Harness Serendipity

Problem:

You never get what you want, nothing ever exciting happens to you, and you don’t make connections with the right people.

Solution:

Put yourself in places where you just might meet someone important, or might learn something that can help you in your effort, or find someone who might be a key contact later on in life.  Go wander around in the places where the people you might need to connect with will be located.  This means physically and virtually.

It can be certain office buildings, lunch hang outs, the factory, or mail room.  You can also  ‘wander around’ on social networks, twitter, online communities and such.  Be attentive, friendly, helpful, and find out about other people and what’s going on.  You just never know when you’ll make a connection that will be really important someday.

Of course, you can’t do this all day, or for extended periods of time because it may not be the most effective use of your time.  But serendipity can happen.  And it will if you are prepared for it.  Amazing opportunities can fall right into your lap if you’re open to them and are able to recognize the possible opportunities when they cross your path.

But first, you need a goal.  You need some overarching purpose or strategy or direction that you want to move in.  Serendipity is finding something valuable while seeking something else – a happy accident.  So you do need to be seeking something.  You may not know exactly how you’ll find or accomplish that thing you’re seeking, but if you have that goal in mind, then you’ll notice things that happen to you that might be an indirect or unique way that will help you accomplish your goal.

Life will be exciting, you’ll get what you want, and you’ll make connections with the right people if you just learn how to…

…harness serendipity.

Do you have a serendipitous moment you’d like to share?

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Rex,

    I really like the new blog — the format is particularly interesting — I imagine you find the constraints helpful in structuring what you’re writing.

    My serendipity moment is one that, sadly, I haven’t yet followed up on:

    I belong to a web community called triiibes (http://www.triiibes.com/), which is an outgrowth/project related to Seth Godin’s book of the same name. I recently went to a two-day in-person conference/meetup in NYC with members from all around the US and some great international visitors.

    I ended up sitting with a fellow whose daughter attended a Montessori school. After hearing me talk about performance management of educational goals for children with autism, he was able to connect me directly with a parent at his child’s school who had written software that seemed to be pretty much directly on point.

    However, it’s now been a few months, and even though this project is critically important to me, I haven’t been able to push forward, make the connection, start the conversation, and plan for how/whether to integrate this new tool into either my son’s school or my vision for total education management for children like my boy.

    So, my lesson is that serendipity is awesome, but with awesome opportunity comes great responsibility: failure to follow up is worse than failing to connect in the first place because you may have identified a way for that other person to gain value from working with you; we’re not all “takers.” By working with others, whether it’s giving them money for a job or having them pay us for a service, we make the world better off — this is economics 99 (it comes well before economics 101).

    I hope to read more, but I’m afraid that your ability to write will quickly outpace my ability to read!

    Congratulations,

    Rick Colosimo

    Reply

    • Posted by rexalma on Tuesday at 6:45 am

      Thanks Rick, for sharing your story. Yes, it is true, we have to jump on the opportunities that pass before us, because that’s what they’ll do… pass.

      But it sounds like you still have a chance with this one, so call up Ricardo and make it happen.

      It’s too bad your reading level has dropped so significantly. My 5th grader can read about as fast as I can type. That must be detrimental to a lawyer 😉 I’m sure with some therapy you’ll be able to pick it up again and enjoy my blog.

      Thanks for the support and comment.

      Reply

  2. […] also start to learn things you’d have never known about otherwise  – what bothers them, what problems they’re having doing their jobs, how you can make […]

    Reply

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