UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERED GUERRILLA SERENDIPITY
Here is a glimpse into some thoughts I’ve been walking
through lately – almost every day.
It’s my deep dive into Engineered Guerrilla
Serendipity by Unleashing the Power of Chance Encounters
refers to the phenomenon of stumbling upon fortunate discoveries while not
actively seeking them. It's the wonderful surprise of finding something
valuable or pleasurable when you least expect it. (It’s real - I once found a
$10 bill on the sidewalk. I took it straight to the supermarket and bought groceries).
Scientific breakthroughs: The discovery of
penicillin by Alexander Fleming, the invention of the Post-it Note, or the
development of X-rays all these resulted from serendipitous events.
Personal connections: Finding a lifelong friend at a
random social gathering or meeting a business partner through a chance
encounter at the chamber of commerce.
Creative insights: Experiencing a sudden burst of
inspiration for a new project or solution while engaged in an unrelated
Serendipity is the intentional design of
environments or systems to increase the likelihood of sagacious serendipitous
encounters. It involves creating the conditions that foster unexpected
connections and exploration. Brain storming sessions are most commonly used.
Serendipity means serendipitous encounters evoked
through mundane daily activities that don’t cost money. G=ABC (Guerrilla=Anything But Cash).
Guerrilla Serendipity (EGS) isn't just a fancy term for stumbling upon a
twenty-dollar bill on the sidewalk. It's a deliberate dance with chance: a
calculated nudge towards unexpected connections and fortunate collisions of
ideas. While the concept holds huge potential, navigating its intricacies
requires both strategic finesse and playful spontaneity.
There's no map with a "you are here" dot
leading straight to Serendipity.
Encountering serendipity is like a winding path, one
that unfolds as you explore, embrace detours, and savor the surprise
turns. Realistically we don't
manufacture happy accidents; but we can certainly nudge ourselves in the right
direction. We can attract happy accidents. (Sadly we attract some of our
# # #
Let's delve into EGS, exploring its strengths,
potential pitfalls, and how to maximize its serendipitous spark.
Strengths Rekindled With a Fresh Perspective. Here is some of what I’m talking.
First step is – acquiring the mindset that serendipity is real.
Serendipity is a common daily experience that can be engineered
consciously to manifest.
is the person who makes serendipitous encounters happen. They have an
irrevocable and irrepressible spirit of optimism.
Innovation Playground. EGS
throws open the doors to unconventional networking arenas. Forget stuffy
conferences and expensive seminars. Think rather of impromptu book clubs hosted in quirky cafes, flash mobs erupting in bustling plazas,
or thematic scavenger hunts (Geocache), weaving through vibrant
cityscapes. These playful maneuvers not only spark connections but also unleash
a torrent of creative energy, fostering collaborations among folks that might
never have met in sterile, traditional settings.
Embraced Openness. Step outside the predictable routines of
daily life and injecting a dose of EGS, we crack open the gates to chance encounters. This isn't about
blind hope; it's about strategically placing ourselves in fertile grounds for
serendipity in blind dates. Joining a
pottery class not just to learn how
to mold clay, but also to connect
with fellow artists, swap creative ideas,
and perhaps stumble upon an unexpected artistic collaboration.
Democratizing the Unexpected. EGS
levels the playing field, tossing aside the velvet ropes surrounding traditional
networking circles. Financial constraints no longer act as insurmountable
barriers. You need is a dash of wit, a
sprinkle of resourcefulness, and willingness to step outside your comfort
zone. Suddenly, the shy introverted student can find their voice amidst
a lively book club discussion, and the cash-strapped artist can connect with
potential patrons at a street art exhibition.
Yes. Stepping out of our comfort zone.
thrives on a foundation of intentionality. Identify the
types of connections you seek, the unique skills you can to share, and
knowledge you wish to acquire. Then, craft your EGS maneuvers with these goals
in mind. Join a coding club if you
seek tech-savvy collaborators, or volunteer
at a local animal shelter or zoo if you long for a furry friend and a
supportive community. Join an on-line virtual
serendipity club. If there is none, create one on Facebook.
is the Guiding Star. The line between playful nudges and
manipulative ploys can be blurry. Always remember, EGS thrives on frank genuine
connections and mutual value exchange
with friends. I approach my encounters with an open heart and a willingness to
give as much as you receive. I share my knowledge, or offer my time, and
celebrate the successes of others. In this spirit of authenticity, serendipity
Scaling the Serendipity Summit. EGS is a personal dance with chance, but its
potential impact can ripple outwards. Document your EGS exploits, share your
stories, and inspire others to embrace the unexpected.
Create online communities or host face to face
gatherings where serendipity seekers can connect and share their fortuitous
encounters. By scaling EGS beyond individual endeavors, we can cultivate a
culture of open-mindedness and chance encounters, one unexpected connection at
The serendipitors’ spirit conquers any shade of
Engineered Guerrilla Serendipity is a way of life.
It’s a playful rebellion against the predictable routine. It’s a potent tool for forging meaningful
connections and igniting unexpected possibilities.
THE ENLIGHTENED SERENDIPITOR
Why EGS Rocks.
Playground for Innovation. Ditch the boring routines
and explore the world of unexpected connections. Imagine brainstorming with
fellow artists at a community knitting class. How about a public speaking
club? I was a member of one for 12
years. You won’t believe the number of friends I made there. Worldwide friends.
EGS throws open the doors to creativity and collaboration, all without breaking
Chance Encounters, Mastered. EGS isn't about
aimlessly waiting for lady luck to smile. It's about strategically walking in
the serendipity path. Love books? Join a quirky book club and swap stories with
fellow bibliophiles. Passionate about sustainability? Volunteer at a local
community garden and meet eco-warriors like yourself. The possibilities are
Say that again - The enlightened Serendipitor is Member
of the Social Serendipity Club
EGS is open to All, Cash Is Not Required. EGS is the ultimate equalizer. No fancy suits,
no hefty price tags required. Just bring your wit, your touch of
resourcefulness, and a willingness to embrace
the unexpected. Suddenly, the shy bookworm can find their voice in a lively
discussion, and the broke artist can connect with potential patrons at a free
More We Can Do.
Don't Just Throw Spaghetti at the Wall. Prepare yourself by thinking about what you
hope to gain from these encounters. Craving tech connections? Hit up that computers
hardware builders club. Volunteer at the local volunteer clinic. (I do). Intentionality
is the key to making EGS work its magic.
Go to your local library. Pull out the first book on the top shelf next
to the window…. What does it tell you? Write and post a book review on Good
You got your blog. You publish. Your name is indexed
on Google. Now launch a second blog. I syndicate six different blogs on six
Be Real, Not Phony. EGS thrives on genuine connections. Ditch the
forced networking smiles and let your inner weirdo show. Share your knowledge,
offer your time, and celebrate the wins of others. When we're real, serendipity
Still not convinced? Go on a blind date.
Still not convinced? Miriam Farbstein was a divorced mother of three. She went on a blind date in NY. The man she dated happened to own a casino house in Las Vegas. What a serendipitous encounter. Today she ranks the 42th richest woman in the world. Her name is now Miriam Adelson. There are more like her. Read about them in my other blog post titled Financial Serendipity.
How about Julia Koch. She went on a
blind date on January 1991. Today her net worth is estimated at $59 billion.
is Magnanimous. It’s Generous. Share the gospel of serendipity. Spread it. Don't hoard your EGS stories like a squirrel
with acorns! Share your adventures, document your encounters, post them on your
blogs and inspire others to embrace the unexpected. Create online communities,
host offline gatherings, and let the serendipity wave roll.
Remember, the most extraordinary and fortunate encounters
often happen when you least expect them. Now go forth and embrace the guerrilla
Read that last sentence again.
Share your stories. Here is one of my adventurous
flights with a bush pilot running (almost) into the frozen granite wall of
The frozen granite wall view from a bush pilot passenger seat.
# # #
- It's like finding a hidden gem in a thrift store
or bumping into your bestie at a random cafe—those happy surprises that make
life feel like a movie montage.
- Imagine this: you're strolling through a park,
minding your own business, and BAM! You spot a four-leaf clover. That's serendipity, baby!
- It's the universe winking at you, saying,
"Hey, I've got your back."
Ethan Zuckerman, a
director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, defines engineered serendipity
as the idea “…that we can help people come across unexpected but helpful
connections at a better than random rate. And in some ways, it’s based on
trying to reassess this notion of serendipitous as lucky — to think
of serendipitous as smart.”
- This is when you get kinda sneaky and generate
opportunities for the magical encounters to happen.
- Set up a party for your friends with the goal of
sparking unexpected connections and conversations.
- Design a playground for chance encounters, where
the unexpected is always welcome and appreciated.
- Never, Never eat alone. Always share your bread.
- Attend public square demonstrations, political
rallies, charitable fund raising events,
- The best of romance – Whahoo. Think of those dating apps – harmony, match,
tinder, grindr all of them match you
based on your love of hiking, poetry, romance, pizza, tacos, sex and those co-working spaces that bring together
entrepreneurs and artists under one roof.
Become a lifelong Student. Every day is an opportunity to discover something new. Read widely, delve into podcasts on diverse topics, and attend lectures or workshops that pique your interest.
Curiosity is the fuel
that propels you towards uncharted territories, where serendipity thrives.
Ask "why" and
"how" relentlessly. Don't
settle for surface-level understanding. Question everything, from everyday
occurrences to complex ideas. This childlike inquisitiveness can unlock hidden
connections and lead you down fascinating rabbit holes, often revealing
like souvenirs. Seek out unique adventures, whether it's
attending a local festival, taking a solo trip, or trying a new hobby.
Travel. Each experience, even if seemingly unrelated,
adds a brushstroke to the canvas of your life, creating the potential for serendipitous
intersections down the line.
I imagine curiosity as my
personal serendipity magnet. The more curious I’m the stronger it gets, pulling
unexpected opportunities and connections your way. Here's how:
I’m a knowledge
sponge. I dive into anything that sparks
my interest, whether it's a weird science documentary, an AI class, or chatting
up a stranger with a cool hat. You never know where hidden gems are waiting to
I try to be a social
butterfly. Curiosity makes me more approachable, like a
human "talk to me" sign. I strike up conversations with strangers,
explore online communities, and attend events.
Victor Hansen published - Ask that
book is, as usual for him - a bestseller….
Curiosity is basically a million
unanswered questions. Ask them all! You'll see things from new angles, spot
hidden connections, and uncover possibilities you never even thought of.
I don't ignore the
"hmm...” Life throws curveballs, sometimes disguised as
coincidences. When something catches your eye, even if it seems random, pay
attention! It might lead to an amazing discovery or a life-changing connection.
I trust my gut feeling.
Sometimes curiosity whispers things that seem illogical. But hey, who needs
logic when you can have awesome adventures? Follow your hunches and see where
they take you – you might surprise yourself!
# # #
is all about being open to the unexpected. So crank up your curiosity, put on
your explorer hat, and get ready for some amazing surprises!
Serendipity shows up in
all places and all amounts, at all times. Earlier last month I was waiting to
board a flight to ORD. The regional jet
was oversold and overweight. The captain required two volunteers to give up
their seats. Do that in return for compensation from United. I volunteered cause I’d sometime to spare. I
bought this ticket by using my frequent flyer miles (gratuity by JP Morgan
Chase credit card). The bottom line; the next day I arrived to Chicago on a
free ride and was paid for it $1000. I
can use it for a first class free flight to LVNV. If I want…
Know and I Practice the Power of Connections
I recommend that you be
connector, not just a collector.
Actively build bridges
between people you know. Introduce colleagues with shared interests, connect
friends from different social circles, or simply spark conversations between
strangers. You never know what connections might blossom, leading to unforeseen
collaborations, opportunities, or even friendships.
Practice the art of
"weak ties". Don't
underestimate the power of casual acquaintances. Sometimes, serendipity strikes
through unexpected encounters with people you might not consider close friends.
Be open to conversations with the barista, the person next to you on the bus,
or the vendor at the market. You might be surprised by the insights and
connections that emerge from these seemingly fleeting interactions.
Eat Alone. Never. Always offer to share
your bread with another.
Join communities that
ignite you. Surround yourself with folks
who share and augment your passions, whether it's a book club, a volunteer
organization, or an online forum. These communities act as fertile ground for
cross-pollination of ideas, fostering serendipitous collaborations and
discoveries that wouldn't have happened in isolation.
the Serendipity Mindset
Never. Never dismiss social
coincidences as mere luck. Figure out
this question: does the random encounter
mean something to you? What does it mean?
Pay attention to
recurring themes, seemingly unplanned meetings; or unusual incidents. They
might be nudges from the universe, pointing you towards unexplored paths or
Celebrate imperfection. Let go
of the need for rigid planning and control. Embrace the messiness of life, the
unexpected detours, and the unplanned moments. Often, the most serendipitous
discoveries happen when we surrender to the flow and allow ourselves to be
Keep a Serendipity Journal. Huh?
Jot down interesting
encounters, ideas, or observations throughout your day. Reviewing these entries
later can reveal hidden patterns, connections, or serendipitous threads you might
have missed initially. It's like creating a treasure map of your own unique
journey, highlighting the unexpected gems that life throws your way.
Serendipity is an
ongoing adventure, not a destination.
Get used to that!
As you cultivate
curiosity, embrace human connections, and adopt a serendipity mindset, you'll find that the map unfolds
itself, revealing delightful surprises and guiding you towards a life filled
with wonder and unexpected joy. So, put on your explorer's hat, embrace the
unknown, and get ready to be surprised by the magic of serendipity!
The Common Denominator of
everything said from the top down to this line – We sell ourselves wherever we
are. We are always on sale to the world.
Bottom One Liners to Take Home
Hug the unexpected moments, because they lead to things amazing.
It’s cool to create little chaos in your life and watch what happens.
After all, life's a lot more fun when you make room for surprises.
Serendipity is an ongoing adventure, not a destination.
Do you know what are
the Lender Combinations?
Join me next time for
Serendipity Adventures on one of my six blogs.
Read my book The
Tags: #engineeredguerrillaserendipity #serendipitylane #enlightenedserendipitor #guerrillaserendipity #lendercombinations