Getting Lucky: How to Put Planned Serendipity to Work For You

At SXSW, Thor Muller and Lane Becker shared about the principles from their book Getting Lucky: How to Put Planned Serendipity to Work For You & Your Business.

Serendipity doesn’t mean blind chance or magical happenstance. Serendipity = chance + creativity.

In conversations with successful people, they will point to important moments in their lives that helped them even if they had not created those moments.

So what should we do?

  1. Generate more chance opportunities.
  2. Recognize these opportunities.
  3. Take action on the ones that matter.

For example, a pharmaceutical researcher was trying to create an anti-ulcer medication. Through trial and error he mixed some components that ended up spilling over onto his hand. He cleaned it up, but later he licked his finger to turn the page while reading a book. His finger tasted sweet, so he went back to figure out what he put together to create that taste. Equal was born.

Why did this happen? Pharmaceutical researchers are trained to look for unexpected results from their research.

Open up space for the unexpected.

Without a plan, it makes it difficult to know how to collaborate as well as what to look for.

We can develop the skills to use planning to prepare for the unpreparable. Some of these skills include:

  • Skill of Motion – putting yourself in new environments but familiar contexts (i.e., conferences and festivals).
  • See Connections (that most do not see).
  • Be ready to take a new direction on the things that matter to you, the things that you value.

Read a sample chapter here.

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