3 steps to living more spontaneously

Posted in: Wellbeing Last updated: 29 Jun 2012

Whether we indulge it or not, we’re all hardwired with an impulsive streak. It’s that little niggling feeling we get when we receive an email from the travel agent about a cheap flight to Thailand or when we’ve got something important to do but remember Happy Hour. Some of us throw caution the wind and book the flight while drinking 241 Margaritas, but most of us fight down the feeling and carry on doing the sensible thing.

Routine is crucial to stave off chaos. As we get older and the responsibilities mount up we develop schedules and patterns to deal with them. Without routine the kids would run wild, the fridge would be empty, we’d sleep until noon and nothing would ever get done. The only downside is that sticking to it can leave us feeling stagnant and like we’re missing out.

But a simple solution is to regress and remember the way we saw the world when we were children and everything was fresh and exciting. You’ll find with just a few minor adjustments life can start feeling like the adventure it was in our childhoods.

Say farewell to fear

It was Henry Ford who said: “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his greatest surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”

It’s the sense of fear we develop as we mature than stops us from acting spontaneously. As children we never considered the consequences of our actions so would act without forethought, often getting into trouble but always having fun. As adults we are aware of the consequences and often use them as an excuse to play it safe, even if sometimes we know we may benefit from taking a risk.

Be inspired by others

As children, everyone we met was new and interesting. It’s easy as we grow up to forget just how much inspiration there is to be gleaned from others. Looking at some of the remarkable discoveries of our time can remind us that it was the very human quality of impulsive thought that played a vital part.

It was the drop of an apple which instantaneously sparked the theory of gravity for Isaac Newton and the rising water as he stepped into the bath that led to Archimedes understanding displacement (and subsequently running naked through the streets yelling, “Eureka!”). These moments of spontaneous thought can result in something spectacular, so run wild with yours and see where they take you.

Indulge your whims

Think back to when you were a child and you would hear a song that you loved. No matter where you were or what you were doing, you would stop to dance. We become self-conscious as we grow up, generally as a result of experience, but a moment of utter inhibition can be freeing.

Whether it’s the sudden desire to start dancing or the overwhelming urge to turn up the radio full-blast in your car and sing loudly along, don’t weigh yourself down with “ifs” and “buts”. At the end of the day you’ll only find yourself regretting the things you didn’t go through with and feeling enriched by the ones you did.

We’re never too old to rediscover the joys of childhood. If there’s a child in your life, take some time out to spend with them, you might learn a thing or two about living.

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Hub content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions. OneFamily do not provide advice so it may be worth speaking to an independent financial advisor about your own circumstances.