Tomorrow, first hour in the morning, when you will be in your office elevator with your cup of coffee in your hand you will encounter Richard Branson. He will ask you:
“Hey, how are you doing?”
How you will react? Did you expect that surprise? If you had expected it, would your reaction be different?
The recent Christmas ad of Barnes & Noble starring the legendary Tony Bennet and in vogue Lady Gaga is titled You Never Know Who You’ll Meet.
For the generations that might have not heard about him, Tony Bennett is the man Frank Sinatra once acknowledged as the king, the “real” best singer of his generation. I had the opportunity to see Tony Bennett live and even to be in his close proximity, by chance, when after concerting in Perugia, Italy, he was in a shop asking curiously about the different kinds of cheese exposed there.
Since then I am fascinated by his attitude towards life and learning at his age of 89:
“I paint every day and I’ve still got my voice. I’m in good health and I’m still learning. I heard somebody being asked once if they were going to retire and they said ‘retire to what?’ That’s how I feel.”
Probably this attitude determined letting himself surprised in this highly rewarding artistically and financially, yet unlikely collaboration between two distant generations and music genres. This year, his “Cheek To Cheek” album, together with Lady Gaga won a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, being number #1 on both the Dance/Electronic and Jazz Album Charts in the same year.
Also, I was surprised to learn that there is a rising science on surprise, a lot of research onto the subject being already done within the disciplines of behavioral psychology and neurosciences.
“Surprises point us to dangers, opportunities, and new information,” said LeeAnn Renninger, co-author of the book Surprise: Embrace the Unpredictable and Engineer the Unexpected.