Serendipity Now!


On a journey that takes you from Point A -> Point B -> Point C , some of the best stuff will occur between A & B and between B & C.

If you maximize your schedule and fill every bit of programmable space with destinations (aka “Goals”), you will have no time left to venture off, explore, to learn, to stop and smell the proverbial roses.

You will have achieved full efficiency in your schedule of waking hours, however you will be eroding your long term competitive edge, which is your ability to think creatively and to innovate… because those things require serendipitous discovery as their creative fuel.

Most significantly, a fully maximized schedule will reduce your ability to take on brilliant opportunities as they arise. Some of best opportunities are the ones you don’t plan for, so you need some room to be able to say “yes” to the unexpected.

Finally, too much fixation on a singular goal reduces your ability to get lucky… tunnel vision comes at the  expense of peripheral vision.

Some solutions for highly programmed individuals:

  • Plan gaps in your busy schedule, gaps to explore the territory between Point A and B.
  • Plan regular moments of rest… or even a weekly Day of Rest.
  • Do something “inefficiently,” so that you can be open to discovering a better way to do it… or better things to do.

What other strategies do you use, so that you can make time for discovery?

Waste some time well, so that the time you spend working is not wasted.

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About danspira

My blog is at: http://danspira.com. My face in real life appears at a higher resolution, although I do feel pixelated sometimes.

Posted on April 20, 2012, in Diversions, Learning, Life, Productivity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. serendipity happens more often when with people, not when resting.. alone.. enjoying the black bird’s singing… maybe?

    this concept of “resting” is unclear to me. to be alone? to do something you like? not to do what you do daily? what if you do multiple things daily? which one is “resting”?

    *confused*

    • By “plan regular moments of rest” (as one way to enable more serendipity) I mean “rest” as opposed to “work,” ie, not doing the kind of “work” that involves focus and directed energy towards building/achieving a specific, predetermined external goal. So yes, we can “rest” with friends… and I think you’re right, there’s LOTS of potential serendipity when we include other people in our unstructured, unprogrammed time. (Especially when we’re willing to go beyond predictable, ritualistic patterns of social interaction.)

  1. Pingback: You Are Fully Booked, Whether You Realize It Or Not | Dan Spira

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