Infinite Inspiration: Expect the Unexpected

School of Dentistry

Life is too complex to comprehend until we understand one simple thing — life is a series of unexpected events. The beauty of life itself lies in its unpredictability. As the saying goes, “Life is something that happens to you when you are busy planning something else.”

For that matter, there is always mystery about what will happen in our lives the very next minute. Depending upon the situation, what happens may bring us happiness or joy, or cause frustration because of failure or delay. It may cause pain because of a significant loss, or challenge us with an opportunity. If we can understand these patterns, we can be prepared to handle the situation.

“To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect,” as Oscar Wilde wrote.

During unexpected events of happiness and joy — like being awarded a scholarship to a school, receiving a major job promotion, winning a prize for the article or photo you have submitted — it is easy to be so overwhelmed with happiness that we fail to handle things in the appropriate fashion.

So be prepared for sweet surprises and take time to evaluate. This helps keep people and things in perspective. If we carefully analyze our own or others’ success, we will realize that success is never spontaneous, but is instead associated with a combination of incremental effort.

It sometimes happens that in spite of our hard work and commitment, the results are delayed and we even have to face failure. Misfortunes and life tragedies are also unexpected, and it may feel as if our lives are doomed forever.

We must acknowledge that some things are not within our control. Our future attitude towards life and our further accomplishments depends upon how we handle such situations. Take courage and tell yourself that it’s all part of the game, and then move forward.

As Henry David Thoreau said, “I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Then there is the unexpected opportunity that appears in our lives. It may be the catalyst for a life-changing idea, or an opportunity to work for a great company; it might be also an opportunity to lead people. Life often presents such opportunities in the form of challenges.

Most of the time, we are not ready to seize the opportunity, because we have failed to plan and prepare properly. Quite surprisingly, when we are not sufficiently prepared, we may not even see the opportunity at all. Hence one should always train oneself to be prepared to seize unexpected opportunities.

As Paulo Coelho so rightly puts it, ‘‘We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.”

Our goal is to be prepared and to make the most of our lives.