Find the commonality
The longer we listen to one another — with real attention — the more commonality we will find in all our lives. That is, if we are careful to exchange with one another life stories and not simply opinions.
The theme of having something in common with an unknown person runs through this book because I believe it’s the single most important way to get luck, fate, serendipity — or whatever you prefer to call it — working for you. Being in search of serendipity is definitely a contradiction in terms, but why not give it a bit of a shove to see what happens?
Walking up to someone and saying hello may seem a bit strange to the other person unless you have something in common, such as standing in an elevator together. Finding common ground in a situation is an acceptable reason to make a connection without looking like a nutter.
Inside church, for example, where the common interest is to pray, saying a quick ‘hi’ to another person along the pew is socially acceptable because you both belong to the same church. At a rock concert, it’s okay to chat to the person next to you about the band because you’re both there to experience the music. At a football match when your team is losing, it’s okay to moan and groan to the person in front of you about the team’s poor performance today and reminisce about the glory days because you both love the team.
At a conference, we’re quite happy to talk to other people in the coffee queue at interval time ...