May 2008

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"I wasn't planning to plug my book in this post, but it just happened. I think you will agree that's totally hot."

Now, that would qualify as spontaneity...


A spontaneous plug of the book, I guess none of us saw that coming.

If you want to see the aftermath of spontaneous people, go to your local emergency room, it'll probably give you great fodder for your blog too. Listen to men explain how a barbie dolls got stuck up their asses, about how they've done something lots of times before and never gotten hurt, and others. Oh, and women wouldn't say, "How did this get in my mouth?", it would sound more like "mwha mwha, mwha mwha mwha".


Never mind what goes into any orifice, how about what comes out? Perhaps the concept of spontaneity was invented as an excuse for...... let's label it as, "less than clean shorts." I know what I am doing and no one expects it. Its not disgusting, just spontaneous. I always blow my nose on my shorts.


Women don't value spontaneity, they value things that look like spontaneity. If you plan for weeks to do something nice for her that she doesn't expect, and spring it on her, she'll like that.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Women are just snakes with tits.


Irgh! You'd elaborated a complete post just to allow you to do book advertising?? You weasel!!

Minister of Silly People in Green

Women want spontaneity, because a sane man would run from the alter.


I'm strongly in favour of spontaneity, provided its been carefully planned.


There is a saying in german that roughly translates to:
Spontaneity is mental diarrhoa. Still, evolution obviously does not care whether you know what you're doing. Come to think of it, that could be the whole point of evolution.
BTW. Got your book overseas although you said it's only available in the US. Buwhahahahaha...

Big Brown Bear

We all experiment with spontaneity at one time or another. It's part of growing up.

When I was in college I tried being spontaneous once at a party, but didn't enjoy it all that much. A friend of a friend got really into it though and started doing it on a daily basis. He eventually dropped out of college. Now he's moved on to the harder probabalistic stuff, and takes a magic 8-ball with him wherever he goes.

Andy Watt

The sort of spontaneity that women value stems from a sudden realisation on the part of the man that he loves/misses/was thinking of her.

This means you can be spontaneous and plan something: you're not faking it if you decide to do something "on a whim" for reasons of altruistic good feelings. An example would be deciding to pay for dinner, I guess - you have the dinner, then decide to pay for it, just because you want the warm fuzzy glow you get from the smile opposite. Maybe that's a little goal directed, but it is spontaneous.

Speaking as an engineer (where there is a lot of planning, visualisation and thought) and a musician (where there is plenty of spontaneity) I'd say there's a flaw in the engineering mindset about over-analysis and control. I don't think it would be too much to say that an economist might have some of the same analytical traits.

I've been trying to become more spontaneous for the last few years in an effort to balance myself (as it were) and I've discovered that in becoming more spontaneous, I've become more human - more appreciative of people, their personalities, etc - but I've also become much worse at anything to do with engineering. This could be a symptom of something larger I'd guess...

I think Kiran had it dead on. It's surprising others that makes them think you're spontaneous. Substitute "fun" and you've got it - surprise someone by doing something unexpected - and you're a fun person!


Thinking of doing something a week in advance could be spontaneous - I guess if you're just sort of wandering to Sainsbury's for a couple of pints of milk, get snagged by shiny posters in the window of Going Places, and book a flight to Guatamala in a week's time without once actually considering what the hell you're doing and why, it could be considered spontaneous.

As others have mentioned, it's about not taking the time to consider your actions; in my experience spontaneous people fall into two camps: instinctive individuals who probably take leaps based on 'intuition' [which is likely just lifetimes of experience making subconscious, spilt-second decisions for you], and utter twats that do stupid stuff that almost always goes horribly wrong [they're the ones that ask 'why did I do that?].

From Ipsissimus Clay, somewhere in Guatamala.


To me spontaneity means deciding to do something then finding out how to do it. It is not that unusual for me to go on holiday with only accommodation for the first two or three days sorted out and with no idea of what I'm going to do when I'm there. I like to arrive, find out what there is to do and then do it. Planning to the nth degree only means you don't have the flexibility to take in that cultural festival that happens to be on or whatever. Is this true spontaneity? Who knows? All I know is if someone says to me: "So, what's the plan?", it's like a red rag to the bull.


"one of the many flaws in my personality is that I am not spontaneous." consider yourself lucky, to me being spontaneous is equal to been impulsive (that mediterranian blood, hehe) and that is very often not the best course of action, no matter how I ammend or justify it. On the other hand it make up for some nice surprises to my wife, but, being women, they expect the same or better level for the regular things and dates and there I am pure crap, the biggest the date/anniversary the greater the dissapointment, no matter how many spontaneous surprises. You are very lucky, you can plan in advance your "surprises" and weekends, filter what do not apply for a particular season/circumstance and pick randomly, hehe.


Does it bother you there are already used copies of your book for sale?


Being spontaneous ist kinda like being lazy: You either go for it the easy way and end in a lot of trouble or you have to spend so much work for preparations and planing that tho whole idea gets contradicted.
As my mathteacher used to say: Only the truely prepared can be spontaneous.



Great article....




I just loved this post. It is totally hot.

Also, it was fun trying to guess which books you think are in the wrong category.


I like to think of myself as spontaneous, but according to the warden thats what got me in here in the first place. (Boom tish).
I know women say they like spontaneity, but when you try and arrange some sort of surprise that involves them doing something that will interrupt what they're already doing, then get the right 'ump. The only spontaneity a woman likes is the predictable kind, which kind of defeats the object.


For me spontaneity has nothing to do with timing, but everything to do with not using limiting filters before doing something. So, Scott, try not to think to much.


Any time I do something spontaneous, it always ends up being very stupid and inappropriate. I don't even think it's me being spontaneous, it's more like me pretending to be Charlize Theron in that Keanu Reeves movie, and it's not long before the person with me is either rolling their eyes or rubbing the new lump on their head from some sudden, theatrical arm movement I made.

I fantasize about being spontaneous in certain situations where I could have laid down a zinger. I tell myself that the next time some jerk walks all over me, I'll slam my fist down on the nearest surface and say something like "you got a problem with me, friend?" It's like Travis Bickle in the mirror. And, of course, I never do it. But still it's pre-meditated. The point is that it's in the cache, ready to be used, and the cleverness is that I came to the battle well-prepared.

Besides, the element of surprise is like 90% of the effect!



"Women value spontaneity ..."

... or lack of boredom as it's also known.



People often confuse spontaneity with random rash decisions.

Random Rash Impulsiveness:
"Pack your bags love, we leave for the airport in 1 hour"
"Where are we going?"
"Dunno, I haven't bought tickets yet"

"The Smiths just got back from Venice, remember how we always said we'd go to Venice"
"I'll go online now and book tickets for next month"

Earl Newton

I thought I had clicked one of the productivity blogs in my bookmarks when I started reading this, and started thinking to myself, "When did zen habits get so funny?"

Which just goes to show, your blog by any other name would still be as funny.


Our group has noticed an interesting pattern in trip planning. Seemingly, the fun yield of a outing is inversely proportionate to the planning of said outing. Buy a ticket to a concert months in advance? Probably won't even get to go. Sitting on the back porch, passing a joint and someone says "Hey, lets go to New Orleans!"? You'll have the time of your got-damned life.

Anil Ravindran

Spontaneity, in my opinion, is a function of two things - (one) the time lag between the thought and the action; and (two)how big a deal the action really is. For eg, let's assume you said: "Hey, I'm gonna take a leak" (even if you didn't REALLY have to go), and consequently took a leak in, say, 30 secs. This satisfies rule 1, but NOT rule 2. Consequently, it isn't spontaneoous. Importantly, it isn't 'pure hotness'. On the other hand, if you were to wake up one morning and decide that you would be skipping office and would instead go on a road trip within two hours, you'd be satisfying Rules 1 and 2. Hotness generally follows.


ps: Scott, you obviously skipped the chapter on 'subtlety in advertising books written by self'

pps: I did get the humour (yes, I spell it with a 'u') in the last 4 lines, though

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