One morning a few weeks ago I made a list of three things to accomplish that day. The first was to find a way to connect with a large corporation, the second was to connect with a major non-profit and the third was to resolve how to do a joint venture with a mentor I’d never met.
I thought about ways to make these things happen and not finding an easy solution, I put them aside. I went about my morning, taking baby steps toward my goal as if the three things had already happened.
Within two hours I received a telephone call from an old friend who’s now working for the corporation I was trying to reach. Fifteen minutes later I got an email from someone who wanted to be a Luminary on our site, InspireMeToday.com, who was referred to us by the non-profit organization.
As I was laughing at the serendipity of it all, the phone rang and it was a man “returning my call”, but I hadn’t called him! You guessed it- he worked for the mentor I wanted to contact. Many would call these things an “accident” or a “coincidence”, but I know better.
By noon, all three of my major things were completed for the day, and I didn’t have to go crazy figuring out how to make it happen. Was this just luck? I believe this was serendipity at her finest.
According to the dictionary, “serendipity” is the ability to make fortunate discoveries by accident, from the characters in the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip, who made such discoveries. We experience it as magical things that line up perfectly in our lives.
Serendipity happens to all of us everyday. The key to the frequency and importance is simple- pay attention.
Recently, while writing on the topic of paying attention, I looked up to see a huge mountain lion outside my window. What made me look out at that moment? I’ve lived in the mountains of Boulder, CO for two years and this was my first lion. Surely he must have passed this way before. I saw him because I was paying attention.
How many times did he walk by my window before I noticed him? How many times has serendipity knocked on our door, but we’re too busy banging our head against a wall to notice?
Serendipity seems to work best when we surrender to the greater will of the Universe. It shows up most when we’re living in the flow of life. Serendipity can line things up before we can figure out how to make them happen. She works best when we know the WHAT and the WHY, and focus on that, while we take baby steps toward our goal and allow the HOW to show up.
And like my lion in the mountains of Boulder,CO, serendipity is all around us, just waiting for us to look up and notice her. She’s waiting to make our lives easier and more fun, so let’s open the door and invite her to come in!