How I Encourage Serendipity

A few months back, I shared Reid Hoffman’s belief in keeping his expectations of meetings low to allow for serendipity. That really stuck with me, and I’ve embraced it, which has indeed led to some serendipity. Since then, I’ve been thinking about how to lean into encouraging more serendipity.

I’ve started to think about how to make room for serendipity through my normal nonwork interactions. I’ve landed on something that’s worked. When I’m doing normal everyday things, I now try to go to new or unfamiliar places to get exposure to new establishments, neighborhoods, and people. A simple example is dinner. Most people have their go-to restaurants and neighborhoods. These places are where they’re comfortable and what they know. Instead of sticking to your favorites, find new places (preferably with good reviews) in an area you don’t frequent. While you’re there, try to understand the people and the area.

I recently had dinner in a part of town I don’t usually go to. The place has good reviews, so I was excited to try it. Instead of grabbing a table, my companion and I chose to sit at the bar. Because we did, we had amazing conversations. The bartender gave us a history of the restaurant and its ownership. And we met another couple at the bar who build custom homes. They gave us a boots-on-the-ground perspective of the Atlanta housing market and shared some information we otherwise wouldn’t be aware of. We all agreed to keep in touch.

Serendipity, by definition, happens by chance, but you can be intentional about increasing the probability of it through your decisions about everyday activities.