I liked Sean’s MBA post last Friday. It struck a chord with me. This serendipity and Guided Drift stuff is always happening. But what makes it happen is having your hand in lots of interactions, lots of conversations, and lots of possibilities.
That was my big take away from Sean’s post. He is involved in lots of different groups in his program, and it just keeps opening up possibilities. I find myself in the same boat. So many new possibilities opened up for me after I wrote my first book, Choose on Purpose for Twentysomethings. I expanded my opportunities to have conversations with more young people in (or working on getting in) the work force, as you deal with getting acquainted to work-a-day life, and the human relations fun, quandaries and learning opportunities.
These conversations have turned my head and my world around. It is truly exciting to share the perspectives of the generation behind me. And it’s connected me in a new way. In an on-line survey offered by the Pew Research Center (How Millennial Are You?), any of us can even see how “Millennial” we are. In other words, it helps us look at typical behaviors and attitudes of twentysomethings today and see how well we relate. (It’s nice to feel at least a little “hip” — as I rated 56 on the scale, when most Boomers rate 11, and most Millennials come in at 73.)
And as I’ve worked with this new population more and more, I have also been doing research on resilience, especially for individuals in leadership roles in companies. It’s been a great complement to the twentysomething work. Making purposeful choices, after all, can contribute to making us more resilient, hardier, and better able to roll with the punches and bounce back when we hit bumps, big or little. And twentysomethings have a boatload of bumps facing them, with this economy thing going on. So what better time to be working on resilience — for today’s leaders and tomorrow’s leaders — at the same time.
So I see these two aspects of my work coming together now. And this is where Sean’s ideas of serendipity and Guided Drift come in. If we don’t have enough new conversations, new experiments going on in our lives, it’s a lot less likely we’ll run into new opportunities. It’s just a matter of probability. The more times at bat, the more likely you’ll get a hit.
So I’m up at bat in the world of resilience research, and pretty excited about that. I have a suspicion the time and effort I’ve put into understanding the world of today’s twentysomethings will find a way to wrap itself inside this resilience work. In fact, I’m going to a conference in Washington, D.C. at the end of this month that’s all about resilience — for our leaders, our businesses, and our nation and world.
I can’t wait to see what doors serendipity and Guided Drift open there for me. I’ll keep you posted…