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Why Choosing Your Path Should Be Exciting

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Why Choosing Your Path Should Be Exciting

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
~Mary Oliver

You have one shot at the current moment, and one shot at the next; so why not make each count? Why not choose to show up in a way that expresses who you are at your core? Why not make the contributions that only you can make?

Here’s the thing: no one else can do you.

Imagine for a moment that we're all cells in the same body. For the body to function properly, we must each do our unique work. Picture a single cell looking over at another cell and thinking, "Ah, what they're doing looks interesting, maybe I should give that a try", or spotting a cell who’s speeding along and thinking, "She’s really got it made so I might as well just give up." This would basically be like a cell for the eye wanting to be a cell of the brain, or deciding to just sit this one out. Yikes!

When you think your contribution doesn’t really matter or have a positive impact on the whole, you’re lost. When you ignore the impulses and intuitive nudges to move in your own way, looking instead to others for answers, you're also lost. This is why choosing what you do each day should be exciting and mean something to you — the positive sentiments will spill over into every facet of your life. 

Today, decide that your piece of the puzzle does matter and intentionally choose to pursue what excites you and lights you up. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas for you to consider as you begin to serve yourself and the world.

Take baby steps

There’s this great scene in the movie What About Bob?, when the obsessive-compulsive Bob (played by Bill Murray) discovers baby steps. “Baby steps to the elevator....Baby steps onto the elevator...". It might sound silly, but you should take the same approach to creating a path that keeps you feeling inspired and fulfilled. Once you pinpoint what excites you, find a way to give it more space so it can take shape. 

What you can do with a 20 extra minutes each morning is astounding. Can you wake up earlier to accomplish something you'd like to eventually turn into your career? For example, if you want to become a content creator or writer, can you carve out a mini-session each day before or after you finish work? With baby steps, there’s really no need to fearfully leap and hope for a net. What a relief!

Say goodbye to your distractions

In a keynote speech about the third metric, Arianna Huffington discusses the dangers of multi-tasking: “You think you’re being efficient, but actually, you’re being stupid.” As Huffington wisely points out, we now have scientific evidence that actually proves we can't successfully multi-task. Can you eliminate distractions during the time you've set aside in order to show up for what you're most excited to create? 

When I tell people that I habitually turn data off on my phone while I’m focusing on a project, they think I’m crazy. However, I'm convinced that it’s one of the smartest things I do! The other option — the constant interruption of e-mail/Facebook/[insert your favorite distraction here] — just doesn’t support my growth and happiness.

Unfortunately, it can be nearly impossible to avoid the lure of those pings. Protect yourself and your time by consciously deciding when you want to let your attention wander, instead of letting those distractions decide for you.

Let your feelings lead you

As you continue to move in the direction of work that excites you, remember to check in with yourself and your gut reactions; they'll tell you that you're on the right track. My clients describe their positive feelings in different ways, such as a floating, expansive feeling, a sense of effortless ease, and even something inside that says "YES!".

All of these are your brain sending feel-good chemicals to your body, like messages to go for it. A friend of mine recently decided to take what she’s calling her 'leap-of-faith tour.”' She left behind a life and choices that were making her unhappy to follow her lifelong dream of being a dancer. She’s choosing to follow the fuzzy, bubbling, warm feelings this choice gives her, and loving every minute of it.

To paraphrase from motivational author Napoleon Hill’s work: "Knowledge is not power. It’s potential power."

Knowledge without action is completely useless. Taking action is the only way to test drive the feelings you’re after in your work. It’s also the single greatest differentiating factor between getting where you’re meant to be or not.

Action has magic in it. Begin today by choosing a path that excites you.


About the Author

Cortney McDermott is an award-winning writer, speaker, and strategist to Fortune 500 executives, entrepreneurial leaders, and think tanks around the world. She writes for a number of international publications, including She Owns It and The Huffington Post. Her debut book, Change Starts Within You is “soulful, sassy, and full of practical insights,” as best-selling author and Harvard Valedictorian Monika Lutz puts it. “If Eat, Pray, Love married The 4-Hour Workweek, Cortney’s book would be their firstborn child.”

Connect with Cortney: Instagramcortneymcdermott.com

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Here's What Happened When I Flipped My Way Through the Work Week

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Here's What Happened When I Flipped My Way Through the Work Week

I was super inspired by the idea of Serenflipity cards since the first time I heard about them. While I’m a person who loves to try new things, I find myself stuck in ruts from time to time. Sometimes, my creativity suffers; other times, I find myself caught up in a comfortable routine and naturally stop pushing myself to grow. 

Though I’m nearly two years into my journey as a small business owner and try to take advantage of my freedom I have to design my life each day, the ability to work from anywhere can be oddly paralyzing — both locally and globally. In an effort to add some pizazz back into my daily patterns, I decided to put my deck to the test by flipping a new card each day of the work week. Here’s how it went.

Day 1:Cancel as much on your calendar as you can. Then, sneak out and say YES to at least one random thing that comes your way.

This card couldn’t have come at a more perfect time; I’ve been feeling super stressed and in need of downtime, something I'm still learning to treat myself to. While I couldn’t cancel my morning client calls, I shuffled around some of my project work and took the afternoon off of work. A friend stopped by and we ended up catching up for hours over cocktails on my back patio. I laughed so hard my abs hurt, and went to bed with a big smile on my face that night instead of stressing about the next day. Carving out time to have fun with friends is important, and I need to make myself more available to do it!

Day 2: "Identify a big fear and see if you can take one action to confront it.

One of my biggest fears is that something will happen to someone I love who lives far away. I moved to California almost a decade ago, but still feel guilty about missing out on precious time with my family and friends on the east coast. Though I can’t control what might happen to someone I care about or always visit on a whim, I can definitely connect with them in meaningful ways. Today, I called my Mom and Dad and caught up with two close friends over text. Just taking the time to check in on each person and hear about what's been happening in their lives made me feel really good.

Day 3:Ask a stranger for a mantra and live by it for a day.”

I work from coffee shops often and usually chat with people I don’t know during the course of a day. Today, I decided to ask the barista for her mantra, which was “we are what we repeatedly do.” Though I’d heard this before, I found that having a reason to actually apply forced me to put it into practice and think about each action I took.  It's fascinating how small things that can subtly transform into habits have the ability to shape who we are and how we live. Little things can define us, so we should consider them carefully.

Day 4: “Wear something unexpected or outside of your usual style today, whether it’s an accessory or a full ensemble.”

This card was so much fun for me! I recently bought a pair of futuristic-looking, all white sneakers from an Aldo shoe sale but felt self-conscious about wearing them as they’re pretty far outside of my standard style. Today, I whipped them out proudly. I got a couple of compliments and a couple of questions (my neighbor thought they looked like space shoes!) but wore them all afternoon around San Francisco. I felt like I was drawing attention to myself, which was uncomfortable, but it felt good to try something new and different. Why not?

Day 5:Keep a smile on your face all day long. Take note of how people respond and how this makes you feel."

I actually smiled when I flipped this card (how fitting!) because I've been focused on being more joyful and genuinely positive for a few years. This card reminded me that smiling often comes from a place of gratitude — and that finding things to feel happy about makes it easier to connect with other people in a truly authentic way. Though this card is a perfect nudge to uncover even more positive stuff, it also reminded me that it's not always easy for people to see what's great about themselves or their lives. While staying upbeat per usual, I found that I felt extra patient with others, noting that struggles aren't always visible on the surface. I also felt extra lucky that I have so much to smile about!

Though I can’t tie a transformational moment or specific life change to my experiment using the cards this week, I feel refreshed and inspired after having tackled a mini-challenge during each work day. I started to really look forward to my flip each morning and trying to accomplish whatever the card said. Small shifts can inspire big waves, and sometimes all it takes is a sentence to get started.


About the Author

Krista Gray is a web producer and freelance writer who lives in San Francisco. When she's not working with clients through her company GoldSquare, she loves reading, traveling and learning new things.

Connect with Krista: Instagram, Twitter, goldsquare.co
 

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 3 Qs to Ask Yourself When You've Fallen Out of Love With Your Job

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3 Qs to Ask Yourself When You've Fallen Out of Love With Your Job

Feeling "over it" at work? Regardless of the reason you took your job, it’s super normal that the initial shine wears off over time. For many of us, work can start to feel like a relationship once the “honeymoon” period is over and you get to know the real characteristics of what you’ve aligned yourself with! 

Thankfully, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. True honesty and genuine trust can come to light once you’re in deeper, helping you re-kindle the love you have for your company, role or work. Not sure how to draw out the good stuff when you're feeling frustrated or uninspired? Here are three key things you can think about to get started.
 

What has your company done (or not done) in the last year?

Is it mostly positive?

It’s natural to turn inward when you think about professional happiness, but before you start thinking about your own performance, consider what your company has accomplished in the time you’ve been there. Reflect on some of the moments when the organization has really shined, as well as those when it struggled. Has your company done something in the last six months that helped it stand out as a leader? Has the organization taken a brave stance that aligns with your values? By taking stock of the situation, you might be able to more clearly see what you have to be proud about.  

On the other hand, think about whether your company has disappointed you in certain areas over the last year. These might be things like providing an environment with psychological safety, mentorship opportunities, or camaraderie that leaves you feeling excited about how you're contributing to the cause or mission each day. If you find that the negatives outweigh positives, you’ll know you have good reason to consider a new job, approach or company.  
 

Can you flip your perspective?

Try helping someone who's new and still sees the magic.

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Yes, hiring and supervising interns or new employees can take up your time and feel like a major energy drain—but these new people also have an interesting perspective: they’re still in the honeymoon phase with your organization, and are learning its culture. Instead of feeling frustrated, offer to help someone learn the ropes. This might be as simple as taking them to lunch, or even offering to give them a short primer before an important meeting you’re leading. 

Not only will the person you’re helping appreciate the kindness you’re extending, but by helping someone, you may actually begin to create the culture you noticed when you first started.  
 

What have you accomplished?

Why does it matter?

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No matter how awesome the mission, humans get stuck in the drudgery of daily work. To hone in on what sets you apart, make a master list of your accomplishments. You’ll see just how prolific you’ve been during your time at work! If you’ve been at it for months or years, you might even be surprised to see just how much good work you’ve created during that time.

This exercise is a good way to remind yourself that you’ve made great progress, and it can inspire you to keep going — even if things seem like they don’t matter or feel too tough along the way.  

Remember this: Though you might never get all the back to feeling you had when you first fell in love with your work, you can achieve a more mature and wise type of love—one that has a deeper understanding of what it means to persevere, and to expand your skillset while delivering value each and every day.


About the Author

Katie Crank is an attorney, social worker, and writer. She helps communities address decarceration, trauma, and the paths that lead women to justice system involvement. Katie also writes on the topics of health, productivity, and dog foster & adoption.

Connect with Katie: Linkedin, Instagram, Contently, Medium

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5 Ways to Bring Adventure to Your Work Day (and Still Get Your Stuff Done)

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5 Ways to Bring Adventure to Your Work Day (and Still Get Your Stuff Done)

Zip lining through a jungle...
Renting a moped in Thailand...
Trying an exotic local cultural delicacy that looks downright crazy...
Leaving your work life behind and running away to Morocco with a one-way ticket...

When we think about what adventure could look like, the sky's really the limit. Often though, it’s hard to see what’s possible when staring at the computer within the confines of a workspace or our loud open office. When we aren’t feeling stimulated in an adventurous way in these sorts of situations, we don't feel creative—and if we don't feel creative, it's easy to get stuck at work and fall into a negative head space. So let's nip it in the bud and get to a place where you’re naturally infusing adventure into your day with without affecting your work performance, shall we?

Here are five of my favorite ways to bring adventure into the work day:

1. Indulge in cuisine from around the world. If you work in a major metro you're likely surrounded by a culinary mecca for different types of food, some of which you’ve never tried before. One day a week, commit to finding a new place for lunch and a goal to try something new on the menu. Begin to invite people to do it with you, starting a de facto club of sorts where you learn about the food and comment on it over the lunch hour. Far from where all of the different cultural delights are? Try using UberEats, which delivers outside of normal Seamless and Caviar zones. Do this just once a week as something to look forward to; it'll be easy to stick to your budget and healthy eating goals too.

2. Feel great on food truck Friday. Back when I lived for the weekend and dreaded Monday on Sunday morning, some co-workers of mine and I instituted 'Food Truck Friday' There was a line of different trucks outside the office and a nice space to eat outside and get fresh air. We’d all get different things and create a mish-mash of food. A bonus, we also got to sit outside in the sun for an hour. Figure out what your 'Food Truck Friday' is and make an adventure of it too!

3. Learn while you lunch. I promise to stop talking about lunch in a second, but food really does bring people together. For this adventure tactic, I’ve found that starting a lunch club (where everyone just brings their own thing, so the focus isn’t actually the food) around a shared interest is a ton of fun. That interest could be professional development or something more personal like your love for photography; either way, plan to talk shop for the full hour. Link up with your HR department for added engagement. This adventure will be a win-win for you and the company you work for.

4. Style (and re-style!) your desk. Love a little visual stimulation? Make over your desk to keep it looking fresh each quarter or season. I got this idea from a store in New York City called Story, where the owner completely reinvents the look and feel of the shop (and what they sell) every four to eight weeks. Bringing this cool concept to your desk will work especially well at creative companies, design firms and startups. So fun!

5. Chat up a stranger. Ultimately, you're responsible for creating your own adventure by designing each moment of your day. Take advantage of the people around you by talking to them when you might normally stay quiet. This could be when you're sitting at the park at your lunch break, or picking up a snack during an afternoon slump. It might even be a co-worker in a different department that you haven't spoken to before. Be bold and ask them to join you on a walk or your next trip to the coffee shop. You'll probably learn something new, and you never know where conversations can lead. I personally like to keep this random as possible and go without an agenda—that way, there's a lot of adventure in it.

If one thing's for sure, it's that there's no shortage of good ideas that can help you infuse adventure into each day you're stuck at your desk. Switching it up doesn’t have to be time consuming or disruptive, and it sure as heck doesn’t have to cost much. Start with these ideas, and I have no doubt you’ll be coming up with your own in no time at all.


About the Author

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Jill Ozovek (CPC, ACC) is a Career Development Advisor based in New York City. She is the host of the Career Passport, not your typical career podcast for thirty-something women hosted on iTunes and has a personal coaching and retreat business, where she takes women to far-flung places both domestic and exotic to consider new career possibilities for themselves. Look out for the first one in Austin, January 2018. In her free time, she enjoys cooking all sorts of crazy things from scratch, traveling without an itinerary, photographer and hanging out with her husband, Aidan.

Connect With Jill: Twitter, Instagram, Facebookjillozovek.com

 

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From the Archives: Pay It Forward Friday

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From the Archives: Pay It Forward Friday

Happy Flashback Friday! We go back to four years ago this week, when Cara met honeymooners, Theresa and Stephen through a flip challenge. As fate (or serendipity!) would have it, their paths continue to cross, and the couple interviewed Cara for their podcast Ownstream

Check out the original story that brought their paths together. Who can you pay it forward to today? 

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4 Realizations That Gave Me the Courage to Make a Career Change

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4 Realizations That Gave Me the Courage to Make a Career Change

I worked eight jobs in the first ten years of my career. I was caught in an endless cycle, always searching for a job that excited and challenged me more than my current one. I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to seek improvement for myself, and so I found myself always seeking something better and more fulfilling.

No matter how cool the company was, I was never happy in my job.

On paper, some of the positions I held seemed like dream jobs for me. Music is a huge part of my life, and my first internship was at a record label. I’ve loved beauty products for my whole life, so working in the beauty industry seemed like it was a dream come true. Working great jobs at coveted places made me feel like I should be happy, especially since I was good at what I did. The same went for my jobs producing nonprofit events and handling marketing for health and wellness brands; I excelled in these capacities, and each time, everyone assumed that I’d finally found the perfect job for me.

In the back of my mind, I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur—but I wasn’t sure what my business would look like or where I would fit in. That all changed when I found a career coach. As we worked together, I thought to myself, “How can I do her job?” Being a connector, supporter, and cheerleader for all my friends (and their friends!) felt like a part of my DNA. I couldn’t turn this part of myself off. It made perfect sense to make coaching my business.

I realized that coaching was something I’d been doing naturally all my life.

By that point in my journey, finding the courage to make a career switch was the easiest part. I felt energized and thrilled by the thought of a career that was fulfilling and rewarding. If you’re feeling like I was feeling, here are a few of the realizations I had that helped push me to make a big career switch:

1. I like doing things my own way. Becoming an entrepreneur meant that I could leave my traditional roles behind and decide how I wanted to structure my business, what kinds of clients I wanted to take on, and how I wanted to design my lifestyle. None of these things were possible in my previous jobs. I experienced a big health scare in 2012, which resulted in me having surgery to remove a quarter of my right lung. After the surgery, I knew that my health and well-being needed to be a priority in my life. As an entrepreneur, I’m able to carve out time for self-care, which helps me to be more productive when I’m working. Changing careers made a new lifestyle possible.

2. I wanted to do work that mattered to me. I had quickly realized that a dream job doesn’t always equate to fulfilling work. I had always thought that working at a beauty company would be perfect for me, but I ended up hating the industry. Not only did not I not find the work rewarding, I didn’t identify with the values of the workplace. As I moved into working with nonprofits, I felt more connected to the missions of the organizations, but I still wasn’t happy with the overall role I was playing. Now, with my clients, I work with them to find jobs and careers that will light them up, and make them excited to go to work every day. That’s the feeling I was seeking when I made the switch to entrepreneurship, and it’s incredibly rewarding to me to help others navigate through their own career transitions.

3. I could work less but earn more. A 9-to-5 job can quickly take over your life. Sometimes, 9 to 5 is a low estimate of the time really needed to accomplish the job’s responsibilities. I realized that I could actually make more money working independently, and I would also be able to work smarter. I wouldn’t always have to work long days, and when I did, I would be doing so for the benefit of my own business. For me, it was a smart financial move to start working independently, even though it was scary at first. And it was a smart move for my happiness, too. Being able to choose the clients and projects I take on is one of the best parts of my job, and I’ve been lucky to work with people who are really excited to do the work that comes with coaching. Like I was, they’re ready for a change.

4. I realized that listening to myself was most important. It was freeing to realize that I didn’t need to choose a career based on what other people thought. Yes, I had strengths in the areas of marketing, event production and social media, but I had other strengths too. Once I started listening to myself, I realized that being a coach was what I wanted to do more than anything else. As it turned out, once I launched my business, friends and family then told me what a perfect fit it was for me. But if I hadn’t listened to myself, I would never have found the opportunity to find the career that I truly love.
 


About the Author

Harper Spero is a New York City-based business and career transition coach who has found a way to successfully integrate passion with purpose. Harper specializes in helping aspiring and current entrepreneurs break free from toxic environments, create tactical plans for growth, and navigate their careers to bring balance, fulfillment and structure to their lives. Using a mix of customized tools and hands-on techniques in her one-on-one coaching programs, Harper coaches clients to get out of their comfort zones and to do the things that light them up, creating freedom, flexibility and joy.

Connect with Harper: TwitterInstagramharperspero.com

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Five Steps To Turn Serendipity Into Your Superpower

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Five Steps To Turn Serendipity Into Your Superpower

Serendipity is an under-rated thing. It gets a bad rap as haphazard luck or a happy coincidence. A pleasant surprise that uplifts us from our usual routine. A random encounter where the stars aligned. A fleeting moment that comes out of the blue, only to disappear.

But serendipity is not a “thing.” Or an “accident.” Or a “random encounter.” Or just a cute John Cusack movie. It’s actually a skillset – and it’s something that can make us smarter, happier and more connected.

When it comes to serendipity, there’s a whole new field of interdisciplinary research emerging, and studies segment people into “non-encounterers”, “occasional encounterers” who stumble upon serendipity now and then, and “super encounterers” who constantly see happy surprises in even the most mundane of situations.

I’ve become what researchers would call a “super-encounterer”, not because I’m lucky, but because I’ve built my serendipity superpowers over the years. These are definitely not skills I studied in any classroom, but rather gleaned through experience, many of which involve solo travel and times of personal growth. Both of these types of experiences forced me to let go of behaviors and beliefs that blocked me from letting in new things.

But you don’t have to travel far and wide or go on a soul-search to discovery your serendipity superpowers. It’s often as simple as changing what you see, where you go and how you show up.

Here are my top five tips for turning yourself into a serendipity superstar:

1. Believe you are surrounded by serendipity – and expect it every day. One of the first steps to attracting more serendipity is to actually believe that you are surrounded by it. Consider it selective attention – like when you’re pregnant, you start to see baby bumps everywhere. Or when you’re stressed out, you start to see more annoyances and blocks everywhere.

What we see is what we get – and if we choose to focus on a recent serendipitous moment, and look to see at least one of those moments each day, we start to attract more serendipity, and will find it popping up all the time.

One of my favorite ways to build this skill is to keep a journal of “random” things that happen each day – mine include everything from running into someone, to little phrases or sayings that pop out (a recent favorite was when I was having a "founder's moment" and got cut off by a giant truck with “THE PROFIT IS COMING” written on the side), to texts of the “woah, I was just thinking about you!” ilk. The dots connect over time, and I am always amazed when I look back.

Bottom line – believe you’re surrounded by it. Look for it. Write it down. Get more of it.

 

2. Celebrate the unknown, the incorrect and the idiotic. Many of the greatest discoveries come from accidents and failures. It’s easy to write off something that didn’t work, blame someone, and move quickly onto the next – but the biggest “aha’s” come from diving into the failures and actually having fun with them, instead of trying to find the next success right away.

Being in a state of “I don’t know” is one of the most powerful places we can be. I once worked for a guy who would respond to my pressing questions with a thoughtful, “yeah, I don’t know.” I was shocked – I figured someone with a higher authority was paid to “know”, but he taught me the importance of “not knowing.” Of collecting information, asking a ton of questions, exploring all the angles and then coming to a decision.

Not knowing can be incredibly uncomfortable, especially to this A-type New Yorker. But actually enjoying the state of “not knowing” is where serendipity finds me. Some of the best ideas I’ve built with clients have come out of jokes, and even going so far as to exploring the absolute “worst” idea we could ever have. We fell about laughing, one upping each other with horrifying add-ons – until someone had a spark and found a nugget of inspiration that led us into the creation of an award winning product. Some of the greatest personal experiences have come from literally not knowing what country I was going to next, and leaving my plans open to the travel gods. In fact, it started a decision making pattern, where I decided to not know, and to do the first thing that was mentioned 3 times by 3 different people. I was never led astray, but rather into incredible encounters and the exact situation I needed to grow.

 

3. Do the uncomfortable. It’s easy to turn down an invitation in favor of staying home to watch Netflix on the couch with takeout – but magic doesn’t happen when we’re cracked out on Narcos and Lo Mein. (Well sometimes it does, and I guess that’s what Tinder is for, but that’s another article…)

Say yes to what’s in front of you, especially that uncomfortable invitation. It’s there for a reason. The less you want to go, the more magic is bound to happen. And seriously, if you want to get a super dose of serendipity, go alone. That’s right – go to a party alone. Without a wingman. And if you don’t have an invitation to turn down, take yourself out to dinner (and don’t stare at your phone the whole time.)

Every time I’ve forced myself out of my comfort zone, I’ve had to surrender to what’s in front of me, and I’ve had to get curious. It means making conversation with strangers instead of standing by the cheese plate rehashing my day with a friend. It means staying five minutes longer than I want to, and sometimes hiding out in the bathroom for a few minutes when it feels like too much – and then falling into conversation with a handsome stranger. It means getting lost in a foreign country and stumbling across a beautiful village and into a heartfelt conversation.

Or it simply means opening myself up and into the positive potential of a new experience – instead of closing myself into what I already know. A few years ago, I felt creatively stuck and decided to spend 90 days traveling solo through India and Southeast Asia, following adventures my friends wrote for me instead of a guidebook. I was terrified. But the more I got into the habit of saying “yes” to the adventure in front of me, I started to open up in a new way and incredible things started to happen. (Fast forward to two years later, it’s become the foundation of my business, a product designed to foster adventure and serendipity every day… who would have known?)

Learning to trust, and being willing to be vulnerable is scary, but it’s also where we get out of ourselves and into the magic.

 

4. Say “thank you.” There are tons of studies and life-hacks around the life-changing effects of gratitude, and for good reason. Shanti-shanti as it may sound, it shifts our outlook and our energy, and attracts more positive things to come our way.

Saying thank you (whether to “the universe,” God, the person sitting next to you, or to the highway as you drive to work) for the little nods and coincidences is just as important as saying “thank you” for the promotion or the clean bill of health. It’s easy to get into the mentality of “well, he was perfect, except for…” or “the job seems great, but…” – simply acknowledge that something serendipitous just came your way and take it as a sign that more good things are on the way. “Thank you” is essentially a prayer that says, “that was awesome, I really dug it, and please bring me more.”

I’ve built this skill by writing a gratitude list each morning, and even putting little reminders in my phone to take 30 seconds and think of 3 things I’m grateful for. The real game changer has come in the past month in finding things I’m grateful for in really annoying situations.

Take a recent travel plan: my flight was 6 hours delayed on New Years Eve and then I couldn’t find the place I was staying once I arrived. To offset the irritation, I practiced finding a few “thank yous”, which included being able to go to my favorite yoga class that morning (instead of sitting in the airport), having an interesting conversation with an Uber driver who introduced me to a videographer, making time for a conversation with a friend in the airport, arriving in town just in time for dinner (and getting picked up straight from the airport as a result), being with friends who put me up for the night when I was lost, etc. Really cool connections and opportunities have been happening as a result.

The “thank yous” seem to build resilience to get out of a negative mindset, which only clouds me in my worries and prevents me from seeing the bigger picture – or what great things are in front of me. Taking a minute to find a moment of gratitude shifts me back into being in the unknown – which is where there’s space for serendipity to come in.

 

5. Share it to grow it. Serendipity isn’t a “thing” or even an “action” – it’s a flow that we get into. And it does take work – sometimes it’s as simple as leaving the house with a good attitude and talking to someone, or picking up the phone and listening (and really listening, not Facebooking and listening), in order to dive into what can seem like a consistent stream of unbelievable encounters.

Note that many of these experiences are encounters – which means that they involve other people. We multiply our magic by sharing it with others – whether it’s saying what we’re looking for, or helping others fulfill what they’re looking for. And sometimes serendipity comes from something as simple as a status update and discovering that you’re in the same country as an old friend. A big part of Serenflipity is asking people to share those serendipitous experiences on social media for just that reason – to foster more connections, to share cool experiences that uplift others (and potentially bring serendipity to them), and to encourage an environment of experimentation. Because we all need a little push to peel away from our habits.

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So, it’s that time of the year where we might be faltering on our New Year's Resolutions and about to dive back into old habits. Instead, I invite you to dive into bringing more serendipity into your life.

All you have to do is decide to see yourself as a serendipity super-magnet, have fun not knowing the answer, go to parties alone, say thank you, and share it with others. No calorie counting or guilt-tripping necessary!

I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for bringing more serendipity into your life – please share below!

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