There are two opposite camps when it comes to how to find those who will end up playing a large role in your life– the mentor, the mate, the good boss, the investor in your venture, the dog walker who’ll keep your neurotic pup exhausted. (Not necessarily in that order of importance.) Some say you need to be proactive, as in going on a hundred dates per week, calling every phone number in the industry directory, and pitching your idea to everyone who has a bank account. Others believe that those crucial encounters in life are a matter of destiny, operate on divine timing and can’t be arm-twisted into happening. So take it easy and go with the flow.

Having tried both approaches, I’m happy to report that the truth allies with… drum roll please… … neither.

Or rather, both. It doesn’t matter how you do it, with the right attitude, both approaches can work magic. That’s the word, “magic”. I believe any encounter in this world is magic in action. Just think about the 7 billion people on earth. The a priori probability of you and I meeting each other face-to-face is “(1 over 7 billion) × (1 over ‘7 billion minus 1’). And what’s the chance of the people you meet having any kind of significance to you? Well, if you want your calculator to explode, just tell it to count this to the last decimal point for you.

So it’s a bit delusional to think that without magic on a grander scale, your action (or inaction) by itself is the real cause behind any important encounter. But that doesn’t mean you play no part in the unfolding of destiny. Your attitude can seriously get in the way of the Universe, or not. And what is the right attitude? I believe it’s very simple–

1. Be curious.

2. Act on your inspirations.

“Be curious” means you’re consciously on the lookout for the impulses of life working through you, no matter how incredulous it may sound to your mind. Pay attention to the names, issues and places that piques your interest. Listen to your gut, even if your interest seems to come out of nowhere (in fact, especially if it comes out of nowhere.)

“Act on your inspirations” means you actually do something about your inner calling, instead of just sitting there and telling yourself “hmm, I wonder what that’s about”. If you wonder, then go find out. It’s not enough to just notice the trail of breadcrumb in front of you. You actually need to get your butt off the chair and take some walk down the trail (sometimes even a very long walk filled with doubts), while keeping on checking with your inner GPS for potential course corrections.

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On this week’s BananaOnFire, I shared the story of how I found my awesome mentor, Bill Bauman, by acting on my curiosity. Check it out!

(Watch this video on YouTube)

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