There was a documentary about a waiter who became a millionaire. Yes. It’s real life, and no, he did not win a lottery. He was at work doing his usual waiter job and assisted an old man who did not look promising at all.
The waiter was kind to the old man, and out of the blue, the old man hired the guy, and boom, he was his secretary.
The old man does not have any heirs, and when he died, he unexpectedly gave most of his inheritance to the waiter turned secretary turned millionaire. We can call it luck, or we can call it a reward, maybe a blessing, or all of the above.
I don’t particularly believe in luck, but I believe in opportunities, and not everyone is given one. But how do we increase our likelihood of getting an opportunity? The answer is the Luck Razor, a decision-making framework that whispers, "When faced with two equal options, choose the one that feels like it will produce the most luck later down the line."
While this philosophy might seem more at home in the area of social incidents or impulsive choices, its sharp edge can be honed to enhance your productivity in surprising ways. Here's how:
1. Embrace the Thrill of the Unknown:
Imagine yourself staring at two tasks. One, familiar and comfortable, promises a smooth, predictable path. The other is a shimmering enigma, with the possibility of unforeseen rewards. The Luck Razor urges you to choose the latter. Step outside your comfort zone, tackle a challenging project or collaborate with someone new. Remember, the greatest discoveries often lie beyond the well-worn path, waiting to be unearthed by those daring enough to venture out.
2. Prioritize Impact Over Routine:
Think of the 20/80 rule: 20% of your effort yields 80% of your results. The Luck Razor encourages you to identify those high-impact tasks—the ones that hold the potential to propel you towards your goals. Ditch the endless checklists and prioritize activities that can truly move the needle. Embrace the thrill of chasing opportunities that might seem daunting, for within their complexity lie the seeds of significant progress.
3. Build a Network of Serendipity:
Remember the Luck Razor's mantra? "Put yourself out there." In your professional life, this translates to actively building a network of connections. Attend conferences, participate in online communities, and strike up conversations with colleagues from different departments. The more diverse your network, the more doors it unlocks. You'll stumble upon unexpected collaborations, gain access to invaluable resources, and become a magnet for serendipitous opportunities that can ignite your productivity.
4. Embrace the Iterative Dance:
The Luck Razor doesn't shy away from calculated risks. It encourages you to experiment, try new approaches, and embrace the iterative dance of trial and error. Don't be afraid to take a leap of faith on a project, even if it doesn't pan out perfectly. View each attempt as a learning opportunity, a chance to refine your approach and inch closer to a more efficient, productive workflow.
Remember, the Luck Razor isn't a magic bullet. It's a mindset shift, a lens through which you view your choices. It nudges you to prioritize potential over predictability, to embrace the unknown, and to believe that sometimes the most productive path is the one that leads you to the most unexpected destinations. So, sharpen your metaphorical razor, embrace the thrill of the unknown, and watch your productivity soar, fueled by the serendipitous possibilities that lie around the next bend.