Balancing the quest for serendipity and the desire to focus

It’s seems like a dilemma.

Every business book will say you need to focus to make something big happen

Then, you talk to many successful people in private and you will hear stories of sheer randomness, serendipity, chance meeting with someone, luck and so on.

Think about it:

You have a quest for serendipity

You have a need to focus

It seem like they are both mutually exclusive.

In other words, if you want one, you have to drop the other.

You don’t HAVE to make that choice.

There is a better way.

If you design your work and life, you can get things done with focus PLUS yo can set yourself up to capitalize on your encounters with serendipity.

Here are three ways to get started

1. Acknowledge and get comfortable with minor distractions

There is too much talk about the cost of switching costs. Once you accept that theory, every minor distraction seems like a burden on your shoulders.

You can do a few things to eliminate distractions, but in this always-on world, it gets difficult.

Rather than fighting, why not keep a cool head and master the art of acknowledging the distractions, witness them with dispassion, pop-in and pop-out of them at will with least mental effort.

The minor distractions by nature are low-stakes in nature, so by design you need to learn to handle these distractions with minimum mental bandwidth.

2. Aim to make every contact with the world an opportunity to create value OR an opportunity to increase your own capacity to create value in the future

Agreed, you won’t succeed every single time, but it is important to make that effort.

Here is what happens when you do that.

The stakes of the situation in front of you go up instantly.

The intensity of your focus expands immediately.

The surrounding distractions turn into a blur.

If the intention is right, you move into your peak operating zone with a focus to win the game you just setup for yourself.

3. When the world knows that you can open the world of possibilities for someone, serendipity strikes often.

Serendipity is not something that you subscribe to, buy from somewhere or a treasure that you can hunt.

The easiest way to manufacture an encounter with serendipity is by becoming someone that attracts serendipity. In short, it is to become someone that is a world of possibilities to those that are touched by him or her.

If you are interested in further reading on this topic, please take a look at:
How to Hack Serendipity

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