One day in 1984,Richard Branson was sitting at an airport in Puerto Rico, eager to board the American Airlines flight to the British Virgin Islands.
Then the American plane canceled.
Frustrated, 28-year-old Branson went back to the airport and used a credit card to rent a plane. He borrowed a board, wrote "Virgin Airlines: A Way to the Virgin Islands, $ 39," walked around the airport … and managed to fill the plane.
When the plane landed in the Virgin Islands, a passenger said: "Do yourself a little better at the service, then you can be in the aviation industry."
The next day, Branson called Boeing to ask if they had used 747s for sale.
Starting an airline had not been on Branson's radar until he was "lucky" that his plane was canceled.
Research shows that traits such as passion, mental toughness, constant learning and willingness to take risks lead to greater success. Hard work is often rewarded. Perseverance is often the difference between success and failure; give up and mistakes are guaranteed. Intelligent risks pay off at times ̵
But research shows that luck also plays a role. Success is based on factors you can not control. Being in the right place at the right time. Meet the right person at the right time. Experience something you are not necessarily looking for.
And then, since our lives are often affected by the unexpected and unplanned (hey Covid-19!), To seize the moment opportunity provides.
This is what Dr. Christian Busch calls in his book The Serendipity Mindset, The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck, embracing the "serendipity mindset."
As Dr. Busch writes: "Unforeseen events, coincidences and bizarre coincidences are not just minor distractions or patches of gravel in our well-oiled lives. The unexpected is often the critical factor – it is often the strength that makes the biggest difference in our
For Branson, it meant hiring a plane – and financing the cost of selling tickets to other passengers – instead of waiting for a plane the next day. And then realize that he could create a better airline than the sitting brands.
For Steve Jobs, it meant acknowledging that his relationship with Steve Wozniak could lead to more than a common understanding of electronics and playing tricks. For Stephen Hawking, it meant seizing the "opportunity" his disability provided to avoid teaching, lecturing and attending committee meetings and instead devoting himself fully to research.
For Mark Cuban, starting an Internet business at the perfect time – – and being smart enough to sell. According to Cuban, "Life is half random."
Therefore, according to Dr. Busch, "Cultivating serendipity is first and foremost about looking at the world with open eyes and seeing opportunities that others do not. It's not just about being in the right place at the right time and getting something done. to happen to us (blind luck), but rather a process in which we can be actively involved. "
How can you develop a serendipity mindset?
Meet more people. Try several things. When things do not go according to plan, do not take a step back. Steps forward. Embrace what feels like chaos and see where it leads.
Have a goal, have a plan … and be so willing to maneuver. What seems like the wrong place may actually be the right place. What seems like a casual encounter can be the start of an important partnership or collaboration.
What seems like bad luck can cause you to stumble upon an idea, a market, a new business …
As long as you are open to the opportunity.