The Science of Creating Your Own Luck | Christian Busch


January 22nd, 2021

58 mins 31 secs

Season 8

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode

Dr. Busch is the Director of the Global Economy Program at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs where he teaches on purpose-driven leadership, impact entrepreneurship, social innovation, and emerging markets. Today he’s here to talk about his latest book “The Serendipity Mindset” – which develops a science-based framework for individuals and companies to help prompt and leverage positive accidents.






[00:05:09] "Serendipity is really this kind of smart luck. So, it's very different from the blind luck."

[00:11:00] "In the end, it's all about connecting dots, right? It's all about saying, what is that kind of moment where, like you bring two potentially previously disparate things together."

[00:14:03] "I think then essentially, once we overcome this bias to not underestimate the unexpected, we can create this muscle. That's the muscle that allows us to essentially make the best out of it."

[00:15:45] "We all feel like impostors at times. We all feel like, you know, that we haven't figured it all out. And that's fine."

[00:23:36] "I will still everyday talk with at least one other person to make them feel better about themselves. And by doing that, that gives me meaning. And I think that kind of reminded me, right, that in every situation you can always reframe something."

[00:30:06] "The core idea is really that it's not only about knowledge that's power, but it's really kind of informational things that get seated. Then you can create knowledge out of it, unexpected."

[00:33:58] "We create the most serendipity when we think constantly about how does this relate now to something I've read, to something I talked with a friend, and how can I introduce them to someone and something? "

[00:41:50] "Serendipity is all about, somehow, sagacity. And it is all about kind of seeing something in the moment and making sense out of it. But, also then again, having the tenacity to to go through with it."

[00:44:18] "I think the courage that comes from being vulnerable, and the courage that comes from admitting that you haven't had it all figured out then empowers other people as well. Because it gives them the license to come up with new ideas."


[00:01:38] Guest introduction

[00:02:51] What kind of kid were you in high school?

[00:03:25] How different is life now than what you had imagined it would be?

[00:04:07] what was the journey like from rebellious teenager to now Dr. Christian Busch?

[00:05:00] How do you define serendipity? What is this thing?

[00:06:32] The three types of serendipity

[00:08:46] does serendipity have an anatomy? And if so, what does that anatomy look like?

[00:10:50] The concept of bisociation

[00:12:29] The biggest barriers to serendipity

[00:14:03] The serendipity muscle

[00:14:50] Alertness and serendipity

[00:19:27] The importance of self-talk for serendipity

[00:21:53] The reticular activating system and serendipity

[00:24:43] How we can do a better job at defining problem statements

[00:27:20] The two basic questions you should be asking

[00:29:26] Information is at the core of life's opportunities

[00:31:52] Networking in the COVID era

[00:36:35] Remixing, rebooting and deconstruction

[00:40:31] What can Seneca teach us about serendipity?

[00:45:24] Why you shouldn’t be afraid to admit you don’t know something

[00:50:44] How can we change the way that we speak to ensure that we're opening ourselves up for serendipity?

[00:53:19] It's one hundred years in the future, what do you want to be remembered for?

[00:55:38] The random round

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