When you are maximizing serendipity in your life you are creating the opportunity for chance encounters.
“We are so plan-oriented so we don’t allow serendipity to happen. We are in such a rush, rush mentality… I know there’s going to be chance encounters and I am setting my mind up for that. Through allowing time, I can allow space for that.” – Dr. Chad Thatcher
Start your new year out with an intention to have more serendipity in your life. Dr. Chad Thatcher came on the Happiness in Progress podcast with Danielle Craig to talk about how to maximize serendipity.
Dr. Thatcher is a professor at SOU’s Outdoor Adventure Leadership department. His passion centers around exploration and helping others discover their inner explorer. Dr. Thatcher helped design and implement the Master of Outdoor Adventure and Expedition Leadership degree at SOU.
The Process to Maximize Serendipity in your Life
“Unless you have a mind that recognizes these things, it’s just a chance encounter. It won’t turn into any kind of serendipity unless you take the active steps to pursue it,” Chad shared with me on the Happiness in Progress podcast.
He describes serendipity as a continuum. He says it starts with a mind that can recognize moments of serendipity in your life.
The process of serendipity starts with an unexpected event.
You have to have a prepared mind – the things that you’ve done in your life up to this point. That could include everything from previous experiences to things you’re concerned about.
Your prepared mind will help you recognize moments that pertain to you.
A Prepared and Sagacious Mindset
Being able to recognize what could be a serendipitous moment happens when you have a sagacious mindset.
If you don’t have the sagacity to connect the unexpected moment and your previous experiences – no serendipity will occur. Instead, things will stop right there.
If you want serendipity to occur you have to seize the moment.
Seize the Moment
After you have found yourself in a chance encounter and recognized it as serendipity – you have to act.
Chad says the action can occur right then or later, but it has to happen.
When you seize the moment and take action, Chad says you’ll start recognizing more serendipity. He says there is an amplifying impact when you are exploring where an unexpected encounter can take you.
Chad says often times it isn’t until we look back at our lives that we can recognize the serendipity we’ve experienced. He said, “You’ll be able to look back and do an evaluative process. You’ll be able to look back and go ‘that chance encounter was indeed serendipitous.'”
Open the Mind
Maximizing serendipity in your life also includes changing how we culturally live today.
Chad says we need to be open to new experiences and have an open schedule to make way for unexpected events.
“We are in a rush-rush mentality all the time where we don’t have the time to recognize these moments.”
To deal with this, when he plans an expedition – he says he will intentionally look at the schedule and then take 25% away. Chad says when we clear parts of our schedule we allow space for events that may turn into serendipity.
Chad challenges listeners to start thinking about what a regular encounter in the grocery store could lead you to.
More on this podcast episode:
- What a super encounterer is
- What exploring and serendipity have in common
- Why you want more serendipity in your life