“Surrender is perfectly compatible with taking action, initiating change and achieving goals. But in the surrendered state a totally different quality flows into your doing. In the state of surrender, you see very clearly what needs to be done, and you take action, doing one thing at a time and focusing on one thing at a time.” Eckhart Tolle (from A New Earth)
Lets bring Tolle down to everyday mind. Enlightenment is everyday mind, says Zen. We experience this “surrendered state” all the time but we don’t recognize it. Athletes call it “being in the zone.” When a basketball team is in the zone, they are in a zone of surrender. There is no gap between training and the action, between thinking about what to do and the doing. Artist know this when inspiration hits them and their hand begins to do the painting, or their fingers begin to write, or their feet begin to dance. There is the feeling, the awareness that something is doing you. Even in sex there can be the surrender to the Force.
In this “state of surrender” there really is no You that sees very clearly what needs to be done. You Just Do It. The “surrendered state” is also a spontaneous state (and state is not a good word because it implies something static). State is a noun; surrender is a verb.
We can’t by will power drop into the surrendered action because there is no You there. So You can will this action because You are not going to be there to experience it. Being spontaneous means being creative; being creative means surprising yourself with who you are. You are yourself as if for the first time.