Setting Yourself up for Serendipity

Seth Godin's blog post today really resonated with me. (As it often does.)

Much of my strategy is based on the concept of setting myself up for serendipity.

Though serendipity would seem to imply random chance (def. ser.en.dip.i.ty n. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.), the reality is that you can place yourself in positions where unexpected things might happen.

Example: Many years ago John committed us to go to a friend's party not realizing that it was scheduled on our anniversary. Though we love these friends, we didn't know anyone else at the party (making it boring since it was a stand about and talk affair) and it fell fall short of the romantic evening I had hoped for. I finally convinced John to leave. (I was going to have to go without him if he didn't.)

John (annoyed) said we could go to movie. I told him if we were going to go to a movie for our anniversary it at least had to be somewhere different. Not our usual theater. I asked to go to the one in the West End. (Because maybe, just maybe we would pass a street performer or something out of the ordinary to make it a slightly memorable night.)

When we got downtown, the whole West End was closed. There were tents and security guards everywhere. I slipped past one just to get a good look at what was happening. It was a convention.

I still can't believe we actually did this, but we had a conversation with a guy (I had to ask someone what was going on) who mentioned he didn't think his associates were going to make it. I walked up to the registration desk and used those names to pick up the passes. We wound up seeing Tony Bennett in concert. (Very romantic.)

Anyway, all of this to say that serendipity rarely happens unless you put yourself in a position where it might happen. Which makes life much more engaging and fun than trying to ward off any chance of the unexpected. Sometimes, the unexpected turns out to be delightful. (And then you call it serendipity.)

1 comment

Anonymous said...

Matt ran into a colleague yesterday that said he had been in Dallas for a Tony Bennet concert and couldn't get in...someone had taken his passes...hummmmm;-)

You rebel you...


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Maira Gall