I want you to take a trip down memory lane.
Remember those nights when you should have been focused on studying for that exam the next day, but decided to drive to the nearest frozen yogurt place or get half-off appetizers?
Or those times when your friend called you, or ran into your room saying “do you want to,” and you instantly said HECK YEAH before they even finish their sentence?
When we are younger, “spontaneous” moments in life are what we live for. We love moments of the unexpected. Anything can happen when no plans are made. Going with the flow becomes enjoyable. We have no expectations for the moment, so driving across the state for a particular type of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream does not go out of the question.
Now that you’re older, when was the last time you have done something completely spontaneous? I’m not talking about the last time you picked up a pint of ice cream, but rather you did something that was not planned. Something that did not necessarily fit in you schedule, or you took an opportunity to stretch outside of your comfort zone?
Last week, I opened up a Dove chocolate to eat, and the message inside the wrapper read “Do something spontaneous.” I laughed because the word “spontaneous” is a huge component of my blog and personal life. Then I opened up another Dove chocolate because, let us be honest, who only eats one piece of chocolate? The message on the second wrapper was the same as the first. “Do something spontaneous.” This was a sign.
Here are 7 tips on how to live more spontaneously:
1. Start Small
In order to be spontaneous, you don’t need to drive across the country or buy a plane ticket to a new destination. Living spontaneously can come in small amounts such as trying a new drink at your favorite coffee place or exploring a new hobby. Starting small is key, so eventually spontaneously making the decision to book a vacation trip does not seem out of the ordinary.
2. Call A Friend
Rather than prank calling people, make thank calls. Thank calls are spontaneous calls to people who either used to be, or are currently in your life. A thank call gives you the opportunity to thank someone for being a part of your journey in life. These calls are heart warming and special because they are cherished for a lifetime. Life is short, so send someone you appreciate a thank phone call today!
3. Execute Your Dreams
Go out and do the thing you have been waiting your whole life to do. JUST DO IT! The hardest part is starting. Stop waiting for the right time, if you have to wait, the “right time” will never come. Make time, and execute your dreams by putting your visions on a mission.
4. See Something Live
I absolutely love concerts, plays, musicals and really any live performance. For all my Wisconsinites out there, I am a huge fan of The World’s Largest Music Festival, Summerfest, because of the variety of music offered on the festival grounds. The arts have a way a fueling the soul. Whether you head out to see a ballet or a heavy metal concert, go enjoy the performance and support the hard work and dedication put in by artists.
5. Say “Yes”
Do something that scares you and draws you out of your comfort zone. By saying “yes,” you learn aspects about yourself you never knew before. Television producer Shonda Rhimes decided she was going to say “yes” for a whole year. In her book, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, Rhimes talks about how saying yes changed her life.
6. Get Off Your Phone
Your phone is the ultimate distraction from being spontaneous. I’m all for technology, but always looking at your phone hinders face-to-face interactions, and seeing the world that is right in front of our eyes. Filmmaker Gark Turk’s video called, Look Up is a demonstration of how memories and opportunities are missed when our eyes are stuck to a screen. Discipline yourself to take control of your phone use, and force yourself to interact with the people and world around you.
7. Talk To Strangers
In Kio Stark’s TEDTalk, she said, “When you talk to strangers, you’re making beautiful interruptions into the expected narrative of your daily life — and theirs.” Make an effort to strike up a conversation with a stranger. You never know where these spontaneous conversations can lead.
With these 7 tips, I challenge you today to start sprinkling spontaneity back into your life.
Remember: “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” -Forrest Gump
Feel free to keep me updated on your own spontaneous journey! Be spontaneous and never forget to smile :)
DREAM BIG! Have you heard these two words before? Whether you have heard them recently or not, these two words serve as a motivational gateway for individuals to think about everything life has to offer. As children, the task of dreaming big is easy, right? I'm going to be a firefighter, I'm going to be a actress, and the list goes on. Although when we, as individuals, increase in age, we tend to become less focused on our dreams.
The reason we become less focused is due to the lack of two key elements: Visualization and Vision.
Every night when I lay my head down, on the cool side of my pillow, I visualize my goals for not only the next day, but the whole grand scheme of life. You may even catch me spontaneously smiling in my sleep :) Visualization is important because the process helps our brain turn our thoughts into action. For example, if you really wanted to complete a marathon, visualize yourself in all aspects of the race. Before the race, during the race (how is your breathing and body reacting), and visualize finishing the race by running through the finish line. Visualization does not replace hard-work or guarantee success, but the process helps in taking action to achieving goals beyond what you currently believe is possible.
In order for our dreams to become a reality we must first wake up, physically and mentally. Waking up physically is self-explanatory because the only thing you'll achieve by laying in bed is another season of your favorite Netflix show. Waking up mentally is equally as important as the physical. I call mentally waking up, vision. Vision is incredibly important, but with vision also comes with a sense of humbleness. Visions do not succeed when blinders are put up to other opinions or ideas. Keeping an open-mind helps complete the purpose/mission of achieving your goals. Life has a funny way of working, so always hold trust your vision and visualize the outcome.
"If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don't have to be pushed. The vision pulls you." -Steve Jobs
About two years ago, I made a vision board folder on my computer. Every time I came across a picture that represented one of my goals or dreams in life, I would save the picture in the designated folder. There are many great sites for creating vision boards online, but I found having my vision board on my computer more organized and personal. With recently reflecting about vision, I decided to take a look at the pictures I had on my vision board. Want to know something crazy? I saw myself completing goals I had set for myself two years ago (See image below)!
I did not even have to look at my vision board everyday to complete my goals. Just by putting in the effort to make the board and visualize, my mind subconsciously brought me to where I wanted to go. Now not every goal on my board was achieved because I did not yet get an invite to be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, but where I am currently at, I'd say is a great start.
So maybe Aerosmith did not have the "right" idea in the song Dream On. Rather than dreaming on we should be visualizing on. Never give up on your dreams because they are real. We just have to learn how to turn our dreams into visions on a mission.
"Why do you smile?"
"I smile because I have found a connection between my past, my present, and my future and therefore have found meaningfulness."
"Why are you smiling?"
"Because I learn the best life lessons from strangers...just by listening and smiling!"
"Why do you smile?"
"I smile because I am fortunate for having the friends and family I do in life."
"Why are you smiling?"
"There's no snow on the ground, plus the Brewers won. Oh, and I got 102% on one of my exams."
"Why are you smiling?"
"I'm smiling because Crystals attempt at getting rid of my hiccups was a funny failure!"