Official Blog of Center10 Consulting

Try Something New: The Follow The Lights Strategy

on Wednesday, July 8, 2015
When I first moved to New York City sixteen years ago, I knew no one in the city apart from colleagues at the consulting firm I was recruited into. They were a fun crew, and weekday evenings were pretty well taken care of - between late evenings at work and team dinners. The weekends were a little more of a challenge.

Of course, New York has no dearth of activities and programs. It's really more about making the choice of what to do among the myriad opportunities.

Bottling Serendipity:

That's when I came up with a strategy that I continue to this day when I am in an unfamiliar city or find myself at a loose end. It's a way of capturing serendipity.

I'd take the subway to a neighborhood I'd wanted to explore. Getting out the subway station, I'd walk to the nearest traffic lights and then let the algorithm of the lights guide me. I'd take whichever green light came up, turning to make sure I wan't waiting at any point. Inevitably, I'd find a museum, art gallery, park, show, place to eat, or some hidden gem that would eat up the rest of my day. In a couple of weeks, I felt like I know Manhattan - Harlem, Soho, UES, Central Park, UWS, Brooklyn. I've done this in Paris, Istanbul, London...never regretted it!

It often reminded me of the meandering route I take with the Sunday Newspapers. Rather than finishing a section, i find myself following the "Turn to page..." approach to guide my reading. Once I move to a new section and finish the story, I move to the next article in that section. Lots of fun. Works online too, I'm sure.

Try this - whether it's walking round a city or life in general, trying something new because it's presented to you serendipitously can be a fun way to mix up your routine and open yourself up to new ways to thinking and being. Bon Chance!!


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