Many a times success comes through the path of chance encounters. Call it serendipity; stumbling on the next great business idea, finding that new super talent, getting the next big career break, finding your better half ….. the spark is around you.
Darwin learned of natural selection by reading Malthus. Steve Jobs discovered the computer mouse at Xerox’s Lab. Arash Ferdowsi joined Dropbox after seeing the screencast in HackerNews (even though both of them were in MIT).
So why not create randomness in your life and increase the odds of getting those key breaks.
But creating randomness in daily life is challenging, it is a willful effort, against the ingrained human nature of placing oneself among known faces and places (perhaps being in a familiar territory is driven by our strong evolutionary need for safety and security).
A simple beneficial act of going to a business networking event is stressful for most of us. Just the thought of driving to an unfamiliar location and striking up conversations with strangers, puts many of us at unease and causes over 50% of non-shows in these free events.
The trajectories of personal and professional growth are woven through the intricate fabric of interactions between people, places and ideas. You only need to make yourself available to outside encounters. As you absorb, you will connect the dots, will germinate new ideas and will set yourself on path of greater achievements.
So make it a rule, pull yourself out of your comfort zone, start making yourself available to new experiences and make a promise from this moment onwards that you will – attend a business event unrelated to your work, talk to the stranger in Starbucks, attend an exhibition outside of your interest, eat a different cuisine, explore new streets in your city, play a different sport, dance with a different partner, learn a new skill and read about of what you know nothing. You will find yourself living an invigorated, joyous and a life full of serendipity.