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Unplanned vivacity

A rush of blood to the head

Be out of step

Missed opportunity


The top three lines above (Excitement…) describe what most people would consider attributes of spontaneous behavior…or Coldplay.  Not me – I like Coldplay, but more importantly I’m not very spontaneous.  I worry that the bottom three lines (Be out of step…) will result from my spontaneity…and Coldplay.

I’m going to San Francisco tonight (I wrote this on Wednesday), followed by Yosemite, the Pacific Coast Highway, and San Diego.  Many people would just book the plane ticket and figure the rest out on the way.  I can’t imagine spending all that money and not guaranteeing yourself a great time.  What if there are not hotels?  What if you can’t rent a car?  What if…?  I guess if you’re going to San Francisco it would be pretty tough to botch your trip and be bored.  I like to squeeze as much into my trip as possible.  I’ll save the laid-back relaxation for the beach.

At Toastmasters I was once asked, what’s the most spontaneous thing you ever did?

At some point you have to start speaking at Toastmasters, so I recounted the story of surprising my wife with a wedding ring mysteriously wrapped as a present on Christmas Eve 2009.  I had planned that for several months, but I wouldn’t say wedding plans were imminent or I felt any pressure to get married.  As I walked back to my seat at Toastmasters, someone commented on whether I understood what spontaneous means.  I know what it means, but for me, that’s about as spontaneous as it gets.

Why am I this way?  Training for fights teaches you to prepare every detail in advance.  You want to go into the ring with complete confidence that you did everything possible to be ready for that fight.  If a doubting thought creeps into your head, you’ve already lost.  If I did everything possible in advance to win, I would succeed regardless of whether I won or lost.

Maybe the highs of spontaneity are higher than my planned experience.  Like eating fish and big plates of vegetables now, maybe I will change over time.  For now I’m content with my planned excitement, natural vivacity, and Coldplay.

Chris Martin from Coldplay
Chris Martin from Coldplay


Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

Lao Tzu