Live in the Moment: Spontaneity Could Be Key To Happiness, Survey Suggests

NEW YORK — They say the only constant in life is change, but many people do their best to avoid change as much as they can. Humans are naturally creatures of habit, but according to a new survey, perhaps we should all throw our day planners out the window. A recent poll of 2,000 Americans finds that people who consider themselves “spontaneous” are 40% more likely to see themselves as a “happy person.”

Moreover, spontaneous survey participants are also 38% more likely to say they are content and satisfied with their life.

The survey, which was commissioned by Cub Cadet, asked respondents about how often they act spontaneously. Somewhat surprisingly, it seems most Americans are spontaneous quite often; the average American makes 6,709 spontaneous decisions annually (18 times per day). Examples of such decisions include trying out a new place for lunch, taking a different road home from work, etc.

In fact, only one in six respondents describe themselves as not spontaneous. Even among that group, one in three still admit that they feel happier after making a spontaneous decision. All in all, 72% of respondents share the same sentiment.

Spontaneity Sparks Joy Among Decisions Of All Sizes

Besides just new lunch spots or a different colored shirt, 59% of respondents even admit they’ve made a major life-altering decision spontaneously. Examples of such decisions include moving to Europe, quitting a job, ending a marriage, or adopting a dog.

Just over half (56%) have gone on a spontaneous trip or vacation within the past five years, and 88% of that group recall they felt much better afterward. Similarly, 82% report enjoying going on adventures.


Of course, it’s harder these days to be spontaneous due to COVID-19 restrictions; 60% of Americans feel “cooped up” due to lockdown measures. Consequently, 81% of respondents are craving some adventurous time spent outdoors.

Once stay-at-home orders are lifted everywhere, 77% claim the first thing they’ll do is embark on an adventure of some kind.

Respondents were asked about the outdoor activities they’re most looking forward to once the pandemic is over and sightseeing was the top answer (34%), followed by fishing (33%), hunting (33%), hiking (29%), and camping (26%). Other popular answers included four-wheeling (23%), playing a sport (23%), going for a run (23%), rafting (19%), and trial riding in a utility vehicle (17%).

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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