Why not seize the pleasure at once? – How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation! – Jane Austen
Does Your Life Feel Kind of Boring and Dreary?
How are you feeling right now? How would you assess your life? How is it all going so far? Are you fully satisfied and fulfilled? Are you making the most of the opportunities that come your way? Do you take chances? Do you regularly step outside your comfort zone and pursue exciting new adventures or strive to learn new things?
Just maybe, that’s entirely not you. It’s not how you live your life. Your life is instead rather boring and dreary. Nothing exciting ever happens. You instead follow the same schedule, indulge in the same routines, and strive with all your might to make each day a perfect replica of the last.
Yes, by all means, there is some variety from time-to-time. For instance, while driving to work someone cuts you off in traffic and you throw a tantrum, or a friend unexpectedly calls you up and invites you out for lunch. So yes, you certainly have different experiences each day, but different experiences don’t mean that you are fully living your life.
Many people go through the same patterns each and every day. They wake up in the morning, maybe do some exercise, drive the kids to school, go to work, eat the same lunch, pick up the kids after work, prepare dinner, put the kids to bed, watch some television, and then go to sleep. At the end of the day, not only do they feel exhausted, but they also kind of feel unfulfilled. Their life and maybe even their relationship is just kind of stuck in one place and not moving forward.
What’s more, is that living this way leads to predictable emotional experiences that we are forced to indulge in day-to-day. There’s just no variety there. And our emotions are so crucial for our ongoing health, mental state, and well-being. When we experience empowering emotions that excite us and make us feel alive, that’s when everything changes. That’s when our life changes.
However, most people don’t experience that emotional variety. Yes, their life is kind of okay, but at the same time kind of boring, uninteresting, unstimulating, uninspiring, tedious, lifeless, wearisome, dull, bland, and dreary. They go about their day without fully or consciously living it. It’s kind of like a self-assigned prison cell where we have freedom, and yet we confine ourselves to living behind the bars because we’re just too afraid to venture out.
Yes, we might very well feel somewhat satisfied, but are we truly fulfilled? Are we actually living a life that excites us — that pulls us out of bed in the morning with zest, enthusiasm, and passion? For some people, that’s certainly true. But for the majority, it’s far from reality.
So, what’s the answer? What can we do that could add a spark of excitement to our lives? What’s that one miracle thing that would make all the difference? Something that could help us overcome all the fears that are holding us back. And what’s that one word that describes all this?
And, of course, the word we’re looking for is SPONTANEITY.
What it Means to Live Life Spontaneously
Okay, so what’s spontaneity, and what does it mean to live life spontaneously?
Spontaneity means letting go of routines and concrete plans. It means letting go of your fear of rejection, fear of change, fear of failure, fear of making mistakes, fear of embarrassment, and fear of criticism. It literally means letting go of all the fears that are currently holding you back from living your life fully.
To live spontaneously means consistently sacrificing your convenience and comfort for uncertainty and excitement. It means making an effort to make life fun, interesting, exciting, and unpredictable. And that, of course, requires committing ourselves to overcoming the pitfalls of laziness, stagnation, and boredom.
To live spontaneously requires a deep-seated belief that anything and everything is possible if you apply yourself fully. You just need to trust the process and go with the flow of life without second guessing yourself.
Being spontaneous is all about allowing detours and randomness to come into your life. It’s about challenging yourself, challenging your fears, doubts, limiting beliefs, and unhelpful habits. It’s about trying new things and then fully embracing uncertainty and discomfort as a natural and necessary part of life.
To live spontaneously is to live without chains, and without the burden and baggage that so many of us carry upon our shoulders. It’s a freedom that when embraced can significantly alter the course and direction of your life, forever. But how?
The True Value of Living Life Spontaneously
When you live spontaneously, it naturally opens doors to new perspectives, experiences, and growth opportunities. You are doing new things, meeting new people, and exploring the wonders of life and the world around you. And that’s essentially where all the opportunities lie. However, spontaneity is more than just for your own personal benefit. It also benefits others as it breathes life into your relationships and friendships.
Spontaneity is a way of life that brings incredible joy, wonder, and excitement to our days. And it fulfills us on levels we may never have experienced before. It kind of takes us back to our childhood years where our imaginations ruled our lives and where every experience was an experience of a lifetime. But the benefits don’t stop there…
When you live spontaneously, it naturally stimulates your creatively, helps you overcome shyness and fear, gives you the motivation you need to handle problems more effectively, and it even helps you deal with sudden change that’s thrust upon you. When you live spontaneously, change doesn’t bother you. You naturally go with the flow of life and embrace the uncertainty that change brings to the table.
Yes, of course, it’s not easy facing uncertainty. Not a great many people thrive during uncertain times. But for those that do, life is absolutely spectacular and incredibly fulfilling.
Developing the habit of living life more spontaneously will progressively help you feel more comfortable when facing uncertainty and unexpected change.
To Live Spontaneously, You Must Change Your Routines
I’m going to assume that because you’re reading this, that you aren’t naturally a very spontaneous person. Your life might even feel somewhat dreary and uneventful. There’s, of course, nothing wrong with that. But I have a feeling you are searching for something more. For something that will add a little adventure and excitement to your existence.
If that sounds like you, then the key to living this life comes down to your willingness and ability to change your current habits, routines, patterns, and behaviors. And as you make these changes, you will breathe new life into everything you do, which will immediately inspire new perspectives and expectations about what’s possible. It’s in essence, the foundation step to living a more spontaneous life.
To get this process started, be sure to commit yourself to move through the following four steps. Then after that, I will provide you with some further guidelines on how to live more spontaneously each day.
Step 1a: Analyze Your Behavior
The first step requires you take a moment to analyze and assess your current behavior patterns. Ask yourself:
What kind of things do I tend to do each and every day?
Do I tend to do the same things every single day?
What things exactly do I tend to repeatedly do each day?
Take into account your social interactions, the places you visit, the food you eat, the actions you take, the decisions you make, the habits and routines you repetitively indulge in, etc. Then continue asking:
Do I tend to indulge in the same thoughts each day?
Do I tend to experience the same emotions each day?
What specifically about my life is predictable?
What’s my life like as a result?
What are my days like as a result?
What patterns am I seeing that are evident?
How do these patterns make my life predictable?
Your primary objective here is to identify key patterns that you can use to predict what you essentially do each and every day. And if you get stuck, then ask people who know you well about how they tend to see you and the patterns that they inevitably recognize in your behavior. Doing so will help you to thoroughly assess your current reality and how that’s manifesting in your life.
Step 1b: Figure Out What You Want
Before moving on, consider for a moment your goals and objectives on how you would like to live your life. Ask yourself:
What kind of person would I like to be?
What kind of life would I like to live?
How specifically would I like to spend my time?
How does spontaneity fit into this picture?
The answers you provide to these questions will help you to figure out the changes that you might like to make to your routine moving forward.
Step 2: Identify Your Routines
Your next step is to identify the daily routines you typically indulge in. Ask yourself:
What is my typical daily routine like?
What kind of rituals do I tend to indulge in?
What do I specifically do morning, afternoon, and evening that’s relatively consistent each and every day?
What do I tend to do out of habit without giving these things much thought?
How do all these routines and rituals make me feel throughout the day?
The routines and rituals you identify here build the foundations of your day. And, of course, consistently applying yourself to move through these routines each day, builds the framework for your entire life. Therefore, if you’re not fully satisfied with your life as it is at this very moment, then you can blame your routines and rituals for your dissatisfaction.
Step 3: Scrutinize Your Routines
Now, that you’re familiar with your daily routines, it’s time to put them under a microscope. Your objective is to identify routines that you either need to change or dispose of entirely. To do this, ask yourself several key questions:
Why do I tend to indulge in these particular routines and rituals?
Why do I tend to do things in this particular way rather than a different way?
Which particular routines are actually helpful?
Which routines keep me focused and productive?
Which routines add value to my life?
Which routines make me feel alive and fulfilled?
On the other hand, which routines just don’t feel good?
Which specific routines are potentially keeping me stuck?
What regrets do these routines bring to mind?
Given all this, which routines do I need to dispose of or change?
Having answered these questions, you should now have a fairly good idea of the types of changes you might like to make. Be sure, however, that these changes are aligned with the goals you identified a little earlier.
Step 4: Progressively Introduce New Routines
The final step of this process requires taking the time to build new habits, rituals, and routines that add more variety and help spice up your life. Ask yourself:
What new routines and rituals would it be helpful to introduce into my life?
What new routines and rituals could add more excitement, adventure, and joy to my life?
How do these routines feel? Are they aligned with the goals I identified earlier of how I would like to be and live my life?
Does having these new routines in my life make me feel better, more anxious or excited?
Are these new routine more helpful and valuable than my old routines? How exactly?
Your objective here, is, of course, to create routines that make you feel more alive and fulfill you at a deeper level. Routines that add variety to your day — that add some excitement, adventure, and joy to your existence. Those are the types of routines and rituals that you must work on introducing into your day.
Guidelines for Living More Spontaneously
Now that you have several new routines established, it’s time to add some spontaneity to your day. Within this section, we’ll discuss specific things you can do that will encourage you to live life more spontaneously.
Eliminate Time Wasters
The first step to living life more spontaneously is to eliminate time wasting activities such as mindless gossip, internet surfing, television watching, playing video games, etc. Ask yourself:
What mindless activities do I tend to indulge in each day?
What activities do I partake in that I do out of habit that bring no long-term value or fulfilment?
How do I feel when I take a long-term view of the impact that indulging in these activities has on my life?
What am I possibly missing out on by choosing to indulge in these activities?
How would it be helpful to reduce or eliminate these activities all together?
How would that benefit me? What value could that bring to my life?
The activities that you must acknowledge here are activities that feel good in the moment. They are comfort seeking activities that bring you short-term pleasure but provide no value in the long-run.
These time-draining activities provide short-term satisfaction but lack that long-term fulfillment you need to be truly happy. Moreover, they deny you the opportunity to live life fully, optimistically, and without regrets.
Schedule Time to be Spontaneous
Now, that you have committed yourself to eliminating — or at the very least reducing — time-draining activities, it’s time now to start living life more spontaneously.
To begin this process, you must adopt a childlike curiosity and fascination. Or, in other words, adopt a beginner’s mindset. Approach every event in your life with a receptive mind that is open to an endless array of possibilities.
Children are normally very excited and enthused to try new things that they’ve never done before. And this is the exact mental approach you must take when facing new circumstances and challenges. Get excited and enthused to try new things and to attempt the seemingly impossible.
This, of course, all sounds quite simple on the surface, until you fall into the trap of over thinking and over planning what you intend to do. Or, you choose to wait for the perfect moment to do “that thing” you’ve been putting off for years. That’s not how spontaneity works.
To be spontaneous, you must be decisive and just jump head-first into something without much thought or contemplation. Just do it. Just try something new today, something different, something that provides you with new learning experiences that transform your perspective of the world. Ask yourself:
What’s something spontaneous I could do today that I haven’t done or tried before?
What’s something spontaneous I could do right now that would make me feel more alive?
What’s something I could learn that could help me grow as a person?
What’s something spontaneous I could do for another person that could assist them in someway?
Sometimes though, spontaneity is something that will surprise you when you least expect it. An unscheduled invitation, a request for help, or a situation arises that invites you down a new path — these are all examples of spontaneity paying you a visit. The question is whether you will accept the invitation and go along for the ride.
When you put yourself out there, opportunities to be spontaneous will arise regularly. You may, for instance, see something that catches your eye that you would normally ignore. But because you’ve committed to living your life spontaneously, you choose instead to take a chance and move down this new path.
However, if all this is kind of freaking you out right now, then start small. Start by taking five minutes each day to be a little more spontaneous. For those five minutes choose to read something random and unexpected. Cycle through your telephone contact list and give someone a call out of the blue. Or possibly take a walk and randomly approach a stranger and start a conversation.
These are all simple ways to be spontaneous. Start small, and you will build momentum over time as you gain more confidence in your ability to handle uncertain situations.
Connect with Adventurous People
One of the best ways to get into the habit of living spontaneously is to regularly connect with spontaneous and adventurous people. Connect with people who are optimistic and have a sense of adventure. Hang out with them, and see where life takes you.
You can even join Meetup groups in your area where people come together to discuss interesting topics, go on hikes, sporting outings, and dabble in other adventures.
The more often you hang around these types of people, the more comfortable you will feel with living life more spontaneously.
Start Experimenting a Little
Life is supposed to be fun. It’s not meant to be serious and boring. However, most people choose to live their life that way.
One of the best ways to make life more interesting and fun is to start experimenting a little. Start experimenting with how you play, with how you work, with how you socialize and do things.
To experiment means to try new things that you’ve never done before. Or to do things you’ve done over and over again in a new and interesting way.
While experimenting, you’re, of course, not worried about goofing up, looking silly, or making mistakes. That’s what experimentation is all about. It’s about imperfection and testing the waters in new ways. It’s about breaking new boundaries and moving down unexplored paths just to see what might be possible.
Then, once you have feedback, it’s of course, about adapting and making course alterations that can help you to successfully adjust your approach and complete your experiment.
Experimenting with trying new things, or with doing things a new way should be fun and exciting. Don’t take it seriously, but commit yourself to completing things thoroughly. Enjoy the process and spontaneity will soon take hold of your life.
Commit to Consistently Reinventing Yourself
Experimentation is kind of like a process of reinvention. To live spontaneously, you need to be consistently reinventing yourself and your way of life. You need to be learning new things, trying new things, taking chances, and walking down new and unexplored paths. Ask yourself:
How could I reinvent myself today?
What could I do today that would change me as a person?
What could I do today that would provide me with new perspectives?
What could I do today that challenges me and helps me grow in new ways?
The key to reinvention is to thrust yourself into the unknown and to act on your impulses — to challenge yourself in new ways that lead to your continued growth and development as a person.
Take Improv Comedy Classes
One of the best ways to quickly get into the habit of learning how to live life more spontaneously is to attend improv comedy classes. These classes will challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. They will challenge you to be a little silly, and you may even embarrass yourself at times. But, that’s okay. It’s all part of the process. 🙂 Just fully absorb yourself in the moment, have fun, and you will progressively develop the habit of living life more spontaneously.
Saying YES to Spontaneity!
Being spontaneous mostly comes down to saying one simple word. And that word is YES!
Spontaneous people say YES more often to more things than the average person. They say YES to exploring new foods, locations, and interests. They say YES to making spur of the moment decisions. They say YES to regularly helping others, to talking to strangers, and to proactively creating new memories and experiences.
Spontaneous people frequently say YES to accepting spontaneous invitations, opportunities, and adventures. If ever, they’re confused about what to do, they’ll just flip a coin and let fate decide. And once that decision has been made, they’re all in and ready to make the most of every opportunity.
Spontaneous people enjoy challenging problems and embrace them fully. Whether they fail or succeed doesn’t really matter. What is important is that they learn, grow and enjoy the process.
Spontaneous people say YES to their intuitive hunches, to creative ideas, and to their crazy inclinations. They often act on impulse and go with the flow of life. This doesn’t mean that they’re careless. Far from it. They’ve had so many varied life experiences that they intuitively understand the risks and dangers. They do things that support their growth and development — providing them with a deep sense of fulfillment.
Spontaneous people just don’t seem like the word NO. Saying NO to opportunity means that nothing ever changes. Moreover, saying NO to change and new experiences keeps them stuck in habitual cycles and routines.
Spontaneous people understand that when life starts getting too comfortable that they’ve probably been saying NO too often. And that’s, of course, when they commit themselves to breaking that cycle by making an effort to step outside their comfort zone — to take a chance on themselves.
At the same time though, spontaneous people do understand the value of saying NO. Saying NO is sometimes the right choice to make, especially when we take into consideration the opportunity cost.
Doing one thing prevents spontaneous people from doing something else. So, while they are spontaneous and jump head-first when an opportunity presents itself, they also take a long-term view and quickly assess the long-term impact a particular decision will have on their life.
Yes, spontaneous people certainly do live for the moment, but they also understand that a moment is fleeting. It’s their long-term fulfillment that’s of highest priority. They will therefore often make spontaneous decisions that feel great in the moment, but that also serve them in the long-run.
Given all that we’ve discussed here, you might be wondering how living life more spontaneously can help us to overcome our fears. Well, let’s break it down in the following way…
Our fears have the greatest hold over us whenever we resist them. Whenever you freeze and choose not to confront your fears head-on, that is when you give your fears the power and control they need to influence your decisions and behavior.
The formula is rather simple. The more you resist your fears, the more hold they have over you. However, if you instead choose to face your fears head-on with courage, then, yes, that certainly won’t initially feel comfortable. It may even make you feel sick to your stomach. However, if you choose to dig deep and keep facing your fears time and again, then over time those fears will eventually subside. They subside because fear has everything to do with perspective.
When we fear something, we are afraid because of what we imagine will happen. We are afraid because of the story we tell ourselves about this fear. But all the bad stuff that we imagine, rarely ever happens. And even if it does, the best way to inoculate yourself against this fear is to confront it head-on.
Start by confronting your fear one small step at a time. Then progressively increase your exposure as you gain experience and confidence. Over time, this fear will subside, and you will wonder why you were ever afraid in the first place.
Spontaneity is, of course, the key here. When we’re spontaneous, we don’t allow our imaginations (fears) to influence our decisions. We instead, just take the plunge and deal with whatever comes our way in the spur of the moment — which is often nowhere near as scary as we would have allowed ourselves to imagine. 😉
Time to Assimilate these Concepts
Did you gain value from this article? Is it important that you know and understand this topic? Would you like to optimize how you think about this topic? Would you like a method for applying these ideas to your life?
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Gain More Knowledge…
Here are some additional links and resources that will help you learn more about this topic:
- 6 Reasons You Need to be More Spontaneous and Stop Planning Your Life Out @ Elite Daily
- 6 Ways to be More Spontaneous in Your Relationship @ Bustle
- 7 Tips to Live a More Spontaneous Life @ Scott H. Young
- 10 Regrets Spontaneous People Will Never Have @ Elite Daily
- 18 Ways to Become More Spontaneous in Life @ LovePanky
- 30 Ways You Can Throw Caution to the Wind and be More Spontaneous in Life @ Elite Daily
- How Introverts Can be More Spontaneous @ Psychology Today
- How to be More Spontaneous @ WikiHow
- How to Become More Spontaneous and Stop Being Boring @ Lifehack
- Just Do It! How to be Spontaneous and Stop Planning Life to the Nth Degree @ The Telegraph