A beloved Professor from graduate school used to share a story about a chance meeting with a former student.
They ran into each other at the airport and this former student wasn’t looking well. When he asked him what happened, he learned that he’d been told by his wife that she wanted a divorce. He was surprised.
As they continued talking, the former student shared that he’d spent most of the last few years traveling on the job. So, they hadn’t been spending much time together.
When he was asked for his opinion, our Professor said – “I’m surprised you’re surprised.”
After sharing this story, he’d share his rule-of-thumb. The more someone admits to being surprised by outcomes in their life, the less self reflective they likely are.