Let Yourself Be Surprised

It sounds silly, but sometimes we are too sure that we already know everything – we go through life sure that we know why something is being done, or who did it, or how something works. We’ve read that book and now the book is closed. Allow yourself the opportunity to be surprised by something being different from what you thought you already knew.

A thousand metaphors are going through my head that I want to explain this with. The Flintstones – the difference between watching them as a child or from watching them as a man with a wife and child.

I heard this phrase earlier today “Let yourself be surprised” and I dismissed it, I threw it in the same category as a thousand other motivational phrases. And I forgot about it while it bounced around in my head and broke a few things loose. While I wasn’t thinking about it, that phrase was thinking for me. And, lo and behold, here I am, surprised to be writing and sharing that same phrase I dismissed. It’s wisdom and I’m fortunate that my brain held onto it when my ego dismissed it.

Another metaphor, my favorite re-purposed for this moment. Imagine a small lake with an island in the center, on the island is a statue with many faces, each of them representing a different aspect of what it is to be human, our emotions, thoughts, feelings. You could look at one face and then continue on without going all the way around the lake and thus missing all the other faces – if you only saw one face, you could easily tell yourself that you had seen the totality, a statue with a face in a lake – but if you walk the shore and continuously look – the faces are different -and the wind changes the water, and the reflections of the sky change with the clouds, and the seasons change the foilage, and..and…and…you could spend eternity seeing a million different lakes with islands and statues…and the only thing that has really changed is you in both time and space.

Let yourself be surprised.