Get up, shower, read, eat breakfast, leave for work, come back, play with the kids, eat dinner, do chores, go to sleep. Routine structures like this constitute the cadence of our lives, and though we say we “fall into” them, there is something invaluable about predictability.
The problem arises when you have predictability in excess and not enough spontaneity. This may occur when you randomly start looking up pictures of England before bed and dream about doing something drastic. For a little guide on why spontaneity revolutionizes your life, read on.
Spontaneity Frees You
First off, spontaneity addresses an existential need for freedom. The psychologist Erich Fromm discussed this exhaustively in Escape from Freedom, in which he introduces the terms positive and negative freedom. He posits that humans are stuck in a paradox—they strive for independence and possibility (positive freedom) while protecting themselves against the paralysis of choice that endless possibility introduces (negative freedom). Too often, though, people strive for control of their life and cast aside spontaneity as a risk.
Fromm would tell you that occasionally overcoming your own fear of the unknown is one of the surest ways to experience happiness and fulfillment. In fact, he believed that’s the only way to be fully human.
It Spices Up Your Relationships
Meanwhile, spontaneity does your relationships good too. Consider how you want to be loved. You value when others go beyond what you could ask of them just to demonstrate their affection. While dependability is huge, and there are many kinds of pre-set occasions when a personalized gift makes sense, breaking the mold and giving an impromptu present adds excitement to the relationship. Beyond gifts, all gestures, big and small, illustrate that your love is too big to contain and forges deeper bonds with your recipient.
It Gives You Endurance
The final reason why spontaneity revolutionizes your life is that it affords you endurance to keep going. In simple terms, when you think of life as full of tantalizing opportunities, you’re more likely to push through the everyday drudgery. Better yet, spontaneity within that drudgery helps you even further. Perhaps you sit outside on your deck, enjoying the autumn air as you make a budget for your family. Along the way, you may even see the beauty in tasks that you used to view as boring or not valuable.