When I’m brainstorming potential topics to write about for weekly articles, it usually starts off with an idea that I try to convince myself I’ll commit to. I’ve been writing these articles for a mere five weeks, but that plan has still yet to follow through.
The other night, my plan was to attend a local suburban garage rock concert. Instead, I ended up on Mulholland Drive in Hollywood overlooking the entirety of Los Angeles at 2 a.m. with some of my favorite humans. It was on the drive there that I discovered what the topic for my piece this week would consist of.
It has become a pretty conventional idea to be spontaneous. It’s obvious to see how dropping whatever is on the agenda, or randomly creating one from scratch is an attractive concept. However, I think that there are far more benefits to incorporating spontaneity into your personality than simply because it’s common and hip.
1. No expectations.
When you look forward to certain events or being around certain people, you have plenty of time to build unrealistic expectations in your mind. Come the actual occasion, you have already played out how you intend for the event to unfold. Those untainted daydreams are most likely impossible to live up to, and typically leave you feeling disappointed. When something is decided on the spot, there’s no excess time to overthink. You are able to just go out and enjoy it.
2. Lasting memories.
Usually when you decide to go do something on a whim, it’s guaranteed to be memorable and worthwhile. Some of my fondest memories formed due to failed or altering plans, which at the moment seemed irritating but consequently ended up leading to a more fulfilling time that the original plan could have ever offered.
3. Friendly reminder that you can do whatever the hell you want (with some exceptions).
Straying from your mundane schedule to actively pursue a new experience reminds yourself that you are alive and have the freedom to do what you want. As long as you aren’t hurting something else that’s also alive, or committing extremely illegal crimes, this notion applies to pretty much anything. If you feel like traveling to the ocean at 4 a.m. to watch the sun rise over the horizon, the only things stopping you are the boundaries in your brain (and possibly a lack of gas money). I think people become so accustomed to the story line of life that society sets, that they often forget that this beautiful power is within everybody.
4. Intricate planning is harmful.
Planning out every single detail of your life excludes yourself from unexpected passions and chances. People are constantly fluctuating, changing interests, and growing. By solidly sticking to the life plan that you imagined when you were eight to go to Harvard Law School, you are closing off doors to different opportunities that you may love more or suit you better. Plan what is truly necessary, and live through the rest with an open mind that is willing and eager to try new things out.
5. Thrill within the unexpected.
Exploring new places and seeking out adventure is priceless. There is an intangible anticipation that is felt when you are out of your comfort zone and experiencing life in its rawest form. The list of places, people, and situations you could potentially come across is infinite. You will never regret something that you took a risk doing, but there’s a high chance that you’ll gain an insane story.