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Holding On To Circumstance

Amidst our constant connection to others, we’re missing out on the present.

Scott Belsky
Jun 15, 2013 · 3 min read

Personally, I’ve always been a huge fan of the power of coincidence. Running into a long lost friend in the airport; or passing an old teacher from grade school on the street - these circumstantial interactions have worked wonders for me.

In one case, I am especially indebted to a circumstantial conversation between two women in a nail salon, both of whom consequently still use old flip cell phones and neither of whom are on Facebook. They had nothing to do while waiting for their nails to dry, and so they started talking.

One mentions she knows a “nice young man” in NYC who had recently graduated from Cornell - and is single. The other woman mentions her daughter, a woman who had also recently graduated from Cornell - and is also single. So, they decided to fix them up.

I’m especially fortunate for this, because I was the young man, and that’s how I met my wife, Erica. I wonder: If these women had smartphones and iPads, would they have been talking as their nails were drying? Circumstantial interactions offer enormous potential for our lives.

This realization is especially true when it comes to our careers. Some of the greatest deals and partnerships are the result of chance conversations during the breaks at conferences or cocktail receptions - the moments when we usually dive into our email. The value of any experience is often found in the seams.

The problem is, despite how valuable of a role circumstance plays in our lives, we can’t plan for it. As we become more connected - we become less open to circumstance. We stop noticing what is going on around us.

Stay open.

Things to think about:

  1. The 21st century challenge is to keep your focus and preserve the sanctity of mind that is required to create and ultimately make an impact in what matters most to you. Imagination happens when your mind has the freedom to run rampant. Unfortunately, in the modern day, our minds are usually busy reacting and digesting tons of information. We need to be aware of the cost of constant connection.

Positive Slope

Insights on crafting products, teams, and progress.

Scott Belsky

Written by

founder @Behance, cpo @Adobe, early stage investor and product obsessive; author of Making Ideas Happen and The Messy Middle. http://scottbelsky.com

Positive Slope

Insights on crafting products, teams, and progress.

Scott Belsky

Written by

founder @Behance, cpo @Adobe, early stage investor and product obsessive; author of Making Ideas Happen and The Messy Middle. http://scottbelsky.com

Positive Slope

Insights on crafting products, teams, and progress.

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