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Saturday, August 14, 2004

Ways to foster serendipity in your life

Serendipity is defined as "Faculty of making discoveries by accident."

I find that some of my best discoveries -- whether they be books, restaurants, friends, places -- tend to arise out of serendipity.

As I was doing my errands today (I am on my own, as R & J are away on their own projects) 2 great ideas for increasing your chances of serendipity came to mind.

  1. Library Sorting Shelves - The next time you are in the library, (you DO go to the library regularly, donít you?), find the sorting shelves. This is the area where books are pre-sorted before being returned to their rightful place on the shelf. The chances are, if someone else found the book interesting, you might, too. I almost always find 1 or 2 books to add to my check out for that day.

  2. Bookstore Lower Shelves - After lunch and the library, I headed over to the local Border's to poke around. You may have noticed that it is always the bestselling books that appear at eye-level in a bookstore. The same holds true for products in the supermarket and other stores. The truth is, many companies PAY for the best placement on the shelves. If you want to find something new and interesting, start looking at the lower shelves in the store. Get down on your hands and knees and you might be surprised what you find. Don't let the marketing departments of the big publishers dictate what you read. Explore a little.

  3. Randomly pick a listening station - The same also goes for music stores, of course. Pick a random music listening station, then pick a random CD and a random track. Did you dig it? Try again!

There are other ways to help serendipity strike, of course. Drive a different way to work. Visit a neighborhood you have never seen. Even here in the Valley where I have lived for 18 years, there are some streets I have never driven. Some days, when the mood strikes me, I take a little tour of one of these streets. Who knows what you might find? Garage sales are another great way of dragging you down streets you might never have noticed before.

Finally, be open to serendipity in your life. It is always those chance encounters that spur your thoughts and enrich your life.


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