Choosing Surprise Over Certainty

Sitting in a local Sacramento coffee shop earlier this week, I overheard one woman asking another, “So do you want to know or would you rather be surprised?”

surprise_delightNoticing the other woman’s reaction was priceless. Her face lit up as she broke into a wide smile! I didn’t even have to listen for her response or even know what they were discussing to see the impact of the possibility of surprise on her face. It was instantaneous!

What is it about surprises? They have the ability to pause time by taking an ordinary moment and transforming it into something magical!

And we tend to love surprises when they happen in a positive way, usually because someone took the time to think of something we would appreciate and then put in the effort to make it happen!

imagesYet, often when we have the opportunity to choose whether to be surprised or to know now, we opt for certainty and information over possibility and intrigue.

I have noticed that most of us (myself included!) struggle daily with an incessant perceived need to know. Since we can be so planned, calculated, and structured, we leave little room for life to tap us on the shoulder and show us something unexpected. And when it does, we tend to feel interrupted or even upset that something didn’t go our way.

urlThis incessant “need” to know and control can dominate life’s ability to surprise us in the best ways. And I should know! After carrying this tiny baby for just over five months now, I’ve spent more than half my pregnancy curious about what gender our first child will be, and am asked daily by others, “Are you going to find out?!”

Many people have told me that waiting until birth is the “only time in life you are truly surprised.” I’ve been thinking about this a lot and wonder how true this statement really is.

I believe life surprises you daily, if you let it.

From unexpected encounters to unplanned interruptions, these daily surprises are all around us. And how we experience them all depends on our perspective! We can choose to allow these surprises to brighten our life or we can look at them as annoying inconveniences.

Consider this:

  • Do you prefer to have your day planned or go more with the flow?
  • How flexible are you when you get interrupted or something goes off track?
  • When have you been pleasantly surprised and what impact did this have on your life?
  • What is an area that you can become more open to surprises?

Bosserman Baby Update

CupcakesWe went in for our 20-week ultrasound and anatomy scan this Tuesday, which is the appointment where you can finally learn your baby’s gender (if you choose). My husband, Joel, and I had discussed the benefits of knowing now, instead of waiting for the surprise at birth, and ultimately decided to find out the gender at this appointment for many reasons.

After an hour of scanning all the different parts of our tiny one-pound baby’s body (it is so amazing to see a beating heart and tiny hands!), it came time for the BIG REVEAL. Except that our baby was crossing it’s legs and we couldn’t get a clear reading after multiple attempts (and even some yoga poses on my part!).

But instead of being disappointed and frustrated, in a way, I felt relieved and content.

CharlieBrown-LifeIsFullOfSurprises2This had now become one area of life where I suddenly didn’t have a way to know in the moment. The choice to find out or wait no longer was a choice at this time. Sure, we can reschedule for another ultrasound in the next month if we like, but part of me simply wants to allow this opportunity to welcome surprise into our world during this big event.*

Sure, some of our friends and family may be disappointed or struggle with their own “need” to know (if you fall into this category, please re-read the reflection questions above and choose your perspective with care). I realize and wholeheartedly accept this as a side-effect of choosing surprise over certainty.

But at the end of the day, we are all in choice. We have the choice to either worry about what we can’t control, or accept what life presents – even its unexpected surprises.

How do you let life surprise you daily?

*Please note that this is where I’m at now at 20-weeks pregnant and we may still choose to find out the gender before birth. But no guarantees! Stay tuned…

Capture Your Insights

When I first learned we were pregnant nearly four months ago, I began journaling to our future child. This journaling practice created a physical space to process and share my experience as well as record my hopes, dreams, and desires for the life I was creating inside me.

FullSizeRender_2Journaling in this way has been powerful and profound for me, and reminds me often to make time to capture my insights and reflect on what’s going on for me now.

If you’ve wanted to begin or nurture a regular writing practice, then I highly recommend that you check out PROMPT CLUB – a new 8-week journaling course from writer (and friend) Jennifer E. Snyder.

Developed to help you jumpstart your journaling practice and get in touch your inner writer, the course offers thought-provoking daily journal prompts, compelling interviews with fellow journaling fans, encouragement via a private student-only Facebook group and so much more.

PROMPT CLUB 2015 runs March 29th – May 23rd, and registration is open through March 20. Learn more about the course and sign up here!

And for an opportunity to win a FREE pass for PROMPT CLUB, visit and leave a comment about what journaling means to you or share a personal journaling story. I’m honored to be one of the interviewees for this course and hope you can join us!

Create a great day,

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Leslie Bosserman, M.Ed., CPCC

Leadership Coach & Culture Consultant
Call: 310.409.9240

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Becoming a Solution Focused Thinker

Ever feel STUCK?

url-1If you’re like most of us, stuck-ness happens when we run out of answers, options, or opportunities. And it gets worse when we focus on the problems, instead of searching for possible solutions. The great American Industrialist, Henry Ford, once said, “don’t find fault; find a remedy.” And that’s exactly what Solution Focused Thinking teaches!

Solution Focus Thinking is a big idea that focuses on small steps and keeping it simple.


Based on an approach that focuses on desired outcomes and change, Solution Focus Thinking works by finding what is already working in a person’s life, and doing more of it. In this way, it moves you away from a “blame-culture” and limits “shoulding” by helping you shift your focus toward a practical route of possibilities.

Becoming a Solution Focused Thinker


Getting stuck in the problem won’t help you reach the solution, so it’s time to learn strategies to shift what you focus on so you can move forward with more energy and flow. Here are a few of the core principles that Solution Focus Thinking teaches that are easy to apply and effective:

Shift Your Perspective – Your problems are based on your perspective, so if you believe something is hard, bad, or wrong – it will be! Try on an opposite perspective (even if it doesn’t appear realistic) and see what answers you get.

1f9f592db84ba47f55616698ccfcb86eExplore the Possibilities – Rather than being limited by the obstacles, look for opportunities and potentials that allow you to expand your limited thinking. If you accept that every problem has a solution, you’re bound to find one!

Capitalize On What’s Working – Believe that you already have the resources you need to change and grow. Discover what’s already positive, functional, and working in your life and do more of this!

ccda2a289b50a1f9844df7476f57fb52Don’t Go Too Deep – Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to “understand” someone else’s problem to help them seek solutions. Work at the surface level, avoid unnecessary backstory, and get to the core of the issue.

Take Small Steps Forward – Since change happens in small steps, don’t leap forward. Step instead. Remember, a small change can have big consequences.


Join me this Wednesday from 12-1pm at The Urban Hive in downtown Sacramento for a lunch & learn leadership workshop on Solution Focused Thinking for Business. Register now to claim your spot!

On My Bookshelf

Create a great day,

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Leslie Bosserman, M.Ed., CPCC

Leadership Coach & Culture Consultant
Call: 310.409.9240

Subscribe here to stay connected!