WOW Word-Of-the-Week #301: Unexpected

May 17, 2010 by  

Unexpected – surprising or unforeseen.

How comfortable are you when things don’t go as expected? Do you delight in surprises?

Once again Bill Marvin, the Restaurant Doctor, sent a great thought I totally agree with. In his April 23rd Electronic House Call he wrote, “It seems like the common thread in this week’s articles is the unexpected — doing the unexpected, reacting to the unexpected, profiting from the unexpected. (I didn’t expect that!)

“Unexpected (pleasant) surprises for your guests are welcome expressions of your caring and hospitality. The pity is that many operators find unexpected surprises for themselves to be more traumatic.”

“Many people are incredibly uncomfortable when forced to operate in the unknown, but isn’t that where you really are most of the time anyway? The truth is that even the “knowns” are constantly in flux.”

“Something becomes “known” only because you create a fixed way of thinking about it. Basically, you make something up and get attached to it. The more you insist that the way you see things is the way they have to be, the more rigid you become. Eventually you can turn into one of those stubborn jerks that you hate!”

“Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to give yourself permission to become more comfortable living in the unknown. Slow down. Know less. See More. Operating from a state of “I’m not exactly sure” will keep you more open to fresh possibilities and insights.”

“It can be scary at times but it is never boring!”

I love pleasant surprises! On our trip we had those and then some that weren’t so pleasant. For me, traveling offers everything Bill was saying. I slow down, see more, and come from the unknown. I am going to apply here at home too!

This week focus on the unexpected. Are you rigid in your thinking? How would it feel to accept the unexpected? What could you do that would be a pleasant surprise for your guests, customers, members or clients?

Readers Responses

“I think most of us don’t like unpleasant surprises. Those that come out of the blue and take us out of our comfort zones. For the most part, people like the routines they have set up for themselves. Most of us get up at the same time, eat the same thing for breakfast, take the same route to work. We like the security of consistency, though it was called the hobgoblin of small minds by Ralph Waldo Emerson. In a crazy and unpredictable world, our routines give us security. As for surprises, my wife Kristen does not like surprises, which makes it difficult to give her unexpected gifts, especially on her birthday. One day I would like to surprise her by taking her to Wimbledon. She has always wanted to attend that tennis tournament in London. We will have strawberry and cream there one day. Hopefully, I can surprise her. As for me, I have been through so many different experiences and changes in my life, that I am not as surprised by the unexpected. Maybe because I learned acceptance a number of years ago that I can adapt to changes that throw off my schedule. Learning to go with the flow is not as easy when we are rigidly stuck in our routine. If we insist on stubbornly sticking to what we do all the time, we won’t leave ourselves open for experiences that could possibly change our lives for the better. Opening up the mind and leaving the routine behind can do wonders for us all. We just have to hope we can accept what is before us. But that is much easier said than done. Thanks for the word, Susan. Take care. Have a great week.” – Joe