How to master your own luck in life and business
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The benefits of serendipity are often lost on humans because even when the universe blesses us with chance encounters, coincidences, what you will, we rarely act on them.
Let’s take a simple analogy of two people who walk into a cafe bakery. Both spot the sign that says, ‘Leftover baked goods, 75% off if you collect at the end of the day’. One customer says to themselves that they can’t be bothered to see ‘what might be leftover after a long day at the office, what if I don’t even like what’s on offer?’ The other is thinking ‘Wow! Great deal. Wouldn’t it be nice to bring some baked goods back to the office, since our team will be working late on that project tonight? It might lift our spirits.’
The customer who couldn’t be bothered went home empty-handed. The customer who went back not only found a great assortment of baked goods at a fraction of the price, the bakery popped in a loaf of bread for free, which she could bring back home as a nice surprise to her family. Her colleagues were also so pleased about the unexpected treats that they took a break to chat and low and behold she learned some very interesting developments at the company, and in particular for new role coming up, one that her colleagues all agreed she’d be perfect for. She approached HR to learn more the next day.
In my estimations, luck is only fully realised when you add tenacity and action into the equation. Actions equal engagement, and engagement creates opportunities, even those you aren’t even aware of yet. It is a series of events.
Serendipity + Tenacity + Action = Luck
The cynic in all of us is our worst enemy. Why? The cynic never sees past the problem. In contrast, the person who has mastered the skill of serendipity, in all facets of life, not only spots the problem but works to solve the problem to create a new solution. ‘Luck’ ensues along with success and joy.
Unpredictability can be a good thing
Dr Christian Busch, the Director of the Global Economy program at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs, believes that modern life is full of chance encounters, changing plans, delayed journeys, human errors and other mishaps. He asks: what if we use such unpredictability to our advantage?
Busch has spent a decade exploring how, if acted upon, unexpected encounters can enhance our worldview, expand our social circles and create new professional opportunities.
In this his book, The Serendipity Mindset, he reveals the secrets behind the hidden force that rules the universe: serendipity. “By learning to identify, act on and share serendipity, we can use uncertainty as a pathway to more joyful, purposeful and successful lives.”
From couples who first interacted during chance encounters to businesspeople who invented multi-million ideas after a best-laid plan misfired, Busch has studied hundreds of subjects who improved their lives by learning to see opportunities in the unexpected.
He has held many talks, including Ted Talks, but I felt this latest video presentation (please see below) that he gave with the London School of Economics was probably one of his most useful because of his use of visuals and analogies, including pandemic-linked business examples of how serendipity can be acted on in our personal and business lives.
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Here ‘s the video:
To get Dr Busch’s latest book, The Serendipity Mindset, click this link to purchase.