I should be so lucky

Rosanna Machado | September 16, 2020

Friends are often astonished that wherever I go in the world, I seem to bump into someone I know. You may think that’s coincidence but I am sure it has something to do with the fact that I am always looking for human connection – I love those interactions and the more random the meeting, the more magical it is. And so by looking for it, I am more likely to see it whenever it presents itself, on the tube or in some far-flung destination.

In a similar vein, I was fascinated to hear Christian Busch talk about the serendipity mindset – an open mindedness so that when opportunities present themselves, we are ready to seize them. Christian talks about “building a muscle for the unexpected”. Previously, I would have categorised myself as a control freak. I like things to be orderly however over the years, I have surprised myself at my ability to adapt, improvise and change my routine based on what is thrown my way. I am certainly more likely these days to look for what I can learn or how I use an unexpected turn of events to my advantage.

What can we do to increase the likelihood of those serendipity moments?

  • Accept that you cannot control everything and expect, or even, embrace the unexpected!
  • Help to cultivate those moments by sharing more with people you meet, which in turn may trigger those moments
  • Be open to where the unexpected may take you and look for how you might use what is presented to you
  • If it happens, try and put your limiting beliefs to one side, and go for it. We’ve all been there when we see someone we admire and don’t feel confident enough to approach them. It’s useful to think about the worst-case scenario versus not taking the opportunity at all. Often the two are similar and there is a whole spectrum of better things that may happen if you go for it.

In Robert Poynton’s book, “Do / Improvise” he advocates three principles:

  • Notice more – open yourself up to what’s going on and lean into your senses
  • Let go – of the past, of what you can’t control and focus on the present
  • Use everything as an offer – whatever is thrown at us is usable in some way

If we open ourselves up and adopt this mindset, we may just feel like a little more luck is coming our way.