Why spontaneity is a good thing

It’s easy to get caught up in the stresses of life, especially college life. You’re joining different organizations, trying to find opportunities and jobs that will build your resume, and to top it all off, you have back-to-back assignments due. How can you juggle doing all these things while keeping your sanity?

The world may never know the answer to that question, but something that can help is being spontaneous.

In the book, “Trying Not to Try: The Ancient Art of Effortlessness and the Surprising Power of Spontaneity,” author Edward Slingerland explores the power of spontaneity. Slingerland’s thesis essentially states that by indirectly trying, you are more likely to achieve your goals than if you were directly trying. 

Slingerland compares the power of spontaneity to insomnia to better understand the theory. Focusing on trying to sleep only makes you stay up longer. Trying or focusing on a task too hard can deter you from actually achieving that task.

So, allowing yourself to be spontaneous and just go with the flow can actually help you achieve your goals, whether it’s sleep or something else. Not focusing so hard on the task at hand will allow you to achieve some sort of enlightenment.

Going with the flow more often also allows you to become a much more open, creative and happier person. Not worrying about conforming to society’s rules and just letting loose and doing something you usually wouldn’t do is good for you. Allowing yourself to let loose and do whatever, whenever and on your own time, within reason, can make you feel like there’s a weight lifted off of your shoulders. 

YOLO, or “you only live once,” is not just an iconic lyric from Drake, but it’s also a motto. The idea of YOLO sounds silly and unserious, but when you actually apply it to life and have your own carpe diem moment, you will feel good afterward. 

There is something pleasing about being able to unwind and do something that may not be in your comfort zone. You only have one life so don’t be consumed on doing the same repetitive schedule every day; spice things up once in a while. If not for you, do it for your mental health.

Life moves at you fast when you get to college, and we live in an era where it seems it’s all work and no play, but play is necessary. Albert Einstein once said that the  “definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Having the same routine every day without any change is bound to drive anyone crazy, so spontaneity is not just an occasional treat; it’s essential. 

Whether it’s taking an impromptu trip to the nail salon or treating yourself to drinks on a Tuesday for the heck of it, being spontaneous can help you more than you know.

Life is too short to keep pushing things back or saying you’re waiting for the “right” time. If you want to eat a burger where the buns are replaced with donuts, do that! You never know what tomorrow holds, so take advantage of it now.