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Saturday, May 5, 2012

8 Ways to Cultivate Serendipity in Business and Life | Matthew E. May, American Express Open Forum

When asked about the secret of Google’s meteoric rise, company co-founder Sergey Brin replied that "The number-one factor that contributed to our success was luck."
But Thor Muller and Lane Becker, authors of a new book, Get Lucky, say Brin wasn't dismissing his accomplishment. Instead, they say that Google's  success must be credited to something more than the credit of any one person. They write:
What Brin can take credit for is being open to serendipity, and being willing to use it to his advantage. 
Matthew May writes in this book review that Muller and Becker outline the skills and elements we need to begin cultivating luck. He quotes Muller and Becker:
Luck is a fundamental part of how the world works. Open any history book and you’ll find stories of curious people looking for one thing and finding another.
May explains that Muller and Becker call their technique "planned serendipity." They write:
Accidents happen. There’s nothing mystical about them—but it’s our practical ability to take advantage of the best accidents that transforms these from forgettable moments into incredible opportunities. This is the essence of planned serendipity, the kind of luck you make for yourself. 
May's review lists and briefly defines the "8 Ways to Cultivate Serendipity ..." from the Muller and Becker book. And he offers this brief quotation from them on how to begin creating a life and workspace open to serendipity:
Break out of your routine! Routine is the enemy of serendipity.
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