If you follow your curiosity, chances are, you’ll be rewarded.

There was a wonderful moment on holiday in NYC last week.

On our first day in the city I’d taken my sons to the huge Uniqlo store on Fifth Avenue. As I was leaving I noticed a stack of Uniqlo ‘LifeWear’ magazines by the door. It was definitely one of those wafer thin choices between picking one up or not. I took one, almost as an afterthought.

Back at the hotel I read a feature in the magazine about the filmmaker Sofia Coppola. She was photographed outside one of her favourite restaurants — Buvette in the West Village. It looked like a lovely spot.

The following day I was walking with my family through Washington Square Park. We were getting hungry so I suggested heading west to find a spot for lunch. I don’t know Greenwich Village well, and I didn’t have a venue in mind, so I found myself leading the family along a street. We got to a junction and I thought ‘which way now?’

I love to walk around a city without a map, just following my nose. And at each junction we were faced with that choice again: which way now?

As we crossed Seventh Avenue, I wondered if I might find a cool little restaurant down a side street. And then my eyes were drawn to Grove Street, there was something about it that caught my attention. On Grove Street we were soon greeted by a lovely little restaurant, lightbulbs strewn around the windows, two benches either side of the doors. It looked like my kind of place. I sat on a bench to look at the menu.

And then I realised — this was Buvette.

Monday lunchtime it was busy and buzzy. Did they have a table for four? There was space in the back, sharing a long table with three others. We sat down, took in the scene and ordered our eggs & smoked salmon with a glass of Pinot Noir. It was just perfect.

And I tell you this story because so many of the positive things that have happened in my working life — getting a book published, being asked to speak at a conference, forming long standing working relationships, even finding new clients — have happened in a similar way. They’ve also come from following my nose, staying curious, and noticing the world around me. That is to say, there hasn’t been a plan. Many of those too have been the result of those wafer thin choices.

Of course I could have looked Buvette up online, reserved a table, put the street address into my phone. I could have planned the lunch.

But I’m glad we stumbled across it instead.

If you follow your curiosity, chances are, you’ll be rewarded.

Ian Sanders is author of the brand new book ‘365 Ways To Have a Good Day.

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IanSanders

Sparking change through story. Energising people at work. Author of 365 Ways to Have a Good Day (out Nov 2021). Fuelled by coffee, curiosity, walking.