So here’s how my week has started. Got up to an email that involved a change of plans for a fall seminar.

My daughter and her family left for a two-week road trip. The road they were planning to take is closed due to a bridge collapse. They rerouted themselves, but forgot to leave a housekey for the sitter.

Fortunately, I have a key to their house and live close by so delivering it was not a big deal.

However, this has me thinking, yet again, about how flexibility is a valuable stress management tool.

This is not something that comes easily for many of us who have had a lifetime of conditioning to follow a predictable path. It’s something we need to challenge and eliminate if we’re going to be self-employed.

Quite simply, it is impossible to create anything of significance if we aren’t willing to embrace unpredictability.

Building a business is one way of acquiring those skills. Another way is through travel.

Several years ago, Nick Williams and I met in Switzerland to do some brainstorming. The trip was wonderfully productive and included a glorious day in Chamonix, France.

We were on the train heading back to Zurich where Nick had a flight to catch back to London. I was staying for another day. “Do you know where you’re staying tonight?” he asked.

I shook my head, laughed and said, “No, but I’ve never had to spend a night on a park bench so I’m trusting that I won’t have to do so tonight.” Of course, I located a perfect place to spend the night.

I know there are many people who would be in a dither without every detail of their travels in place. Seasoned travelers, on the other hand, opt for a bit of unpredictability since that’s where the adventure resides.

Same thing in our business. And the more flexible we’re willing to be, the more evidence we gather that a change of plans can often open the door to bigger and better things.

Remember, too, that a perfectly acceptable answer to the question, “How are you going to do that?” is “I don’t know.”

We take the adventure, accept the challenge, head off in new directions to find out how to do that. If we know in advance, what’s the point?

Test it for yourself—as often as possible.

My involvement with the Summer Olympics was confined to watching the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. I thought they both were dazzling, but there was something else that impressed me even more.

While the athletic achievement was getting all the attention (and rightly so), I began wondering about how many people were involved in making this event happen. The athletes weren’t the only ones turning in a stunning performance.

In the midst of watching the closing event, I shared this thought on Facebook: “From the Opening Ceremonies to the Closing, I keep thinking how this event has had thousands of people rising to the challenge and playing their best game.

“How many musicians, designers, engineers, lighting designers, dancers, coaches, organizers, architects, builders, etc., etc., etc., were involved in bringing this amazement to life?”

After I went to bed, I was still thinking about the impact this colossal event had on so many people who had risen to the challenge. I began imagining the tiny sparks of ideas had led to some of these triumphs.

Here are a few of the conversations I pictured.

What if we got all the construction people to form a cheering corridor to welcome the Olympic torch into the stadium?

What if we sent someone around to schools to audition their choirs to sing at the ceremonies?

What if we found a company that could produce millions of pieces of confetti?

What if we got the Spice Girls to reunite?

What if we had them zooming around the stadium standing on the roof of decorated London cabs while they were singing?

What if we did something amazing with lighting on all the seats?

What if we celebrated imagination and had John Lennon remind us?

Then I remembered  Ralph Waldo Emerson’s observation, “Our chief want is to have somebody inspire us to be what we know we can be.”

Obviously, a legion of people had inspired the thousands of others it required to bring this spectacular vision to life. So why do so many of us ignore or dismiss the power of inspiration?

Which leads me to another question: What if we challenged ourselves to amaze ourselves on a regular basis?