Six ways to max your serendipity

By Street Wisdom
14.05.24

Hello fellow travellers through life’s twists and turns.

What does serendipity mean for your life?

Serendipity – the idea of making surprising and valuable discoveries – is at the heart of Street Wisdom.

It’s probably at the heart of what makes for an interesting life, too!

And it’s even something businesses are more and more interested in. Serendipity’s behind everything from Post-It Notes to potato washing machines, from Velcro to Viagra.

The great thing is, unlike plain old good luck, about which you really can’t do much, serendipity is something you can practise, get better at, work on. It’s something you can have agency over! Brilliant!

So, how can you max your own serendipity score? Here are some suggestions, give them a go:

  1. Pay greater, kinder attention. Notice the world around with fresh eyes. Be drawn to what attracts you (notice what doesn’t) almost like a child is drawn to new things in a really physical way. Be that child that’s enthralled with everything. Get ready to discover something new. Look out for the unexpected. Slow. Right. Down. Sense the beauty in everything. If it helps for a moment, paste the word GRATITUDE or JOY or THANK YOU or HAPPY at the back of your brain and beam your light of attention outwards from that, seeing the world through that lens.
  2. Be curious about your inner compass. Whatever you want to call it – your inner swallow, your intuition, that felt sense of something difficult to describe, even just that funny feeling – imagine there’s a bit of you that just knows what to do next. Where to go next. Before even you do. To work out your next step, you can’t always analyse things, or do a Google search, or call a friend. Sometimes you just have to get up and move your body! Let your feet be wiser than your head. You might find, you find just what you need, just when you need it.
  3. Put yourself in more serendipitous situations. A serendipitous situation is a situation where there are a greater number of things happening outside of your control. It’s probably a new experience where you’ll meet people you’ve never met before. Take their card, give yours out, make connections, ask strangers philosophical questions, say yes to that coffee meet up next week, follow up with emails the next day. Find people fascinating again. Host a serendipity party!
  4. Expect the unexpected. Live life as if it’s rigged in your favour. See the silver lining in everything. Look closer. Expect delight. Don’t overdo it of course; being too positive can mean you miss what’s really there. Dance the balance between wonder and realism. Smile loads.
  5. Tell people what you’re doing. Share your serendipitous moments with friends, family members, people on the tube. Ask them what role serendipity has played in their lives. Acknowledge with others that it’s often these more random-seeming moments in life where so much richness resides. “Success” is not all down to pure skill! But it’s also not all down to luck. Serendipitors like you know that the sweet spot is where the creative juices are.
  6. Take part in Street Wisdom. Street Wisdom is all about putting mindfulness, creativity, imagination, neuroscience and serendipity into action! Join a local Walkshop. Use our audio guides. Grab a copy of David Pearl’s book, Wanderful. Attend our monthly online practice Walkshop from wherever you are. Put yourself forward to host an event for Street Wisdom. Take part in the World Wide Wander.

What do you think? What have we missed? How has serendipity informed and formed your life? Get in touch with your serendipity story!

 

*****

Inspired? Fancy some more Street Wisdom? Join a Walkshop near you, or head out for your own wander right now with our Tune Ups. Buy a copy of founder David Pearl’s book Wanderful, all profits go back into Street Wisdom to help keep it free. Share your insights and follow us @StreetWisdom_

We wrote this post using insights from Christian Bausch’s recent article, Towards A Theory of Serendipity: A Systematic Review and Conceptualization (Journal of Management Studies). For more info, insights and practical tips for living serendipitously, we recommend his book, The Serendipity Mindset.