Chance in life: how to accept the unexpected

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Louise Hay
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Chance in life: how to accept the unexpected

Scientists say our universe is largely governed by chance. If there is something that we find difficult to accept, it is the unexpected, the unexpected events. In an uncertain scenario, therefore, we must never lose sight of our goals.

Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.

Last update: 15 November 2021

Our life is governed by many variables, one of which is the case. Although most of the time we think we have control over our lives, we remain prisoners of chance. It's hard to accept chance in life, the unexpected and that small percentage of chaos.



Kurt Vonnegut Jr, writer of science fiction novels, said that in a world where disorder and unpredictability reign, we are obliged to know how to manage chaos (without becoming its victims). We could say that capricious fate puts us in situations that we had not foreseen and that we ignore.

A person can live in total tranquility for years, satisfied with the present in which everything has its place. We go out and home, go to work, interact with others, spend time with loved ones and it seems that chaos does not exist. Until, suddenly, fate changes and we are faced with unusual and unexpected situations.

These are the moments when we need our mental faculties and our abilities to face something new, never experienced before. As much as it may surprise us, there are those who can calmly face any situation. It is as if in his genetic code or in some hidden corner of his brain there was a subprogram or a particular code ready to be activated in order to face adversity. These people are able to respond in the best way to new situations.



Chance in life: the difficulty in accepting the unexpected

There are days when the sun is bright, and the clear sky shows us all its vastness. However, nothing prevents clouds from arriving that obscure the sky anticipating the arrival of a storm. In these cases it is useless to complain: we must immediately seek shelter.

There are moments governed by stability. Every project, every appointment, every trip and every scheduled activity can be completed. But suddenly an unexpected event can occur.

What's unique is that unforeseen events never come by themselves. They are generally accompanied by changes and uncertainties. In this context, it is useless to complain, have regrets or stand still. We must react and act. However, it is often not that easy. Let's see why.

The brain doesn't like chance

How can we accept the unexpected if our brain does not tolerate chance? This exceptional organ has an almost obsessive tendency to create patterns and learn from experience to allow us to react in the best possible way to everyday situations.

He likes to have everything under control, because any unforeseen event, any unknown stimulus not previously processed or experienced, activates an alarm system that interprets it as a threat.

Does this mean that we are unable to react to randomness or chaos? The answer is no. People can face any circumstance. And as surprising as it may seem to us, things have gone very well over time.

We are creative beings, with great psychological resources to innovate, react and overcome adversity. This is how we managed to survive and this is how we will continue to live despite the changes and the inevitable fears that the unexpected causes in us.



“Uncertainty is where things happen. It is the place where opportunities for success and happiness await us to truly live. "

-Martha Nussbaum-

Accept the unexpected by remembering your goals

Science tells us that life is an accidental by-product in a random universe. In this regard, we recall the words of the well-known physicist Wermer Heisenberg: “In matter we do not observe things (or particles), but probability waves”.

This idea helped him formulate his theory on the Uncertainty Principle which acknowledged that it is impossible to measure or predict the position and motion of a particle. Of course we can make assumptions. However, even the world of quantum physics recognizes that small percentage of chaos. Heinseberg emphasized that in an uncertain world we must be prepared for the unexpected.

That this is the case, it is neither a good nor a bad thing. It is an obvious reality. There are those who have no problem accepting the unexpected and take advantage of them to move forward in a courageous and creative way. Others, however, see the unexpected as paralyzing.

When you spend many years in apparent tranquility, the mind thinks it can predict what will happen until, suddenly, the "black swan" mentioned by essayist Nassim Nicholas Taleb appears. How can we face the inevitable variable of uncertainty in everyday life?


Let's practice accepting and dealing with the case in life and the unexpected

Unforeseen events must be accepted and addressed taking into account the following considerations:

  • The first step to accepting the unexpected is to always remember your goals. No matter how chaotic the reality you are experiencing, if you have your goals in mind, you will find the strength and the ability to act.
  • The second step is to have under control what we can control ”. For example, our decisions, the way we deal with problems and our mental actions.
  • It is also necessary to understand that in a period of uncertainty, risks must be taken. True, this may fuel our concerns, but innovative steps need to be taken to move forward.
  • It is important to awaken the skills and abilities that we all have: curiosity, creativity, receptivity, etc. You have to be open, listen to others, accept advice and then act following our inner compass. Unforeseen situations can enrich us a lot.

In conclusion, the key to dealing with the unexpected, regardless of their size, is to be brave. If we stand still, complaining about the chaos in our life, our suffering will increase. We need to be proactive, resourceful, able to rationalize fears and use our emotions and creativity in our favor.


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