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On Surprise...


Surprise is what happens when you’re looking the other way. It can be wonderful and it can be devastating. So pin your ears back and get ready for the things for which you can never fully prepare. And when surprise happens, notice it and ask why, because your subconscious may just given you a clue to some new thing.

See also

discovery, emergence, exploration, risk*, subconscious, unpredictability*


‘It is not the surprises in life that are so debilitating. The truly crushing force is being surprised that you are surprised .’

Darryl Conner

‘No other area offers richer opportunities for successful innovation than the unexpected success.’

Peter F. Drucker

‘Once they are through the process of education, most people lose the capacity of wondering, of being surprised . They feel they ought to know everything, and hence that it is a sign of ignorance to be surprised or puzzled by anything.’

Erich Fromm

Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.’

Thomas Hardy

‘The real artist’s work is a surprise to himself.’

Robert Henri

‘If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.’


‘If it’s surprising, it’s useful .’

Tom Hirshfield

‘Ideally, I’d like to be the eternal novice, for then only the surprises would be endless.’

Keith Jarrett

‘Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.’

George S. Patton

Innovation has a lot to do with your ability to recognise surprising and unusual phenomena.’

Herbert Simon



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