A wise person once told me that in life we must do the things people would least expect of us. What does this mean? For me, this means that we stop letting ourselves be defined by our surroundings, our exterior world and in return we take a look on the inside and we decide who we are, we decide what we become, and we decide what we can and can’t do. We have the power to define ourselves or decide at any moment that something is or isn’t who we are.

In a society structured around labels and definitions, it’s very easy to start thinking about yourself in these boxes and columns. Am I a nerd? A theater junkie? Am I a hipster? Am I a skater? Who am I? As a student in college, I’ve been asking myself this question for years, but as I’m halfway through a semester abroad and halfway through my Junior year, I’ve realized that when I take myself out of the society with said limitations and stereotypes, I feel completely liberated.

For instance, recently I pierced my nose and this is something that absolutely shocks others. When I told my closest friends a few said that it didn’t suit me because I wasn’t “that type of person” that could wear a nose piercing. For starters, I think we need to stop distinguishing persons such as “us” versus “them” or “those people.” Furthermore, I think it’s also very important to say: Why not? What makes me so different?

I use the example of my nose piercing to demonstrate that we all can be or do whatever we want, especially defying the expectations of others. Life gets boring when we always do what others think we’re going to do so my advice is for you to do what people would least expect of you.

This philosophy extends beyond our personal lives and into our relationships with others. For example, with our significant others, we can always do the unexpected like buying flowers or giving a small present when there’s no cause or reason. Another example of when doing the unexpected is in business. Dozens of businesses passed up on the investment opportunity of Google but then one guy decided that he would take a risk and do the unexpected: and look at him now, he’s worth more than $2 billion. So, in life, we can do the unexpected in small ways or even in big ways! But the payoff is the same.

For me, my random decision to pierce my nose is an absolutely liberating feeling because it is so different and unexpected. So in life, when have so many different ways and reason to do something unexpected, whether it be for others or for ourselves. Not only does it keep life interesting but it makes life exciting! At the end of the day, you’ll feel like a new person.