“None of us knows what the next change is going to be, what unexpected opportunity is just around the corner, waiting to change all the tenor of our lives.Kathleen Norris
Unexpected is defined as surprising or unforeseen. With a little linguistic liberty, we can say unexpected is unpredictable, astonishing and even fortuitous!
Surprising or unforeseen was how the movie Forrest Gump captured the world’s imagination back in 1994. It was simply unexpected! And the many amazing feats that Forrest accomplished were certainly astonishing. His run across America, his ping-pong prowess, his ability to “run like the wind blows,” his capacity to be loving and kind even in the face of disappointment and the inhumanity of others are all examples of unexpected actions. These actions were unpredictable, astonishing and even fortuitous.
In business, as in life, there are many twists and turns. Static conditions and measurements are valid only for a singular moment and are obsolete instantaneously. Change and uncertainty are the norm and predictable. While planning is necessary and ongoing, predicting the future is fruitless – we never know what is around the next corner. Or as Forrest’s Mama said, “Life is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you’re gonna get.”
Business and life are unpredictable, but with preparation and choice managing the unexpected is easier. If you plan properly and make powerful choices, Forrest might instead say, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates, you get to choose the one you want!’
How do you deal with uncertainty? Are you preparing with clarity and determination for life’s uncertainties? Are you willing to admit that life is uncertain, and takes constant unexpected twists and turns? Do you believe individuals and organizations can powerfully choose the future? Do you actively embrace the unexpected?
Embracing the unexpected takes courage. It’s easy to feel down when some bad luck or circumstances intrude into your life. In the movie, You’ve Got Mail, Kathleen (Meg Ryan) goes from denial to anger to depression when Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) opens his mega-bookstore a block away from Kathleen’s independent bookstore and puts it out of business. Eventually, Kathleen decides to write a book with her new free time. It took courage for Kathleen to accept fate and emerge in a better place after being hurt and disappointed. Some people never recover from a painful business or personal experience. But the people who allow their denial, anger and depression to occur and then pass quickly are the most successful at taking advantage of the unexpected. Kathleen didn’t expect a mega-bookstore to open around the corner from her boutique shop. It did, and she adjusted by choosing the new path of writing.
At the end of the day, Life is like a box of chocolates … you get to choose whatever one you want! Choose powerfully!
Next Blog Title: Why the Super Bowl is as American as Forrest Gump!
Next Blog Date: Thursday, February 4, 2010