I’ve ‘randomly’ discovered Tom Peters and Lina Kaplan this morning.
In the same way I discovered the books ‘Drawing on the right side of the brain’ and ‘The origin of consciousness….breakdown of the bicameral mind’ (books I’m staring at on my shelf right now).
Book and literature I would ordinarily never come across.
Of course – actually none of it is random at all.
They’ve all come from ‘Tribe of legends’ a compendium of insights Tim Ferris has gathered into book format from some of the world’s most amazing people.
Each of these folks are interviewed and in their interviews contain recommendations of instrumental books and speakers – which is where the recommendations above have come from.
So it’s fascinating to me where a singular love (especially when it’s reading) can quickly transport you.
We had our Friday weekly team training a few days back and for me, one of the things that became apparent was that much of my knowledge came from the things I continually read.
Right now, as my travels across the world and the like have disappeared – it’s in books my mind is set alight each day.
It’s the eternal source of nourishment and looking at something – taking a liking to it or finding it fascinating has been the start (often-time) for an adventure.
And it’s these random left turns, unexpected alleys that you’ll often find victory.
It’s where the world of ‘expected’ meets ‘unorthodox’. The more consistently you take time to educate yourself – the more likely you are to come across that ‘one thing’ that could potentially change many many other things.
This is what serendipity can do.
It is something to embrace.
However, serendipity is only meaningful if it’s accessible in a consumable format.
Many would read ‘serendipity’ as an abstract or theoretical reading of ‘fuck it, just do it’. The ‘yes’ philosophy espoused by some books today.
And it’s true – the two converge in some important ways.
The first way is that the bedrock of serendipity comes from allowing yourself exposure to new stimuli. Without this – there is no room for serendipity.
This is very much in keeping with ‘The Power Of Now’ Echkartian style approach where you ‘seize the day’ and take actions based upon what you see in front of you.
The second way these two converge is that saying ‘fuck it, just do it’ – will absolutely lead to new opporrtunity and excitement in your life.
Much of this just comes from openness and being willing to accept new ideas and to take risk.
However, the caveat with this, and where serendipity in my view can differ than the ‘carpe diem’ style approach is making sure actions are taken in a largely safe confine.
For me this comes through reading.
So, those authors and books I’ve referenced above I’ve yet to read. They sit on my shelf or in my mind and no more. The books cost a total of perhaps £20, and the authors I looked up on Google.
The cost then – of not maximising my exploration is just £20. Had this moment of ‘serendipity’ involved a significant use of my time – the status quo would be very different.
So time, when embracing serendipity, has to be factored in.
If luck will cost you hours upon hours and you cannot back out or are unsure of the value – it’s difficult to understand whether randomness or opportunity is actually serendipitous at all.
However, it is ultimately a mindset that sits at the heart of it.
Check this definition out for a real sense of what it can mean in a business context:
So this is what’s enjoyable about it then and how it’s through reading you can potentially identify means of 10x’ing your future.
So practically – here’s how to embrace it then:
- Read regularly and read widely (albeit at the moment 90% of what I read is sales books)
- Try new things as often as you can
- Once you make a discovery – take massive action and see where it takes you
- Focus on the kind of serendipity you can build into the rhythm of your day – ‘events/acts’ that completely blow your timetable up can have a net negative impact
- Block out time to allow ‘serendipity’ to reoccur
Point #5 could in a way be the most powerful of them all.
As you can see here (and I’ve not started yet) – one of the things I need to do today (and I should be doing it now really)…
Is asking myself as part of the ‘Monday Think Tank’ – how can I 10x each company?’
Of course – there’s nothing serendipitous about planning in serendipity at all – but if you set aside some time to do some ‘random googling’ or ‘brainstorming’ – you might stumble across something that could change your business fortunes entirely for you!