The Theory of Assisted Serendipity
In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, we often look for ways to optimize our time and efforts. One way to do this is by channeling the power of serendipity.
Have you ever had a life-changing travel experience that was somewhat of an accident or unplanned event? Have you ever met someone who would later play a significant role in your life, although you never actually went seeking for him to begin with? Have you ever had an unexpected turn of events that, upon further study, appeared to be at least loosely related to decisions you made along the way?
It’s also the stuff of what I call “assisted serendipity.”
While serendipity may seem like a random and fortuitous event, there are ways that we can increase our chances of experiencing it.
From where does serendipity originate? How does it function? What can we do to increase its presence in our lives and travels? Here is a concise guide.
Serendipity: A Definition
Serendipity is the fortunate coincidence of events. It is often used to describe the fortunate finding of something good or valuable without actively seeking it out.
Assisted Serendipity: A 5-Step Framework
For assisted serendipity, I offer a structure. The framework is much like a problem-solving technique but with a twist. What follows is not a prescription or recipe, for the results are never the same.
- Go…To Engaging Places
The first thing to do is to get out. It is entirely up to you whether you go inside your city or across the globe. Put yourself in situations that are unfamiliar to you, push the boundaries of your comfort zone, and help you develop your emotional and experience muscles.
- Allow Curiosity to Drive You
Allow curiosity to guide you, whether you’re travelling or networking. Allow yourself to stroll aimlessly, follow the aroma of flowers or spices, or become lost. One of the most acceptable methods for us to find and provide the framework for serendipity is purposeful wandering, in which we have a goal in mind but are open never to arrive.
- Open Yourself Up
In places where you feel secure, allow yourself to be open. Unexpected connections or encounters can hold some of life’s most rewarding moments. There will be many occasions when declining will be appropriate. Being open-minded enables the inflow of perceptions and observations.
- Observe Random Stuff
If you don’t give yourself a chance to observe, it will just slip your mind. Put the camera away and tuck the phone into your pocket. Breathe and be in the moment. To enjoy the random things around us, pay attention to everything that comes to your senses.
- Take Stock and Reflect
Give yourself time to reflect on what has occurred and make an inventory. What resulted from the interaction of intention, chance, and purposeful engagement? Consider your evaluation and what you may do the next time differently. Be thankful for the decision you made this time, though.
That is assisted serendipity.