A surprisologist. I like it. I am probably the worst person to be called a surprisologist. One year for Chris’ birthday I planned a trip to San Francisco. As it got closer to the trip I could not contain the surprise, I just had to tell him. Partly I wanted him to be able to get excited by our trip and start to think about whether there were any special places he might want to go, and partly I just could not contain my surprise any longer. How did I break the news to him? I told him I wanted him to open a birthday gift early, and I wrapped a box of Rice-a-Roni “a San Francisco treat” and asked if he could guess his gift. I no longer remember his face or response, but let me just let you know the moral is I am not good with surprises.
I recently read a Ted blog about a woman (Tania Luna) who is a surprisologist. She has started a company called Surprise Industries and well let’s just say she has me curious. One of the things she lists in the TED blog is how we always surround ourselves with what is comfortable, with people we know, and that we rarely break outside of our comfort zone and find ways to meet new people (and well get excited about it).
What could you do that would add a little surprise to your life? Maybe it is a little thing to surprise your spouse or kids once in a while, or maybe it is adding flavor to how you engage with others. Take that belly dancing class, hip hop, or heck, go country line dancing. In this quote from the article, Luna tells us that surprises can teach us to grow and reach:
“Few people follow their dreams or take positive risks — not because it’s difficult or even scary, but because we avoid that sensation of uncertainty that we call awkwardness. Learn to love it. Remind yourself that discomfort means you are growing AND reaching someplace special that few people dare to go. Try a hobby that looks awful. Talk to a stranger.”
I would lose count of the number of people who avoid awkwardness. Who likes feeling awkward? However, feeling awkward could lead to feeling brave. Feeling brave can lead you to feeling badass. Who does not want to feel badass? I am not saying you have to go pet snakes if they freak you out. Maybe just go introduce yourself to a stranger at your next charity function or company picnic. I know I have work to do. Whether or not I can keep a surprise inside, I could definitely add some flavor to the surprise I bring to my world. What about you?