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Optimizing Serendipity

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Written: Dec. 4th, 2020 Approx Reading Time: 4 mins

Biggest thought-tunnel today: how to optimize serendipity.

When I think about my journey so far (note: I'm currently 17), I often think about how if one thing didn't happen I wouldn't be where I am today.

I don't know if that's entirely true because I don't know what life would be like if something didn't or did happen. That's a whole other tunnel but back to this thought trail:

For example, if I wasn't able to take the day off of school and attend an event I was told about the night before at the WE Global Learning Centre...

I may have never met the TKS students who arrived and gotten super excited about the program which I never knew existed before. The program changed my life because it helped me start doing more of things and being more like the person who can do the things I'd like to do.

I know that was a bit of a confusing sentence but essentially I wanted to help make progress towards the problems I was passionate about addressing. I always felt like I was too young and wasn't on a pathway to do so at the time.

Thinking about all of this makes me feel grateful that those things happened how they did. It also makes me feel lucky. It's so mind-boggling to me that one thing can change everything. When things turn out the way I hoped in unexpected ways it feels like luck.

As a result, I've realized a lot of what's helped me along my journey has been serendipitous events.

Serendipity is basically luck.

The word encapsulates

the "phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for."

- Merriam-Webster dictionary

(๐Ÿ’ญ - I don't entirely agree with the last part of the definition^ as I think that what we put out comes back to us. If we really want something to happen and have the right intentions it will fall into place in some way. However, I think that serendipitous things are often not what we were actively looking for towards something we'd want to happen or in the way that we expected.)

When something unexpected but helpful happens in life I think of it as serendipitous.

Why is serendipity great?

Like I've learned through my path, a lot of the key defining moments in something you've always wanted to happen to happen are serendipitous. Getting the dream job, meeting a specific person, etc.

A lot of important things that happen in our journeys are partially out of our control โ€”> determined by factors that increase your chance of a certain thing happening.

Serendipity can be a useful tool in creating the future you like.

So can we increase our changes of something "lucky" or serendipitous occurring?

I think that there's factors that we can have control over in optimizing serendipity.

A lot of it comes down to being in the right place at the right time and being the kind of person (or having done specific things) that align with the thing to happen.

For example, if I want to become an Imagineer at Disney:

  • I should talk to current or past Imagineers and learn what it entails/what to work on
  • Research the pathway to get their: e.g. understand if Disney recruits from specific places
  • Start training the skills Imagineers have and building! What you do matters. Start now.
  • Think about unconventional pathways to get their too - maybe you can start building a portfolio of Imagineering-type work and pitch it to some Imagineers or Disney executives?

โญIf you are thinking of Imagineering, I think this is a great video to watch as a starting place.

A summary of how to optimize serendipity.

*from what I've learned so far

Key focus areas:

  1. Do your research โ€”> understand what factors play a role in what you're seeking
  2. Build opportunity cost โ€”> starting developing yourself to be the person you need to be for what you're seeking and
  3. Seek ways to use the key factors to increase your probability of what you're seeking to happen โ€”> going to x school, living in a x place, working on x thing, expanding your network...

(Some) mindsets to practice:

  1. Figure-it-out โ€”> you'll have to do a lot of figuring-it-out
  2. Seek discomfort โ€”> you'll have to get out of your comfort zone
  3. Patience โ€”> = ๐Ÿ”‘
  4. Relentlessness โ€”> stick with it (remember why you're seeking it โ€”> have a strong why)

โญ

If you have any thoughts or suggestions on this please let me know: ๐Ÿ’Œ - astronautadara@gmail.com

The Daily Rundown

Chemistry, filled out an application, piezoelectricity deep dive, meeting with Isabel DeJesus, squad sync, battery research meeting, and family movie night.

Good List

  • Isabel meeting
  • Watching comfort movies
  • Spending time with family

Gratitude

  • Isabel DeJesus! Thank you for all the support on my journey.
  • A TV + streaming subscriptions. The people behind the movies.

Your friendly neighborhood: serendipity seeker

- Astro Girl ๐Ÿ’œ

Written by @astro_adara in December 2020.