The joys of serendipity
Posted on 6th February 2019 at 08:15
We often talk about the joys of serendipity and how life has a way of – almost (!) – magically falling into place IF we allow it to. Letting it unfold in its own way AND at its own pace. Often this happens in ways we never could have anticipated or takes us off in a completely new direction that turns out to be exactly what we wanted.
If you’re not sure what we’re talking about – or it just sounds too good to be true – here’s a great definition of serendipity:
“The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.”
And, for those who love trivia, did you know that it was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754? His inspiration came from “The Three Princes of Serendip”, a fairy tale where the heroes “were always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”
So are we saying that you should just drift through life and let the currents take you where they will? Well, no.
Like any journey, you have to know where you’re heading and, most importantly, where you’d like to end up. However, once you’re clear on the end result you desire then, yes, being more relaxed on the “how” does allow it to happen more easily. And, in ways you never could have anticipated.
If this sounds a bit too “hands off” for you, let’s explain why.
Quite simply, there are so many different ways in which even the simplest thing can happen that it’s nearly impossible to predict EXACTLY HOW it will ACTUALLY occur. There are so many different twists and turns that you never could have anticipated. So many different people that may be involved. Some of these you may already know about, but many more you don’t.
Or as Donald Rumsfeld so memorably put it: “There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don't know we don't know.”
By being more “hands off” about HOW things happen, we allow the flow of life to weave its magic. And this is where serendipity comes in. No longer do things happen by chance but they all help take us in the direction we require IF we allow them to.
The “chance encounter” with someone you hadn’t seen for ages. The advert you glimpsed for whatever it was you need to finish your project. The music you heard on the radio that sparked memories which opened up a completely new way to get where you wanted to go. Sometimes you’ll never exactly how – or why – something helped you but, looking back, you’ll see it marked a turning point or a step forward.
The thing about serendipity is that it’s always at work in our lives, we just don’t notice it. Put it down to “chance” or good luck.
So why not give it the opportunity to help you and enjoy the benefits it brings?
And, before we go, here’s another great quote about its cousin, coincidence. “Coincidence is the word we use when we can’t see the levers and pulleys.”
As always, the choice is yours.
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