How to Design Your Own Happy Accidents
How To Design Your Own Happy Accidents
When you hear the word collision, most likely you think of an accident that causes damage or destruction, like a car crash. I want to talk about collisions that result in building and creating something. When somebody bumps into someone else and a valuable connection happens from it, they are sometimes called ‘happy accidents’ – I call them Creative Collisions.
Generally, I set out to intentionally create them, yet some appear to happen randomly. If we look a little deeper into the science of the brain though, we’ll see they aren’t as accidental as they seem.
All of us have experienced the phenomenon of getting something new, like a certain model of car, or brand of shoes, then all of a sudden you seem to see them everywhere! There isn’t more of them around you all of a sudden, you’re just aware of them because it now has more significance to you than it did before.
There’s a part of the brain responsible for this ‘magical appearance’ – it’s called the Reticular Activation System. This system helps us to filter out unnecessary information that comes into our brain so only the more important things get through.
For instance, when you are bombarded by the sounds of people and regular announcements on the PA at an airport, your Reticular Activation System, or RAS for short, helps you pick out the sound of your airline and flight number when it’s called. You have focused on that piece of information with an intention of its importance, and your beautiful brain comes to your aid in sorting through all the noise to pick up on that one phrase.
You might be asking, “But Jae, what does this have to do with these creative collisions you’re talking about?” Well, the awesome thing is, that when you learn new concepts, you can start to pick them out in your life where before you overlooked them. Learning the concept helps you to ‘see’ it even though it’s always been there.
Learning new concepts that you subconsciously tell yourself are important to helping you in life, wakes you up to their presence, or to the opportunity for them around you. Your brain creates a filter in your mind that strains out the information coming in and highlights that new concept in seemingly mundane daily experiences.
As an entrepreneur, you will need to continually learn new things to keep growing yourself and your business. It’s amazing how many times you become aware of something you need and then all of a sudden you meet someone who can help you with it, or knows someone who can.
When you understand this magical phenomenon our brain’s RAS is partly responsible for, you start to recognize the random collisions that happen in your life where supply meets need.
Recognizing them is the first step – creating them is the second.
I don’t just wait around for those creative collisions to occur at random – I make a space for them to happen regularly. In life and business, creative collisions, in a nutshell, are the interactions you have with others that create connections and ideas. Creative collisions are closely linked to synergy. They are the connecting force that causes the synergy between people to be produced.
Instead of hoping you’ll bump into someone with the answers you need, you create a play-space like a bumper-car pit where you bounce your ideas off of each other! These spaces can be:
- Mastermind groups where you meet with others to brainstorm and support each other
- Incubators, which offer mentorship, training, office space and investor opportunities to start-ups so they can grow faster and more successfully
- Any place, virtually or physically where you get together with others to discuss and create, and give birth to new epiphanies – even, or should I say, especially, places of worship!
Whatever style of creative collision format you use has to be formed of people who are willing to be engaged. It takes high participation to create results that seem to come out of thin air like magic! Sometimes it’s harder with too many people. Smaller groups of people with aligned values and purpose work best, especially at the beginning. Once you establish functionality with a few, they can have more impact on the group as others are added.
In one of our factories, we have created a space where we give start-ups a chance. It’s called Good Seed Headquarters, and is filled with office space and conference rooms that companies with aligning values to ours can use to get up and running. The powerful creative collisions that happen there every day produce amazing things as people get together in the same space to bring their dreams to life.
Whether you are in business, or some kind of ministry, you need creative collisions at every stage. You always need to keep networking. When you’re just starting out and hustling, you need to make connections to help you grow, inspire and motivate you. Even when you’re at the top in your field, you still need them to remain relevant, stay on the cutting edge, or expand your territory.
I hope reading this article about the concept of creative collisions will cause you to magically ‘see’ ways they are already happening in your life, and how you can design ways to bring about more!