Do you expect the unexpected?

For me, I do not expect anything. I am open to adventures. As I know everything is for a reason, even unexpected, good or bad, I take it as an opportunity to experience and learn to handle it. And I had plenty of these opportunities, which taught me to look for the good in the bad or watch out for possibilities.

It can be confusing: Doesn’t expecting the unexpected make the unexpected expected?— Bob Dylan

Heraclitus said: “If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not find it; for it is hard to be sought out, and difficult”.

But let us see our friend Ryan Biddulph’s view on expecting the unexpected, which is another good perspective based on experience.

Thank you for sharing your experience, Ryan.

Do You Routinely Expect the Unexpected?

I walked the dog a few moments ago.

My wife and I are house-sitting in a quiet, suburban New Jersey community. Life seems quite different than our prior 5 months spent in Panama. Living in a developed nation versus a developing nation makes for a varied experience, to put it lightly. Life generally becomes more predictable in an alleged 1st world country; life seems a lot less predictable in an equally alleged 3rd world nation.

To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.- Oscar Wild

But if I learned one lesson after circling the globe for 10 years it is this: expect the unexpected no matter where you are.

I had never seen a person while walking the dog. Being in farm country amid a few homes means little if any human interaction. But today we saw a man doing yard work.

The homeowner told us the dog we cared for on this house sit enjoys being around people but little else. I prepared for the encounter by expecting the unexpected, bracing myself, and grasping onto the leash. Never assuming that his prior relaxed demeanor would continue helped me avoid a possibly nightmarish scenario.

Roughly 30 feet away from the man the dog snaps, snarls, growls, barks and shoots out like a rocket. He aggressively pulled the leash, trying to attack the man. Being prepared for anything ensured I held the dog closely. If I based my expectations on the dog’s prior serene behavior he would have broken free and likely attacked the man. I did not feel surprised at the encounter. House sitting around the world for a decade offered me a wide range of experiences concerning pet behavior. Serene dogs can turn into savage beasts in a heartbeat.

Look how often the unexpected happens – yet we still never expect it. -Ashleigh Brilliant

Expecting the unexpected has its benefits.

Being open to any possibility not only safeguards you against potential unpleasant situations; expecting the unexpected enhances your life immeasurably. Every place I have visited during the past decade largely was unexpected on many levels. For starters, my wife does all homework on potential travel destinations. I simply nod and show up because being largely free from preferences and expectations influences me to travel pretty much anywhere.

However, on a deeper level, house sits pull us to locations we never expected to visit. We never would have thought about visiting Oman or Qatar unless house sits posted by individuals living in each country popped up in our email inbox. I had never even heard of Oman until a few years ago. Qatar had entered my mind once but only as a country represented playing in the World Cup from an old video game in the 1990’s.

Expecting the unexpected opens you up to genuinely fascinating, fulfilling, and freeing circumstances. If you stop expecting specific things to happen you experience circumstances far exceeding your dreams. I never envisioned myself doing anything but working boring jobs. But being open allowed me to circle the globe as a professional blogger. Of course, being let go from my security guard job put everything into motion. Getting fired due to downsizing was an unexpected situation but groomed me for developing the habit of expecting the unexpected.

The positive benefits

Even though enjoying the positive benefits of expecting little to nothing feels good, gracefully handling hairy situations is an added bonus of releasing expectations. Most humans seem blindsided by life for remaining deeply attached to their strong expectations. Many security guards I worked with behaved as if they attended their own funeral when we received our pink slip back in those days. Expecting their security guard to be around for decades was quite a foolish mistake; change is the only constant in life. Attaching to this heavy expectation led to depression, misery, and a profound sense of panic among many of my associates. I however looked forward to being free from a life of employment.

Expect less and less. Be open to life by grounding yourself in the moment.

Develop the skill of concentrating on each task versus trying to focus on future outcomes. Be here and now. Being present opens you to the unexpected. Expecting anything to happen eventually dissolves most of your expectations. From that point, life becomes a fun, fascinating adventure far beyond anything you could ever possibly imagine.

About the Author

Ryan Biddulph inspires you to live your dreams at Blogging From Paradise.

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What about you? Do you expect the unexpected?

Please, leave a comment and let us know what your view is.


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