South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, gathered again 30.000 attendees and generated a variety of discussions. It was reported earlier last week already in a blog post in WSJ  – interestingly enough- that “serendipity” was the buzzword in this years SXSW. And in fact SXSW is having a reputation to be the event for unexpected encounters.

Now Forbes has published an interview with John Hagel , where he explains the secrets how to attract people to your life. John summarises the insight  in three basic advice:

1) Choose to participate

2) Put out a beacon

3) Be vulnerable

This is certainly inspiring, because last Friday I had a speech in Saint Petersburg “Understanding serendipity – your competitive edge” , where the main message was to focus in changing your thinking from “push” to “pull” – mode, and my approach is strongly inspired by John’s thinking.

 Keep your calendar serendipitous and remember to balance the sense of urgency with dedicated time in solitude

Want more serendipity in your regular life? “Just look at your calendar,” Hagel advises. “How tightly scheduled are you? Have you got a breakfast meeting, meetings all day, then late night meetings? There’s not much chance for serendipity there unless a fire alarm goes off and you have to head into the street. Create spaces where you’re wandering around and exposing yourself to new people.”. This is exactly what I have advocated. Keep your calendar serendipitous and remember to balance the sense of urgency with dedicated time in solitude. Remember that unexpected encounters can lead to serendipitous outcomes, but only if you have the ability and right mindset for insights which then will help generate value for you.

It’s pretty comforting to know that to be able to attract people and ideas is not a gimmick, or that you have to be a super person to do that. Muller&Becker illustrated it nicely in their book “Get Lucky-How to Put Planned Serendipity to Work for You and Your Business” — “There is no more effective way to attract interested people and inspiring ideas to you, than leading a meaningful life”