A life infested with surprise

Navigate towards goals by position and expect surprises.

The road to your goals will hide unexpected surprises that hinder and support you. Placing yourself in a position to handle the surprises will make life easier in achieving your goals.

The road to your goals will hide unexpected surprises that hinder and support you. Placing yourself in a position to handle the surprises will make life easier in achieving your goals.

Whilst I may have no desire to climb mountains or throw myself out of aircraft, small and insignificant changes in how I live my life result in mind-blowing adventures and outcomes.  Two insignificant things I do is I like to pick up unusual sticks or stones on the ground, and I like to read or think about philosophy in public or nature areas in Colchester.  Doing both these things this week, a stick in one hand, thinking about Heraclitus whilst enjoying the sun on a bench facing the ancient Roman walls, someone rang the police to report a man with a knife.  Fifteen minutes later I am in a surreal situation wasting half-an-hour talking to a police officer, my harmless stick on a wall, drinking a carton of milk having been stopped on my way home.

Experience has taught me how pointless it is to impose control on my life and plans.  Perfect and hard-worked plans to prevent or achieve outcomes fail because events happen that are often billions-to-one odds of happening.  As I sit in dismay and confusion of the wreckage of beautiful ruined plans I feel an evil gremlin has deliberately set out on a sadistic mission to make my life difficult.  One face of nature is random, and another face is self-ordering so that all outcomes appear in a paradox of synchronicity out of random and seemingly related events.

Having goals is good, but a controlled plan to those goals is going to disappoint you.  Better to have a flexible plan, and the attitude of a navigator on rough seas in working towards your goals.  Better to think in terms of position rather than roads in working towards goals, since if you are in a good position in relation to your goals you can seize unexpected friendly opportunities that assist you reaching your goals, and navigate around the surprise hostile opportunities that appear to undermine you in your efforts to reach goals.  Nothing is deterministic, but some weird order emerges in the random events that manifest as you work towards your goals.

72. Fire in its progress will catch all things by surprise and judge them. Heraclitus.


10 responses to “A life infested with surprise

  1. Guess it was too much to expect that the person who reported your ‘suspicious behaviour’ later apologised for their error!

  2. Sorry, I’m foreign and must have missed this latest restriction to citizens’ rights. When exactly were milk cartons classified as deadly assault weapons?

  3. This is just great. Even I like to believe that life is more about misadventures and flexibility is a must. We don’t live in an idealistic world anymore.
    In India we sometimes sympathise ourselves by saying “all that happens, happens for our good and our vision is too myopic to condense the will of god”
    Similar to your thoughts an indian religious epic exists ” The Geeta “. Fascinating how things fall in place. Just a little patience is all we require.

    • I hope people come to embrace such an attitude of flexibility in a reality of misadventure, it will make life exciting and interesting. I shall make a note to read “The Geeta”, thanks for mentioning it.

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