While out shopping, have you ever run into an acquaintance whom you have not seen in a long time? You see the person and say "hello" as you pass by. Then a few days or weeks later you see them again in a restaurant. You live miles apart and do not belong to the same organization or neighborhood. Are these sightings coincidence or a significant connection? You should find out.
This has happened to me on more than one occasion. When that second close encounter occurs, I walk up to the person and say, "This is the second time I have seen you in the past two weeks. There must be a reason. What do you think it might be?" Then I smile and wait. Try this when it happens to you. There may be a common element that the two of you can share; if nothing else, you have a chance to renew a relationship that has been dormant for some time. I find the person smiles, acknowledges my point, and we talk for a moment. Usually we go our ways, but occasionally the importance of the connection is clear.
For example, in a two-week span of time, three times my wife ran into the same acquaintance who was a realtor. Since our daughter and son-in-law needed to buy a house, it seemed obvious that this was the realtor they should use. She did a marvelous job of helping them find just the right home to meet their needs and their budget.
In getting the most out of your day, look for connections with people, or with events, or actions. The Kentucky Derby is Saturday—perhaps the shortest sporting event with the most pomp and ceremony of any special event in our country. What connections can you make? You don't have to be from Kentucky to enjoy this day. Perhaps you watch the race with a friend or you have a mint julep in honor of the event. Four days later is Cinco de Mayo. You don't have to be in Mexico to celebrate and make connections. Go to a Mexican restaurant and enjoy the special meals served on the fifth of May.
Don’t ignore coincidences. Through them, seek connections to have a richer and more enjoyable day. I agree with rock star Brandon Boyd [no relation] when he said, "There is no coincidence. There is no such thing."
Stephen D. Boyd, Ph.D., CSP, is Professor of Speech Communication, College of Informatics, Northern Kentucky University, near Cincinnati. He presents keynotes and seminars to corporations and associations whose people want to speak and listen effectively. See additional articles and resources at www.sboyd.com. To book Steve, call 800-727-6520 or email him through his website.