good friend who introduced you to a hobby that you now love. It may even be so emotionally and intellectually fulfilling that you are making it your new career. Then you build your business and meet the love of your life. Is it all a coincidence?

One thing leads to the next. We jump from stone to stone in this flow of life, almost without realizing it. But to see the possibilities in each step, we must remain open to the magic of each day. And we need a positive attitude because anyone who leaves space for the unexpected opens up countless chances of happiness to themselves.

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